Kings’ coach Maglio jumps to Spokane

The Prince George Citizen - - Sports - Ted CLARKE Cit­i­zen staff [email protected]­i­t­i­

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.


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