The Langley Rivermen announced today that the franchise has hired former professional hockey player Chris Shaw to be the new Associate Head Coach. Last year’s Associate Head Coach & Assistant General Manager Kurt Astle has stepped down from his Associate Head Coach role, but will retain his Assistant General Manager position. Mitch Fyffe will remain as an Assistant Coach for the 2016-17 season.
Chris Shaw, a Surrey native, was a defenseman that played in 168 career BCHL games from 1998-2001 between the Victoria Salsa and Burnaby Bulldogs. In his last season with the Bulldogs, he was named team Captain. Through 2003-2008, he played professionally in the Central Hockey League (CHL), United Hockey League (UHL), Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL), and in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) with the Victoria Salmon Kings. In total, he appeared in 214 professional regular season games.
In 2009-10, he began his coaching career with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (BCHL) as an Assistant Coach before taking the Head Coach & General Manager job with the Nelson Leafs in the KIJHL a season later. After a year with the Vernon Vipers as an Assistant Coach in 2011-12, he took over the reigns as Head Coach and General Manager for the Ontario Avalanche (WSHL) for the better part of two seasons.
“I am really excited for the chance to coach back in the BCHL again. Bobby and I go back a long ways and to have an opportunity to coach alongside him will be a great experience, as it has been something we have talked about for a long time,” said Shaw.
Coach Henderson believes Shaw’s experience and familiarity with the league makes him a great fit.
“Losing Kurt on the bench, we felt it was important to add an experienced coach to our staff. Chris brings along a great playing and coaching resume that our players will be able to draw from. His experience with player development, bench management, and recruiting will be a valuable asset for us,” said Henderson.
Asked to describe his coaching philosophy, Shaw pointed to a few things that he stands by.
“Accountability and integrity are pretty big for me. I feel like I am a pretty good motivator and have always had an open door policy with my players. I like to communicate with them as much as I can and earn their trust before I start pushing buttons,” said Shaw.
Although there is more than four months before training camp begins, both Shaw and Henderson are eager to be on the same BCHL bench for the first time.
“Chris and I were first teammates almost 20 years ago. Over the years we have maintained a great friendship and have talked about coaching together since we first played together. I am glad the timing is finally right for that to happen,” said Henderson.
“I have followed the Rivermen pretty close over the past five seasons and the Henderson family has done a great job with their program. Year in and year out they continue to recruit quality players and I expect next year’s team to be competitive like they are every season,” finished Shaw.