Kletzel adjusting to WHL level of play

New Ice assistant coach happy to be working in high-level hockey alongside experienced colleagues.

Not only are the Ice struggling with a young roster this year, they’re dealing with a new coaching staff.

Well, sort of new, at least.

McGill is back in his second tenure as head coach, after spending some time manning the bench in professional hockey in the AHL and the NHL.

Running the show alongside McGill is a familiar face in Chad Kletzel, who played under his boss in 1996/97 when the Ice still called Edmonton home.

It is Kletzel’s first season coaching in the WHL, coming in from Alberta, where he coached with the Lethbridge Athletic Association by leading the Midget AAA team.

“I think there’s a lot of learning moments and time to evaluate different guys at different times and see what the league’s all about.

“Obviously it’s a well-respected league with lots of high-end coaching and teams doing things at a higher level than where I came from.”

Kletzel, like fellow assistant Jerry Bancks and his predecessor Todd Johnson, is a teacher by trade and holds an education degree from the University of Lethbridge.

Working alongside McGill, who has played and coached professional hockey, has given Kletzel opportunities to learn the little things that can make a difference at the highest levels.

“A lot of positional play stuff and just within systems,” Kletzel said, on what he’s picked up while working alongside McGill.  “How to change and manipulate those systems to do different things. Not making big adjustments, just small adjustments all the time, during games.”

It’s been a baptism by fire for both McGill and Kletzel this season, who are part of a coaching changeover (save Bancks) that is working with the youngest roster in the WHL.

McGill said the two tackled everything together at the beginning of the season, which has enabled them to delegate responsibilities more effectively down the stretch.

“It’s been one of those transitions where he kind of knows now what I’m looking for and what we need to do as a group,” said McGill. “I think that the delegation part has been good for the last three weeks to a month, where we’re both on the same page.

“…He’s got a real good demeanour with the kids, he’s very patient with them. He really is an intense person, but doesn’t outwardly show it, and that’s a good thing.”

Just Posted

Former polygamous leader found guilty of removing a child from Canada

James Oler found guilty of removing an underage child from Canada to marry a U.S. man in 2004

Dog owner upset after five puppies stolen from Cranbrook home

Angelo Polh says a litter of puppies were taken from his home while he was away on May 11.

Local martial arts students head to worlds

Three Cranbrook athletes will be competing against the best at the USA World Championships

It happened this week in Cranbrook: 1912

Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Cranbrook Bandits battle it out in Montana

The junior and senior teams were successful south of the border going 2-2 and 3-0 respectively

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

ICBC urging drivers to slow down this May long weekend

Speed is number one cause of car crash fatalities: ICBC

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read