For the second straight off-season, the Battlefords North Stars are looking for a new head coach and general manager.
This year, they have a little bit more time to complete the search, but North Stars president Troy Slwyka still said the team ideally will have the position filled before the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame banquet on July 22 at the Civic Centre.
"It's been a good three weeks for sure [since we began searching] so we're still a little bit behind the eight-ball with respect to getting someone in place," Slywka said. "It'd be nice to have somebody in place sooner rather than later because we've got to continue on with the recruiting, getting things ready for main camp, get the hockey school ready, all that kind of stuff. We're feeling the time crunch."
Slywka estimated the team has received 30-35 applicants so far. All come from a variety of backgrounds and locations.
"We've seen all kinds: assistant coaches, guys who have had head coaching experience in other leagues, guys who have midget AAA, bantam AAA experience," Slywka said. "We're seeing a variety from everywhere from Alberta, to B.C., Ontario, and we had a few Americans apply too. It's been an interesting process."
The ideal candidate is someone who believes in the same things the board does.
"Basically somebody who's got a good coaching philosophy - a philosophy along the same lines as ours," Slywka said of what they're looking for. "And the big thing is, yeah we want to promote kids and have them play the game, but we also want to have kids that are good men once they're done hockey."
Slwyka did say the club has an assistant coach all lined up and finalized, but they won't announce who it is until after they find their head coach.
The trainer position is also still an ongoing search.
"It's always a bonus if a new head coach can bring a trainer with them, too," Slywka joked.
If all goes according to plan, the North Stars coaching staff for 2017-18 should be all decided by the time the banquet rolls around in less than two weeks.
On Twitter: @NathanKanter11
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