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KIJHL: Shuffling the deck

Kimberley Dynamiters make changes to hockey operations staff ahead of 2015 annual general meeting
Kimberley Dynamiters

It may be offseason for the Kimberley Dynamiters, but there’s plenty going on behind the scenes for the 2015 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League champions.

On Tuesday afternoon, Kimberley Dynamiters president Chad Koran announced the team was shifting staff within its hockey operations department ahead of the 2015-16 KIJHL season.

Assistant coach Mike Reid will take over as general manager - director of player personnel, with former general manager Dave Smith moving into the role of assistant general manager - hockey operations.

“We really value Dave’s input and his dedication to team,” Koran said Tuesday. “It’s incredible how much he’s offered the team.

“We’ve just taken the workload and divided it into two. It’s a pretty demanding and time-consuming job. We’re just trying to divide it between the two guys and lighten the load for the both of them.

“We want the two of them to work hand in hand…We think this is going to be a good opportunity for both of them.”

No other staffing changes to the Dynamiters hockey operations department are expected prior to the 2015-16 KIJHL season.

Head coach Jerry Bancks will return, while Reid will remain as an assistant coach in addition to his new role as general manager. Assistant coaches Jeff Keiver and Todd White will also be returning.

Smith’s lone season as general manager of the Kimberley Dynamiters was nothing short of a success.

Under Smith’s crafting, the Nitros finished the 2014-15 campaign second in the KIJHL’s Eddie Mountain Division, before cruising to the league title, defeating the Creston Valley Thundercats, Fernie Ghostriders, Beaver Valley Nitehawks and Kamloops Storm along the way.

The Dynamiters then came within one game of the B.C. Junior ‘B’ provincial championship, falling to the Campbell River Storm in the Cyclone Taylor Cup final by a 6-5 margin. The Storm went on to win the Keystone Cup -- western Canada’s Junior ‘B championship.

Smith’s biggest addition came Nov. 29, 2014, when he struck a deal with the Summerland Steam, swapping Tyson Klingspohn for Braden Saretsky.

The West Kelowna native went on to tally 19 goals and 54 points in 44 regular-season contests -- including 41 points in 25 games with the Nitros. The 5-foot-11 pivot then led his team in KIJHL playoff scoring with 18 goals and 29 points in 22 games.

Saretsky has since signed on with the Canmore Eagles of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

During his many years with the Dynamiters, Smith previously held the titles of president and vice-president.

The Dynamiters annual general meeting is slated for Tuesday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Elks Hall in Kimberley.

Those interested in volunteering their time in some capacity are encouraged to attend the Tuesday AGM.

Notes: KIJHL Governors meetings took place in Castlegar in late April ... Notable changes expected to be finalized at the league AGM in June include a scheduling change that will see the league play a five-game championship series ... The KIJHL is also expected to keep regular season “crossover” games featuring out-of-conference opponents ...