Chilliwack Chiefs great joins Tampa Bay Lightning organization

Jeff Tambellini is leaving the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters for a scouting gig in the NHL.

A Chilliwack Chiefs legend is moving into hockey ops with the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning.

Jeff Tambellini has accepted a post as NCAA free agent recruiter and pro scout for the big league squad.

He leaves the Trail Smoke Eaters, where he served as head coach and general manager the last seasons. Tambellini led the Smokies to a 70-46-15-1 record during his tenure, eclipsing several team records along the way.

Tambellini maintains a tie with Trail even as he departs. He is the acting general manager for the moment and will serve in the role of ‘special advisor’ for the 2020-21 season, helping the organization find his successor.

“My staff and I have recruited and acquired the majority of players for the next season and it is crucial that we find the right person to lead this elite group of players going forward,” he said in a Smoke Eaters news release.

READ MORE: RBC Cup memories still strong for Jeff Tambellini

READ MORE: Jeff Royston scores three in Chilliwack Chiefs alumni tilt

“I had two main goals when I came to Trail; first, build a championship team and second, to build the Smoke Eaters into a top franchise focused on the development and advancement of elite players to the NCAA. I am proud to say that we were on our way to a championship season in 2020. More importantly, the Smoke Eaters are now regarded as one of the top development franchises in the CJHL.”

Now 36 years old, Tambellini is viewed as one of the very best players in Chilliwack Chiefs history.

Over the 2000-01 and 2001-02 BCHL seasons he produced 101 goals and 230 points in 122 regular season and playoff games.

After three years at the University of Michigan, Tambellini launched into a 12 year pro career that included NHL stops in Los Angeles, New York (Islanders) and Vancouver.

He also spent several seasons in Europe, playing in Switzerland and Sweden.

“Jeff displayed confidence in our program as well as his players, and was able to get the most out of each and every player and push them to be their best selves, on and off the ice,” said Trail owner Rich Murphy. “Our loyal fan base has come to expect great things and Jeff was a significant part in helping us get there. Although we will greatly miss Jeff, we are absolutely thrilled to see him move to the NHL.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BCHLChilliwack Chiefs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack trustee removed from committees, district invites

Barry Neufeld’s censure involves four forms of reprimand due to recent Facebook post

Chilliwack RCMP support Special Olympics athletes

This year’s torch run aiming to raise $30,000 for B.C.’s athletes

FVRD activates its emergency operations centre to monitor Fraser River levels

FVRD activates its emergency operations centre to monitor Fraser River levels

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Body of Maple Ridge man recovered near Harrison Lake

21-year-old last seen on May 16 when he fell into Silver Creek

B.C. retirement home creates innovative ‘meet-up’ unit for elderly to see family face-to-face

Innovative ‘purpose-built’ unit keeps residents safe when seeing family for first time since COVID-19

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Death toll rises in COVID-19 outbreak at Langley Lodge

Number has risen to 22, making it the worst to date in B.C.

Fraser Valley libraries to offer contactless hold pick-ups

FVRL Express — Click, Pick, Go service to be offered at all 25 locations starting June 1

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

United Way allocating $6.6M in federal funding to help with food security, youth mental health

Applications from Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland charities being accepted for the emergency funding

Most Read