Kings’ coach Maglio jumps to Spokane
Adam Maglio has used his time behind the Prince George Spruce Kings’ bench as his booster rocket to the Western Hockey League.
Two months after leading the Spruce Kings to the final game of the National Junior A Hockey Championship as head coach, Maglio has been hired as an assistant coach with the Spokane Chiefs.
Alex Evin will replace Maglio as head coach of the Spruce Kings, promoted after serving the past two years as an associate coach.
“I’m very happy for Adam,” said Kings general manager Mike Hawes.
“I’m glad that we were able to play a role in moving him along and getting him closer to his goal as a hockey coach. We are in the business of developing players and moving them on in the hockey world. We are also in the business of doing the same for our coaches.
“We have done some very special things as a team in the four seasons that Adam was with us, especially the last two seasons with him as our head coach. He is one of the best young progressive coaches in the game and I’m not surprised that he was sought after by many teams. We will miss him and he will be hard to replace but at the same time we are extremely excited for him and wish him nothing but the best in Spokane.”
Maglio, a 33-year-old native of Nelson, spent five seasons behind the Kings’ bench, the last two as head coach. Prior to joining the Kings, Maglio spent two years with the UBC Thunderbirds as an assistant, after one year as a minor hockey coach in Hong Kong. A former junior B defenceman, he went on to play for State University New York-Morrisville and the UBC Thunderbirds.
“Adam has shown a very natural ability to teach the game and connect with players,” said Chiefs’ head coach Manny Viveiros, in a Chiefs’ team release.
“I think he’ll be an excellent addition and look forward to working with him.”
“Adam did a terrific job with (Prince George), almost winning a national title,” added Chiefs general manager Scott Carter.
“He is an up-and-coming coach who will be a good complement to Manny and the rest of our staff.”
Hawes wasn’t surprised Maglio jumped to the WHL after the Kings re-signed him this summer to a new two-year contract.
“If I would have got one more year out of that contract I would have been happy,” said Hawes.
“People around the hockey world who have watched our team play the last couple seasons saw a team that was incredibly well-coached and guys like that usually move up the ladder fairly quickly.”
Before the Kings hired Evin as an associate coach in 2017, he was a BCHL assistant for two seasons with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and he served one season as head coach of Selkirk College in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League.
He and Maglio became good friends during their two years working together with one of the league’s most successful teams and that taught Evin what works and what doesn’t. Now that he’s calling the shots as the head coach after signing a two-year contract he plans to maintain that continuity.
“First, I’m really excited and happy for Mags, he’s really deserving of his new opportunity and I’m grateful to work alongside him for two years,” said Evin.
“Those last two years have been really great and I’m excited to keep moving forward with our program. As the main man back there, a lot falls on your shoulders and you get to shape the lives of young hockey players to reach their goals every day and that’s something that motivates me every day. I love making a difference and being a positive influence on someone’s life.
“I’m not going to be Adam, but at the same time I’ve learned a lot and had success playing that style of hockey. I don’t think there any reason to really rewrite the chalkboard, I think we’ll be OK just how we’re doing.”
The 2018-19 season was the most successful in the Spruce Kings’ 23-year BCHL history.
They finished one point shy of first-overall with a 39-13-0-6 record, which established a club record for wins. The Kings went 16-1 in the league playoffs and captured their first Fred Page Cup championship.
They went on to defeat the Brooks Bandits in a six-game Doyle Cup Pacific regional championship and advanced to the junior A national final in Brooks, which they lost 4-3 to the Bandits.
In 2017-18, the Kings won their first regular-season division title and advanced to the league final, losing a five-series to Wenatchee.
“Obviously, winning our first championship in Prince George is going to be hard to beat,” said Evin. “That was a great moment for our franchise and we’ve established ourselves as a very good program in the league, a program that should contend every year. We will have a lot of new faces (next season) but that’s OK, we feel like we’ve brought in the right people to get us back there.”
Evin, a 32-year-old Castlegar native, played five years in the league as a goalie with the Powell River Kings, Williams Lake Timberwolves and Penticton Vees, and was the league’s top goaltender in 2007-08 while helping the Vees to the league title. He went on to play four seasons in the NCAA at Colgate University.
“He was a great player in our league for years and he checks a lot of boxes for us,” said Hawes. “The fact he worked as closely as he did with Adam, we can continue down the path we were on and that’s been successful. Alex and Adam think the game very similarly and I don’t see much change in how we structure things, on or off the ice, with Alex. We’re fortunate Alex was here and able to transition into the role.
“I know that Alex will take a lot of what he learned from Adam into his new role. Alex’s relationship with the players is outstanding and he has a lot of passion for our team and for the community.”
Hawes and Evin hope to have an assistant in place before training camp starts Aug. 22. • Kings forward Nick Poisson committed this week to Providence College for the 2020-21 season. The soon-to-be 18-year-old is the 15th player from last year’s team to secure an NCAA scholarship.