Kootenay Ice name James Patrick as new head coach

Kootenay Ice name James Patrick as new head coach

The Kootenay Ice announced on Tuesday morning that they had signed James Patrick to a three-year contract as the new head coach of the team and the eighth bench boss in franchise history.

Patrick spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Dallas Stars and was previously an assistant with the Buffalo Sabres for the seven years prior to that.

In total, Patrick has over 32 years of experience as a player and coach in the NHL.

The 53-year-old was drafted in the first round, ninth overall, in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers. In 1,280 games with the Rangers, Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames, and Sabres, he put up 639 points.

“James Patrick is the perfect fit to lead our team into a new Ice Age,” Ice President and General Manager Matt Cockell said in a team release. “He has a tremendous amount of experience, understands what it takes to be a pro, develop as a pro and create a world class player experience”.

Patrick is also no stranger to the East Kootenay region owning a condo near Fernie, BC for the last 20 years.

“I know how passionate hockey fans are in the Cranbrook and East Kootenay region and I look forward to getting started,” Patrick said in the release. “The future is bright, it is an exciting time and I look forward to being a big part of it”.

In addition to his professional career, Patrick also suited up for Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships (2), World Championships (5), Canada Cup and at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

Patrick is also the uncle of current WHL player Nolan Patrick, a consensus top two pick in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. In 163 games with the Brandon Wheat Kings, Nolan has put up 92 goals and 113 assists.

“We are very serious about providing the premier player and fan experience in the Western Hockey League and James is going to be a big part of what we do going forward,” said Greg Fettes Owner and Governor of the ICE. “We are very excited about what we are building”.

Patrick will be attending the “#ICEcountry Drive to 25 Corporate Kick Off” event presented by The Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort in which the local Business Community will gather on Thursday, June 8 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.