The Nanaimo Clippers have their bench boss in place for the start of the B.C. Hockey League season.
Curtis Toneff, who used to be the coach and general manager of the Nanaimo Buccaneers, has been named interim coach of the Clippers.
“I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to be joining the Nanaimo Clippers as an assistant coach. The Clippers are one of the iconic teams in the BCHL and it is an honour to be a part of the organization” said Toneff in a club press release.
He played in the Nanaimo Minor Hockey Association system and in addition to his tenure leading the Bucs, he has been an assistant coach with the VIJHL’s Campbell River Storm and the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters and most recently head coach and GM with the Merritt Centennials.
Toneff thanked Clippers staff and ownership for making him feel immediately welcome with the organization.
“It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to coach in my hometown and I am looking forward to working with all our talented players, as well as, getting to know the great fans that pack the Frank Crane Arena each night,” Toneff said.
Brad Kwong, Clippers owner, said Toneff brings an extensive hockey resume to the Clippers.
“We feel very fortunate to bring a coach with his experience to help lead the development of our players,” Kwong said. “It’s a bonus that he is a product of Nanaimo given our goal of becoming a greater part of the community.”
The Clippers say they are awaiting a decision regarding the status of head coach and general manager Colin Birkas, who was suspended late last season following a complaint under Hockey Canada’s discipline and complaints policy.
GAME ON … The Clippers continue pre-season play Saturday, Sept. 9, with a road game versus the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, then host the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.