With the off-season in full swing, the Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals have been busy in the front office, naming a full-time general manager and naming a new head coach for next season.
The Generals, who finished with a regular season record of seven wins, 38 losses, two ties and one overtime loss, have removed the interim tag from Rob Gaudreault, officially making him the team’s new general manager.
They also hired former Nanaimo Buccaneers head coach Brad Knight as the new head coach of the Generals.
“Brad is a great fit for what we’re looking for in a coach,” Gaudreault said. “He’s got a great coaching record and has been successful at both the Junior B and Junior A levels. Having coached in the VIJHL with the Bucs and in the BCHL with the Victoria Grizzlies, Brad brings a ton of experience that will benefit our team from day one.”
As for Gaudreault, who’s been with the Generals the past three seasons in a coaching capacity and as interim general manager midway through last season, he said he will now look to add to the talent already in place.
“We’re going to add to what we’ve got here already,” Gaudreault said. “We’ve got good talent already and we’re going to do everything that we can to add to that talent. I’m excited to get going as the full-time GM. I’ve been out at a couple tournaments already, scouting players and sending out feelers to see who might be interested.”
After former general manager Lou Gravel and former team president Sylvain Giroux stepped down last season, the Generals had Gaudreault as both their head coach and interim general manager for the remainder of the season, as well as Elizabeth Cudmore as interim team president.
“Last season was more about just getting everyone on the same page,” Gaudreault said. “When everything happened, we just wanted to make sure that the team was going to want to be here and continue playing. We all got on the same page and it really showed in the effort they were giving night in and night out. Now we get to add to the team that was already here and make sure that we get even better.”
The Generals will be holding their spring camp in June and then Gaudreault, along with Knight, will have a chance to evaluate the players from their camp and build the team they wish to see on the ice next season.
“It’s exciting to be able to build a team you want,” Gaudreault said. “That was the tough part, becoming the head coach but having a team already in place. It’s a whole new scenario when you get to start from the spring camp and build the team the way you want it. We’re going to do things differently this time around, we’re going to build the team we want and we’re going to make sure that we have the structure in place that we feel will help give us the best chance to win hockey games.”