The Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA) has found a former NHL player and assistant coach to take over Head Coaching duties for the 2011-2012 season.
The Academy announced on Thursday that Tim Hunter has joined their hockey operations staff.
Hunter, who spent 15 seasons as an NHL player and 13 as an assistant coach, is no stranger to OHA. He participated in the Okanagan Hockey School as a developing player and worked as a guest instructor during summer sessions in the 1990’s.
“For me, the attraction to OHA dates back to when I was a kid attending power skating at the Okanagan Hockey School,” says Hunter.
“Through the years they’ve maintained a reputation of professionalism and prestige by being the best at what they do. I was interested in a head coaching opportunity so the timing works well for me. I’m really looking forward to it and can’t wait to get started.”
Hunter was selected 54th overall by the Flames in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. He played eleven seasons with the Flames, departing as the club's all-time leader in penalty minutes with 2,405.
He then joined the Quebec Nordiques for the 1992-93 season before being signed by the Vancouver Canucks.
He would spend three and a half seasons with the Canucks and was a leader in helping his team to the Stanley Cup finals in 1993-94.
He eventually left the Canucks in 1996 to sign with the San Jose Sharks where he would retire from the NHL at the end of the season.
Hunter would be named an Assistant Coach for the Washington Capitals in 1997, and remain in that position until July 2002. He would also serve in the same role for the San Jose Sharks and the Toronto Maple Leafs before joining the Okanagan Hockey Academy this summer.
“We are excited to have a coach with Tim’s playing and coaching background join our organization to work with our players,” says Andy Oakes, President of the Okanagan Hockey Academy.
“His discipline and attention to detail within player development will be a major benefit to our program."