The Kelowna Rockets are in the market for a new goaltender coach.
Kim Dillabaugh, who has served in that capacity the past 11 years, has accepted a full-time position with the Stanley Cup champion, LA Kings.
Along with his duties with the Rockets, Dillabaugh has also been in charge of goaltender development for the Kings for the past eight year.
That role will expand this coming NHL season to include scouting & evaluating goaltenders in preparation for the NHL Entry Draft & Free Agency.
Dillabaugh says it is both an exciting but tough day.
"I have been very fortunate to work for one of the premier franchises in the Canadian Hockey League for 11 seasons. Throughout my time here I have had the privilege of working for and with many tremendous people," says Dillabaugh.
"My family and I would like to thank Bruce, the Hamilton family and the entire Kelowna Rockets organization. We have forged lifelong friendships and are proud to have been part of a first class organization and the Kelowna community."
Dillabaugh played three WHL seasons as a goalie, including as a Rocket in both Tacoma and Kelowna. After retiring from playing he moved into coaching, joining the Rockets in 2003-04.
Rockets President/GM Bruce Hamilton says the development of the Rockets' goaltenders under Dillabaugh has been a big part of the Rockets' success.
"You don't win without great goaltending and Kim has done a remarkable job for a lot of goalies that have played here," says Hamilton.
"I think this is an excellent situation. Kim has been with us for a long time and now he's moving up and he has two Stanley Cups to his name. Certainly it's going to be a loss, but we're excited for his opportunity."
Dillabaugh says he's excited about his expanded role.
"My experience with Los Angeles over the past eight seasons has been tremendous and now having the opportunity to work full time with one of the NHL’s top franchises is a great opportunity and a challenge."
Dillabaugh is the second member of the Rockets coaching staff to move to a higher level after the earlier departure of head coach Ryan Huska. The search for a new goaltender coach is underway immediately.
"Our intention is to fill the position," said Hamilton, adding that Dillabaugh will help the Rockets in the hiring process. "It's going to be critical that the next person that comes in continues to follow the same plan that Kim has established here."