Marc Habscheid is out as head coach and general manager of the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals.
The team issued a news release on Friday that presents the change as a promotion of sorts for the former Chilliwack Bruins bench boss.
According to the release, Habscheid is “taking on a new executive role within GSL to assist GSL in developing other hockey related businesses.”
GSL Holdings Limited is the parent company of RG Properties and the Royals.
GSL also owns online hockey pool website Officepools.com, Planet Ice (a large chain of community rinks in BC) and Planet Youth Hockey (a charity program helping inner city kids).
“Marc will be involved in advising these existing businesses as well as assisting in developing new hockey related business opportunities,” the news release noted.
As much as the Royals and Habscheid are painting a pretty picture, it’s hard to not imagine the sinking fortunes of the hockey team played a role in the change.
In their first season in Victoria, the former Bruins skated to a 24-41-3-4 record and dealt their top player, Kevin Sundher, to Brandon at the trade deadline.
The team made the playoffs, but were swept by the Kamloops Blazers. Going back three years to Habscheid’s hiring prior to the 2009-10 season, his combined record with Chilliwack/Victoria was 89-105-9-13.
GSL plans on announcing the new head coach and general manager within the next few weeks. In the meantime, Habscheid said he’s happy with the switch.
“I am very excited about this new role, it is a great business opportunity,” Habscheid said in the news release. “I have been fortunate to have coached at every level of hockey, and I welcome the opportunity to use my knowledge of the game to work with GSL in their hockey related businesses. This is a great opportunity for me to get involved in broadening the reach of this great sport, something that I am passionate about.”
l One of Habscheid’s players and a former Chilliwack Bruin was selected in the National Hockey League entry draft. Steven Hodges was selected in the third round, 84th overall, by the Florida Panthers.
A former first round bantam draft pick of the Bruins, Hodges put up 21 goals and 46 points in 72 games.