Mike Vandekamp leads a Nanaimo Clippers practice at Frank Crane Arena earlier this season. Team owner Wes Mussio tweeted out early Friday morning that Vandekamp has been replaced as coach and GM. (NEWS BULLETIN file)

New Clippers owner posts coach’s firing over social media

Wes Mussio said Mike Vandekamp has been replaced due to differences with management

The Nanaimo Clippers will go into the new year with a new coach and general manager at the helm.

According to a social media post late Thursday night from Clippers owner Wes Mussio, coach Mike Vandekamp has been fired.

“Breaking news: sadly Mike Vandekamp has been replaced as GM and head coach of the Clippers by Darren Naylor due to irreconcilable differences with the management team,” Mussio tweeted. “We wish Mike the best in his hockey coaching career – a real beauty and thanks!”

Vandekamp had guided the Clippers to an 18-13-2-3 record through 36 games of the 2016-17 B.C. Hockey League season, good for second place in the Island Division and one point behind the first-place Powell River Kings.

Vandekamp was midway through his seventh season as the team’s coach. His best season in Nanaimo was 2014-15, when he guided the team to an appearance in the Fred Page Cup final. He was a finalist for BCHL Coach of the Year that season as well as the following season.

Naylor was named the Clippers’ head of hockey operations when Wes and Penny Mussio became the club’s majority owners six weeks ago. As coach and GM of the Delta Ice Hawks in 2017-18, Naylor has guided that club to a 26-2-0-1 record.

In an interview with the News Bulletin last month, Naylor said he had intended to continue as coach and GM of the Ice Hawks through the end of the season before turning all his attention to the Clippers.

More to come.


editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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