Monday, June 23, 2014

Huska moving on to AHL

I knew this day would come. It was a matter of when, not if. Ryan Huska is no longer the head coach of the Kelowna Rockets.
Huska is moving to the American Hockey League as the new head coach of the Calgary Flames minor league affiliate in Adirondack New York.
It is no surprise Huska is moving on. Like the new I-Phone 6, which will eventually hit the store shelves, Huska is the next best thing.
The personable coach succeeded Jeff Truitt as the new head coach of the Kelowna Rockets in July of 2007 and seven years later he leaves as the winningest coach in franchise history, a WHL championship banner in 2009, two BC Division banner and a Western Hockey League regular season banner in his back pocket.
He was one of the most highly coveted major junior hockey coaches in the country. When you win 109 games over the last two seasons, pro teams tend to notice. That is why he is moving on. Huska is just that darn good.
To be honest, this is a sad day for me. A sad day selfishly because of the relationship I built with him over the years. Huska, who is ten days shy of his 39th birthday, was such a joy to be around on a day to day basis.
I will always remember meeting him at Manhattan Restaurant after the game six win over the Calgary Hitmen in the 2009 WHL final. As I walked towards Huska, who was waiting patiently for us to come down from the broadcast booth for our post game interview, we gave each other a hug in a celebration of what had just happened. It was a special moment that could only be celebrated with an embrace. A solid handshake at that point seemed impersonal.
But friendships are not built on only the good things that happen in life, but are truly strengthened and tested when hardships follow. In January of this year, Huska's father Peter passed away from cancer. In a reception line at the funeral an embrace was only appropriate as I shared the pain with Huska of losing a loved one. My mother Lil too passed away from brain cancer in 2008.
Now on June 23rd 2014, I again will embrace Huska, but this time in celebration as he advances his coaching career to a new level. His father Peter would be so proud of his son and too is this radio broadcaster to see him move on to another chapter in undoubtedly a magnificent coaching career.
Congratulation Ryan on the new gig in Adirondack. I will miss you but am so happy for you.
Who is Huska's successor behind the Rockets bench? The answer is obvious. That individual will be revealed at one o'clock this afternoon.

1 comment:

Gordon McGarva said...

Awesome to see Ryan moving on to the American Hockey League. The NHL will be calling soon.

Ryan will be missed in Kelowna by many; and not just as a coach, but as great member of the community for all the off ice and behind the scenes contributions that Ryan and his family do to make Kelowna a better place.

A well written blog entry Regan. It certainly captured the emotions of friendship.