Peter Schaefer on the Surrey Eagles bench during a stint there during the 2013-14 season. (File photo)

Surrey Eagles change coaches a week from season start; Schaefer in, West out

Former Canuck returns to familiar role as bench boss of BCHL team

Little more than a week before the start of the 2018-19 hockey season, and well into their exhibition-games schedule, the Surrey Eagles have announced a coaching change.

Peter Schaefer will immediately take over as head coach, according to a post on the BCHL team’s website, with bench boss Brandon West stepping down. He has “mutually agreed to part ways with the team,” the team says.

Schaefer was previously head coach of the Eagles for the 2013-14 season after serving as an assistant coach before that. He is a veteran of 13 pro hockey seasons during his playing career, which included 572 NHL games with Vancouver Canucks, Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins.

“We’re very excited about this year’s group of players, and we’re confident moving forward with Peter Schaefer in charge,” Eagles general manager Blaine Neufeld said about the coaching change.

“We want to thank Brandon West for what he accomplished while with the Eagles. He’s a very passionate coach, and he will certainly find another opportunity quickly.”

In July, the franchise announced the return of Schaefer as an assistant coaching for the coming season.

• READ MORE: Former Canuck Schaefer returns to Surrey Eagles as assistant coach.

West is stepping away from the organization because of personal reasons, according to the website post.

He led the Eagles to a 26-22-8 record last season and a first-round playoff victory over Langley Rivermen.

“The entire team thanks him for his time in Surrey, and wishes him nothing but the best in his future in hockey,” the post adds.

The team is looking to add another BCHL-experienced assistant coach to the staff, Neufeld said.

The Eagles’ season opens Friday, Sept. 7 at home against Coquitlam Express.

The team has two wins and a loss in preseason play, as of Tuesday (Aug. 28), with a win over Chilliwack and a split against Langley. In another exhibition game, the Eagles play Coquitlam at South Surrey Arena on Friday, Aug. 31. The full schedule is posted at surreyeagles.ca.

Just Posted

Metro Vancouver mayors face tough decision on SkyTrain versus light rail

Surrey’s mayor is pushing for SkyTrain, saying he can keep costs low

Health Minister opens ‘urgent primary care’ centre in Surrey

The centres were a promise of the NDP along the campaign trail, and the Surrey location is the fourth to open in B.C.

Dump truck crashes into hydro pole in north Surrey

Accident causes power outage in Whalley

Surrey mayor appoints Terry Waterhouse to oversee policing transition

Waterhouse was hired by the previous Surrey First slate as the city’s first-ever Director of Public Safety Strategies

Gas prices in Metro Vancouver to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

Throw a snowball to help kids at BC Children’s Hospital

Effort will raise money for sick kids over the holidays

Expect no quick end to Canada-wide cannabis shortages, producers warn

Provinces including British Columbia, Alberta have all reported varying degrees of shortages

Want to buy your first home? Move to Kamloops or Prince George

Kamloops, Prince George, Campbell River and Langford are the only other markets in the study without gaps between required and actual income in owning a home.

Seniors in care homes may not get referendum ballots in the mail: Seniors Advocate

Voters list was established in May 2017, so if they moved into a care home since then….

Feds give $2 million for anti-extremism programs in B.C.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said supporting efforts locally is key to prevention

UPDATE: Pedestrian hit by train in Maple Ridge

Emergency responders on tracks along River Road

COLUMN: Tea tempts a self-professed coffee fanatic

Writers weigh-in on whether they prefer tea or coffee

Should the legal age for cannabis be increased to 21?

B.C. residents have a more mellow attitude to the age limit for pot – but 23 per cent want the legal age increased

Expect ride hailing in B.C. by 2020, Premier Horgan says

Taxi-style insurance option needed for part-time drivers

Most Read