July 4 2014(ISN) – The Kelowna Rockets are pleased to announce they have hired former Kelowna Rockets
player Kris Mallette as an assistant coach.
Mallette, a 35, is in his fifth year of coaching and was an associate head coach
with the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL last season.
A resident of Kelowna, Mallette played 152 games for the Rockets over two-plus
seasons as a stay at home defenceman, beginning in 1996-97 and ending in 1998-99. He
then went on to a nine year professional career before retiring due to injury
following the 2008-09 season.
“This is full circle for me,” said Mallette,”I got my start back in the old Memorial
Arena. Once I got into coaching my ultimate goal was always to coach with the
Rockets. I’m fortunate with the success Ryan (Huska) had, he was able to move on.
It’s fantastic getting back to a team that has done so much for me.”
During his professional career, Mallette played for eight different teams, racking
up over 300 penalty minutes three different times and playing over 500 games.
“I wasn’t the most skilled player so I had to rely on something else,” he said. “I
became a student of the game. I really paid attention to a lot of details and as my
career progressed I spent more and more time picking the brains of the coaches I
Back in Kelowna after his playing career, Mallette joined former NHLer Brent
Gilchrist with the Kelowna Minor Hockey midget tier 1 team where the pair won a
provincial title. He then moved on to North Okanagan (KIJHL) first as an assistant
and then as a head coach where he was named division coach of the year and then
KIJHL Coach of the Year in consecutive years. Vernon was up next where the former
Rocket was an associate head coach with the Vipers last season.
Rockets President/GM Bruce Hamilton said Mallette is ready for the challenge after
paying his dues, first as a player and then as a coach.
“Kris has worked at every level to get himself to where he is,” said Hamilton. “He
came to us years ago and asked about coaching and I said he had to go and learn.
He’s done that. He’s worked at every level. He’s from a bit of a different era in
our organization. It’s a lot different than when he played but he understands
exactly what we are all about and he understands what the expectations are to play
A married father of two, Mallette met his wife Susie in Kelowna when he was a
player. He’s maintained a home in Kelowna since his playing days, and the couple are
raising two daughters in the city.
“I was able to start my career in Kelowna and I’ve lived here ever since,” he said.
“It might sound corny but it’s a dream come true, for me and my family too.”