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Thread: Huska to AHL, Lambert is new Head Coach

  1. #1

    Post Huska to AHL, Lambert is new Head Coach

    The Kelowna Rockets announce they have promoted Dan Lambert from Assistant Coach to Head Coach in the wake of Ryan Huska's hiring by the Calgary Flames’ organization.

    Lambert has been a Rockets Assistant Coach for the past five seasons and will take over as the franchise's eighth head coach, with Huska moving on as the head coach of the Flames' AHL team in Adirondack.

    "This is a great day for our organization," said Rockets President/GM Bruce Hamilton. "This is an opportunity Ryan has deserved for many years. He's done a wonderful job for us and we will be his biggest fans.”

    “I can recall when I first met Dan Lambert. We wanted to hire someone who would be capable of taking over when Ryan's term came to an end. I couldn't be happier or more satisfied that Dan is fully prepared to be our head coach,” said Hamilton.

  2. #2

    Post Alumni Kris Mallette hired as Assistant Coach

    The Kelowna Rockets are pleased to announce they have hired former Kelowna Rockets player Kris Mallette as an assistant coach.

    Mallette, 35, is in his fifth year of coaching and was an associate head coach with the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL last season.

    A resident of Kelowna, Mallette played 152 games for the Rockets over two-plus seasons as a stay at home defenceman, beginning in 1996-97 and ending in 1998-99. He then went on to a nine year professional career before retiring due to injury following the 2008-09 season.

    "This is full circle for me," said Mallette,"I got my start back in the old Memorial Arena. Once I got into coaching my ultimate goal was always to coach with the Rockets. I'm fortunate with the success Ryan (Huska) had, he was able to move on. It's fantastic getting back to a team that has done so much for me."

    "I wasn't the most skilled player so I had to rely on something else," he said. "I became a student of the game. I really paid attention to a lot of details and as my career progressed I spent more and more time picking the brains of the coaches I had."

    Back in Kelowna after his playing career, Mallette joined former NHLer Brent Gilchrist with the Kelowna Minor Hockey midget tier 1 team where the pair won a provincial title. He then moved on to North Okanagan (KIJHL) first as an assistant and then as a head coach where he was named division coach of the year and then KIJHL Coach of the Year in consecutive years. Vernon was up next where the former Rocket was an associate head coach with the Vipers last season.

    Rockets President/GM Bruce Hamilton said Mallette is ready for the challenge after paying his dues, first as a player and then as a coach.

    "Kris has worked at every level to get himself to where he is," said Hamilton. "He came to us years ago and asked about coaching and I said he had to go and learn. He's done that. He's worked at every level. He's from a bit of a different era in our organization. It's a lot different than when he played but he understands exactly what we are all about and he understands what the expectations are to play here."

    "I was able to start my career in Kelowna and I've lived here ever since," he said. "It might sound corny but it's a dream come true, for me and my family too."

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