The La Ronge Ice Wolves have hired former NHLer Kevin Kaminski to be the team’s new head coach and general manager.

“It’s pretty cool to come and coach in the SJHL,” said Kaminski. “I remember as a kid, going more so to Melville games, but a few Yorkton games. There were a couple boys from Churchbridge, my hometown — that used to play for Melville. I guess for me, the timing is right. ”

“We are ecstatic to bring in Kevin Kaminski as our head coach and general manager,” said La Ronge Ice Wolves President Grant Merriman.

“His experience in playing and coaching were exactly what we were looking to bring into our organization. We are looking forward to a strong season with all of our returning players under the guidance of a top-level coach like Kevin Kaminski.”

Kaminski has signed a three-year deal with the Ice Wolves.

The Churchbridge, SK product played in the WHL with the Saskatoon Blades before embarking on an 11-year pro career. He played in the NHL with Minnesota, Quebec and Washington. In 139 NHL games, Kaminski recorded 528 penalty minutes.

Kaminski comes to the Ice Wolves after spending three seasons as the head coach of the WSHL’s Fresno Monsters. He also brings 14 years of pro coaching experience to the table. He began his pro coaching career as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Cincinnati Mighty Ducks and worked under Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach Mike Babcock.

“I think you are going to see a high-tempo, physical, relentless work ethic, passionate – hockey team,” said Kaminski. “We don’t want to just make playoffs, we want to win. We want to win our division – we want to win the whole thing and that’s got to be our mindset going into this year.”

Meantime, Gaelan Patterson will be returning to the Ice Wolves this upcoming season. Patterson has been promoted from assistant coach to associate coach and associate general manager.

“It’s a good step for me to be more part of the organization and have more responsibility,” said Patterson. “It’s something that I’m really looking forward to, for sure.”

Following the departure of Evan Vossen, Patterson went 2-2 as interim head coach at the end of the 2018-19 season.

“We are extremely pleased that Gaelan will be back with us as associate coach and associate general manager,” said La Ronge Ice Wolves President Grant Merriman.

“He has proven his ability to connect with our players and guide them as a coach. We believe the chemistry Patty and Killer will bring to the dressing room is going to be outstanding.”

The Ice Wolves also announced that Travis Hegland will be returning as the team’s athletic therapist and trainer.

(PHOTO: Ice Wolves logo. Photo courtesy of La Ronge Ice Wolves.)