Peter Schaefer is out as head coach/general manager of the BC Hockey League's Surrey Eagles.

Schaefer out as Surrey Eagles head coach/GM

BC Hockey League team 'mutually' parts ways with head coach Peter Schaefer; Blaine Neufeld to take over behind bench.

One of the worst-kept secrets around the BC Hockey League – that Peter Schaefer will not return as the head coach and general manager of the Surrey Eagles next season – was confirmed Tuesday by Schaefer himself.

“No, I won’t be going back as the coach and GM,” he told the Peace Arch News, adding that the decision is a “mutual” parting of the ways between the club and himself.

With Surrey Eagles president/owner Chuck Westgard taking sole control of the team in late April – buying out his old partners and bringing Pro4 Sports into the fold – Schaefer characterized the coaching decision as one based, at least in part, by finances.

“There’s no animosity, nothing like that,” he said. “But it’s tough to make (a profit) in junior hockey, so the team’s looking to tighten things up.”

Though Schaefer was removed from the team’s website earlier this week, he said the situation was not yet official, and thus, did not want to comment further nor speculate on who may replace him.

Westgard was not reachable Tuesday but by the afternoon, the team announced via Twitter that Blaine Neufeld – who was named the director of hockey operations when Pro4 Sports came aboard in April – would take over as head coach, as well.

During April’s front-office reshuffling, Westgard and others within the Eagles organization said Schaefer was expected back for the 2014/15 season, noting that the coach had one more year left on his contract with the team.

In June, Westgard again told PAN he expected Schaefer to be back behind the team’s bench in the fall.

Schaefer said he still plans to help the team out this summer in a consultant capacity.

“I’ll be helping them during this transition,” he said. “First and foremost, it’s about the kids (on the team). There’s a lot of guys coming back from last year, and I still enjoy working with them. I want to see them succeed.”

Schaefer served as the team’s head coach/GM for just one season, though he was an assistant coach during the team’s Fred Page Cup championship run two seasons ago.

Schaefer would not rule out a return to coaching down the road.

“I really learned a lot, and who knows, right? If the right opportunity knocks, then I’ll look at it. If not, I’ll move on into the next phase of my life.”

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

Just Posted

It’s election day in B.C. (Black Press files)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

Surrey firefighters battle a house fire near the 70A Avenue and 126A Street intersection early Sunday morning. According to a witness, it appears that the occupants were able to get out without injury. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Fire causes extensive damage to Surrey home

Occupants able to escape without injury: witness

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

BC Liberal Surrey South candidate Stephanie Cadieux and supporters rally in Grandview Corners in the lead-up to the election. (Contributed photo)
BC Liberal Stephanie Cadieux on track to reclaim Surrey South seat

Final results won’t be known until after mail-in ballots are tallied

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

file
One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Most Read