By the time the Prince George Spruce Kings hold their Prospects Camp on April 10, there may be a new head coach watching.
Dave Dupas resigned from the position on March 20 after four and a half years, and general manager Mike Hawes says there was immediate interest.
“The world has gotten smaller because of technology,” Hawes said, “and the hockey world is even smaller. Within a couple of hours of the announcement, I was getting calls and texts from people interested in the position.”
Dupas resigned to be closer to his family in the Okanagan, and Hawes says it wasn’t a complete surprise. His wife and two children had remained in West Kelowna after he took the Spruce Kings job partway through the 2010-11 season.
“It wasn’t a shock. It’s always a tough situation when you’re away from your family for that long. Four and a half years is a long time to be in that situation.”
Hawes says there is a good chance the team will have hired a new coach by the time the Prospects Camp starts.
“I’ve kind of overseen the Prospects Camp in the past, so it’s not necessary that we have a coach in place, but there’s a very good chance we will.”
The Prospects Camp will give the Spruce Kings executive and coaching staff a chance to look at players who will possibly be with the team next season.
“We have 12 players eligible to return next season,” Hawes said. “All 12 would be key contributors. We have one goalie, four defencemen and seven forwards.
“That’s part of my job as general manager, to try and make sure we have a good nucleus of players coming back”