The Nanaimo Clippers refilled the players’ bench over the off-season, and now they’ve filled the area behind the bench, too.
The city’s B.C. Hockey League club announced two new assistant coaches for the 2013-14 season: Dave Johnston and Brad Leeb.
Johnston was part of the host committee of this past spring’s Western Canada Cup. Before that he was the longtime coach and general manager of the Oceanside Generals junior B club.
Leeb retired from professional hockey this spring after 14 seasons. He played six career NHL games and most recently skated with the Coventry Blaze in the U.K.
Both men will have additional duties besides assistant coaching – Johnston becomes assistant general manager and director of business operations, while Leeb will be a business consultant.
“We’re a small operation at our level, so multi-tasking and multiple roes is important, I think,” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach and general manager.
He said when it comes to assistant coaches, it’s useful to find people who can bring different ideas.
“In Brad’s case it’s good that he just finished playing. It brings a fresh perspective to the staff. We as coaches tend to forget what it was like to be a player, and I think that’s going to be a good addition to our mix.”
So the coaching staff is set, and Vandekamp said 90 per cent of the player personnel is in place for training camp, which starts Aug. 20.
“It’s coming fast. We’re looking forward to getting going; it’s exciting,” he said. “We’ve got some new staff members, we’ve got a lot of new players … so that’s always fun to see how it will all shake out.”
ICE CHIPS … At this time of year, the Clippers are interested in hearing from potential host families to billet players for the 2013-14 season. To learn more, please call 250-751-0593.