Cranbrook native and former NHLer Brad Lukowich was introduced as the new assistant coach for the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Monday morning.

Cranbrook native and former NHLer Brad Lukowich was introduced as the new assistant coach for the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Monday morning.

Hurricanes add Lukowich to the bench

Retired Cranbrook NHLer has been introduced as the new assistant coach in Lethbridge

Kootenay Ice fans will get a chance to see Brad Lukowich on the bench, but it won’t be in Cranbrook.

The local and former NHL defenceman has been hired on as an assistant coach with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, joining newly announced bench boss Drake Berehowsky that represents a new coaching changeover for next season.

“He knows what it takes to win at the highest level, and he’s also returned to Dallas and worked as a player-coach with Jordie Benn, Brenden Dillon and Philip Larsen,” said Hurricanes GM Brad Robson in a press release, adding that his experience is a huge asset to the team.

Lukowich said his relationship with Robson, a former regional scout with the Dallas Stars, sealed the deal.

“It’s been a long relationship so we know each other quite well and him being the GM is the number one thing,” said Lukowich, who was in Lethbridge for the announcement before driving back to home in Cranbrook.

“I know his history, he knows mine, so just going up there even today, it was very comfortable, like we been around each other for a long time. Really, it came down to the term and the familiar face of Brad Robson that landed me in Lethbridge.”

Lukowich is a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Dallas Stars (1999) and the Tampa Bay Lightning (2004) and has appeared in 658 regular season NHL games over his career. Prior to turning pro, Lukowich played major-junior hockey in the WHL with the Kamloops Blazers and won consecutive Memorial Cups in 1994 and 1995.

Lukowich said coming in on a new coaching tandem with Berehowsky was another factor that made Lethbridge appealing.

“He’s fresh, which is great for me, I like that because there is a change in the game right now,” Lukowich said. “It’s become a different style and he’s one of those ex-players that jumped right off the ice and went into coaching.

“…He’s seen the morph of the game gone from the North American style into the Euro-North American style, which is a blend of the two, so he’s very familiar with the way the game is being taught now and played.”

Berehowsky, himself a former NHL rearguard, has worked in the OHL with the Barrie Colts  and in the AHL with the Peoria Riverman, both in an assistant coaching capacity.

Lukowich will draw on his years of developing and playing professionally to coach his young players when the season rolls around next September. He already has a bit of experience in that department working with the Dallas Stars’ prospects in Austin with the Texas Stars in the AHL as a player-coach.

“I was kind of coaching as an extra guy in Austin for a couple years,” Lukowich said. “I was doing some stuff with management as well, and I loved it. I thought it was great.

“I spent a lot of attention on a couple guys, usually the younger guys. If you can just tweak a couple little things with them, you can make them so much better. I loved how interested the guys were in learning and to tell them something and then see them go out and get the direct response and see them kind of turn around and give you a look that you kind of knew what you were talking about—the reward paid off.”

It was Lukowich’s desire to get into coaching once he hung up his skates in 2012, however, instability caused by the NHL lockout kept him away from game. During the hiatus, he was able to take a bit of a break and enjoyed spending time with his family, but once the puck dropped in January, he got the itch.

“It’s something I want to be around, I love the game of hockey and I just wanted to be back in it, in any way, shape or form,” Lukowich said. “I always kind of thought about getting into coaching and this is the way to do it.”

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read