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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Blazers continue hunt for assistant coach

By GREGG DRINNAN
Daily News Sports Editor

Having established themselves as a playoff contender each of the last two WHL seasons, the Kamloops Blazers find themselves with no shortage of possibilities for the vacant position on their coaching staff.
Two weeks after being named the WHL team’s head coach, Dave Hunchak said Wednesday that his search for a lead assistant is continuing.
Hunchak spent 10 days in Saskatoon at the Memorial Cup that concluded on Sunday. While there, he touched base with a number of candidates.
He also admitted that he has spoken with Curtis Hunt, who has WHL head-coaching experience with the Moose Jaw Warriors (2002-04) and Regina Pats (2004-08, 2009-11).
“We had a discussion,” Hunchak said, “but I don’t think it’s going to work out. It’s no secret that we’re pretty good friends. I believe he’s a very good coach.
“But at this point of the game, I’m not sure if it’s going to work or not with him, or with a lot of other guys.”
Hunchak said Hunt is one name “on a long list of people.”
Hunt, 46, who now is working with Investors Group Financial Services in Regina, was dropped by the Pats on June 16, 2011, and hasn’t coached in the WHL since then. This season, he helped out as an assistant coach with the Canadian men’s sledge hockey team and was part of a world championship in Goyang, South Korea, last month. That victory qualified Canada for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Hunt couldn’t be reached for comment last night.
Hunchak also said he really isn’t in a hurry to fill the spot.
“We’ll let the process play itself out,” he said, “and, hopefully, at the end of the day we pick the right guy . . . when it happens, it happens.”
He added there isn’t a shortage of candidates.
“That’s what’s exciting,” he said. “Now that we’ve got everything back on solid footing again, everybody’s interested in coming to Kamloops.”

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