The Nanaimo Clippers’ director of business operations is taking on hockey operations, as well.
The Clippers junior A hockey club announced Wednesday that Tali Campbell has been promoted to general manager.
Darren Naylor, who had been coach, general manager and director of hockey operations, is no longer GM but is now vice-president.
“Late last year the business operations were struggling as we were not only seeing a lot of red ink but also we become further disengaged from the community. The organization was definitely heading in the wrong direction…” said Wes Mussio, Clippers owner, in a press release. “Tali has since turned the operations around financially not to mention greatly increasing our footprint in the community.”
Campbell, 24, is excited about his new role.
“It means the world to me…” he said. “From the minute I started watching the Nanaimo Clippers when I was eight, nine years old, my goal was always to work with the team. At the end of the day, obviously you want to be in the National Hockey League, I think anybody who works in hockey or plays hockey wants that, but there’s steps to get there.”
Asked about the mid-season shuffle within a first-place team, Campbell said the timing is “interesting” but said it’s also an acknowledgement of some of the things that were already happening.
“Some of it will be a transitional phase,” he said. “Nothing changes immensely from the operation as it is right now.”
Campbell said hockey decisions will be made as a group based on what Naylor feels like he needs on the ice.
“Darren’s the head coach and so he tries to make the lines and the pairings work properly and he works with Wes and I in terms of what trades can be made, who are we giving in exchange, what’s the future considerations, etc. It’s definitely a three-way team effort,” Campbell said.
He mentioned that he’s continuing to develop hockey contacts that he’ll need in his new role and said the GM title will help him do that.
“I’m super proud, super honoured to be the guy named GM of the team that I grew up watching and cheering for,” Campbell said.
GAME ON … The Clippers’ final home game of 2019 is Friday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena against the Victoria Grizzlies.