Royals Pull From Within to Find New Head Coach, Assistant for 2017-2018

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Newly appointed Victoria Royals Head Coach Dan Price addresses the media on Monday. "I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to take the next step in my coaching career with this organisation." (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

June 12, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) –  The Victoria Royals only needed to look a few feet further down the bench to find a new Head Coach to replace the NHL-bound Dave Lowry, today announcing that 2016-2017 Assistant Coach Dan Price will take over the helm of the Western Hockey League (WHL) franchise to begin the 2017-2018 season.

New Victoria Royals Head COach Dan Price faces the media Monday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
New Victoria Royals Head Coach Dan Price faces the media Monday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Price, a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and a native of St. Albert Alberta, will be the third head coach in the Royals history, following the five-year reign of Lowry and prior to that, Marc Habscheid, who held the position during the club’s first season in Victoria.

Price, who was brought on as an assistant coach with the Royals last season, has a 15-year career in the hockey world, most recently working as an assistant coach and Manager for the University of Toronto Hockey Blues to the OUA West Semi-Finals on 2014-2015 and again in 2015-2016.  Prior to that, he was an assistant coach with Tri-Cities of the WHL for two seasons (2012-2014), the General Manager and Head Coach of the Drumheller Dragons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (2009-2012), an assistant and then associate coach with the Chilliwack Bruins (2006-2009), an assistant coach for Hockey Canada’s Team Pacific at the 2009 World U17 Hockey Challenge and a scout for the Regina Pats (2003-2006).

Victoria Royals General Manager Cam Hope introduces new Head Coach Dan Price to the Victoria Media Monday. "We did look at other candidates...In the end, Dan emerged as our top choice. His knowledge, professionalism and the manner in which he approaches the game makes him the perfect fit for the Victoria Royals." (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Victoria Royals General Manager Cam Hope introduces new Head Coach Dan Price to the Victoria Media Monday. “We did look at other candidates…In the end, Dan emerged as our top choice. His knowledge, professionalism and the manner in which he approaches the game makes him the perfect fit for the Victoria Royals.” (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Price is also a former junior hockey goaltender, who played three seasons with the Trail Smoke Eaters and Fort St. John Huskies of the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League (1992-1995) and at the University of Regina (1995-1998).

Price is thankful for the opportunity to lead the Royals , but knows he will have his work cut out for him to fill the shoes of Lowry, who departs as the franchise’s all-time winningest coach, amassing a record of 199-112-13-9.  “This is very exciting for me personally and I am very humbled to be part of such an excellent organization,” said Price today at a news conference announcing his position.

“Dave was a tremendous leader and mentor during my year here,” added Price, “and I am looking forward to picking up where he left off, building on his vision and how he wanted the team to play and maintaining our standard of excellence both on and off the ice.”

“I am looking forward to working with General Manager Cam Hope, our players and the rest of the staff continue the winning culture that has been established the past five seasons.”

To help Price maintain that culture, the Royals have also promoted Chemanius, BC native and 16-year NHL veteran Doug Bodger to a full-time assistant coach with the team. Bodger joined the Royals in 2016-2017 on a part-time basis and helped the club to a 37-29-5-1 mark.

Chemanius native Doug Bodger will bring his 16-years of NHL experience to the Royals on a full-time basis in 2017-2018, serving as an assistant coach for the team (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Chemanius native Doug Bodger will bring his 16-years of NHL experience to the Royals on a full-time basis in 2017-2018, serving as a full-time assistant coach for the team (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

“We are extremely pleased that Doug is increasing his role within our coaching staff,” said Royals President and General Manager Cam Hope.  “The experience and knowledge that he brings to our preparation and to our bench is a great benefit to our players.”

Bodger’s 16-year NHL career was split between six NHL clubs (Pittsburgh, Buffalo, San Jose, New Jersey, Los Angeles and Vancouver) and prior to that he played in the WHL with the Kamloops Junior Oilers, where he led the team to the 1983-1984 WHL Championship.

Finally on Monday, the Royals announced that Ryan Guenter was being named the club’s new head scout.

Guenter has been a member of the Royals/Chilliwack Bruins franchise since 2009 and most recently served as the team’s Senior Regional Scout for Alberta.

Guenter will be supported by Senior Regional Scouts Garry Pochipinski (Prairies) and Ed Fowler (BC), who have been extended in their roles, to help oversee and direct the Royals Scouting staff.

Royals’ 2017-2018 Season Ticket packages are now on sale.  Guarantee yourself the best seats, prices and benefits that includes the most flexible ticket exchange policy in the WHL. Secure your spot for next season by giving the Royals’ ticket office a call at 250-220-7889 or sending an e-mail to tickets@victoriaroyals.com to set up an appointment to view available seating.

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