Assistant coach Vern Fiddler has stepped down to spend more time with his family

Fiddler leaves Rocket post

Vern Fiddler will not be behind the bench when the Kelowna Rockets open the 2021-2022 Western Hockey League season.

The club announced Tuesday Fiddler will not return as assistant coach in order to spend more time with his family.

Fiddler played four seasons with the Rockets before embarking on a 14-year NHL career that started, and ended, in Nashville.

"I am grateful for the early years and the guidance they gave me to develop into a hockey player, which in turn earned me a successful playing career. When offered the opportunity to coach with this organization I was both honoured and excited," said Fiddler.

"During these two years as an assistant coach, I have developed and learned many valuable assets that will aid me in the future. But most importantly, I am so proud to have been a part of this group of players and staff that overcame the adversity of a pandemic to rise above."

Fiddler mainly worked with the forward group and the power play during his two years with the team.

President and GM Bruce Hamilton says the news was disappointing, but added he understands that Fiddler and his family want to move back to Texas.

"We're going to miss him and I know the players are really going to miss him, he has life experiences in the game that all of our players aspire to have. We were fortunate to have his upbeat and positive personality with us for two years," said Hamilton.

"Vern is a great story for today's players, he's earned everything that hockey has given him through hard work, perseverance and a great work ethic."

The Rockets will spend part of the summer looking for a replacement behind the bench.

Resumes can be emailed to [email protected]—no phone calls, please.

More WHL articles