The North Stars will once again be on the hunt for a new head coach and general manager.
On Tuesday evening, the Battlefords North Stars and head coach Brandon Heck 'mutually agreed to part ways,' according to a team press release put out Wednesday morning.
"Brandon felt that he would like to pursue coaching opportunities closer to home and his family," the press release said. "We would like to wish Brandon and his family all the best in the future."
North Stars president Shandon Reichert said the decision was made because the board and Heck wanted to go in a different direction.
"It was a mutual agreement to part ways and it has nothing to do with anything off-ice," Reichert said. "It might be surprising to some people and stuff like that but when you're dealing with familiy and being closer to home, it's hard to argue with that."
"I want to thank the players for their attitude and work ethic," Heck said to BattlefordsNOW in a text message. "And Tanner [Daniels] for giving me a junior opportunity and the fans for all their support."
The 33-year-old Forestburg, Alta. native compiled a 42-14-2 regular season record in his first season behind a Junior A bench, after making the jump from bantam AAA. The North Stars were eliminated in the semifinals of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoffs, losing in five games to the Estevan Bruins, who lost in seven games to the Nipawin Hawks in the league final.
Prior to his time with the North Stars, Heck spent four seasons coaching the bantam AAA Camrose Red Wings. He was named Alberta Major Bantam League Coach of the Year in 2016.
This means the North Stars will have four coaches in four seasons. Kevin Hasselberg was at the helm from 2011-16, then Nate Bedford won a championship in 2016-17, before leaving, and then Heck this past season.
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