Lorne Frey is from Swift Current, Saskatchewan. (Contributed)

Lorne Frey is from Swift Current, Saskatchewan. (Contributed)

Lorne Frey steps away after 30 years as Rockets’ assistant GM

Frey has been the Kelowna Rockets assistant GM since the team was bought in 1991

Kelowna Rockets’ Lorne Frey is stepping away from his current role as assistant general manager and director of player personnel after nearly 30 years with the organization.

After the WHL Bantam Draft on April 22, Frey will assume the role of senior advisor, a position that will allow him to spend more time with family.

“My wife and I have been discussing (this decision) and I turned 70 the other day and we’ve been here for 30 years and we felt it was time now to pull up roots and go back to where our kids and grandkids are in Swift Current, Saskatchewan,” said Frey.

“We have two young grandkids that we’re very close with as well as a daughter and a son in law. We felt it was time.”

Frey and Rockets General Manager Bruce Hamilton have been working together since Hamilton purchased the club in 1991, including four years in Tacoma.

”The last 30 years here in Kelowna have been the highlight of my life by far,” said Frey.

“Like I’ve said many times there’s not anyone in the league that I’d rather work for than Bruce Hamilton. We’ve had a great relationship for 30 years and he’s done a great job with this organization. He definitely treats it with a pro mentality.”

READ MORE: QUIZ: How much do you know about the Kelowna Rockets?

As the Rockets’ director of personnel, Frey directs the Rockets scouting staff, recruiting and drafting an array of talent that should be attributed to much of the organization’s success during his tenure. Rockets alumni such Shea Webber, Duncan Keith, Jamie Benn, Tyson Barrie and Tyler Myers are just a few stars that Frey has had a hand in acquiring.

While these recruits have made big names for themselves in the National Hockey League, Frey is reluctant to take full credit, claiming that aside from strong scouting you need a bit of luck as well.

”When you’re in this business for as long as I’ve been you get an idea of what you’re looking for, but you’re guessing sometimes,” said Frey.

“I mean to be honest Shea Webber was a good young player and I liked what I saw in him but we certainly didn’t expect him to turn out to be the player he did. Now on the other hand, Duncan Keith was so skilled and so dynamic even as a younger player I knew he would play in the NHL someday even though people were afraid of his size. Same with Jamie Benn. Once I saw him at 16 you knew he had big-time potential.”

Frey won the Memorial Cup with the Rockets in 2004, with the likes of Webber, Josh Gorges, Blake Comeau and Troy Bodie carrying the way, all of whom he helped draft. He would also see his Rockets attend five other Memorial Cup Championships and capture four WHL Championships in 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2015.

READ MORE: Rockets’ Pavel Novak cracks central scouting list for upcoming NHL draft

Now, Frey gears up for his final WHL Bantam Draft and while there may be a tendency to be sentimental, he said the draft will be business as usual.

“It will be the last one and it will probably be the most difficult one,” said Frey.

“There’s a lot of good players out there and we’ve got to hit on our first three picks. This is our second first-round pick in the last six years it’s sort of caught up to us a bt here player-wise, but hopefully we can draft some individuals that will end up playing for this hockey team.”


Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com
Follow me on Twitter

Kelowna Rockets

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP are searching for missing Kelowna woman, Carrie Bauer. (RCMP)
UPDATE: Missing Kelowna woman found

Police announced Carrie Bauer has been found safe

After 54 years as an educator and community leader in Kelowna, Rolli Cacchioni has died of a stroke. (Contributed/SD23)
Long-time Kelowna educator, community figure dies

SD23 Trustee Rolli Cacchioni died of a stroke March 23, after 54 years with the school district

(FILE)
COVID-19 exposures confirmed at Central Okanagan schools

Schools in Lake Country, Kelowna, West Kelowna confirm exposures of the virus

Kelowna Rockets face off against the Vancouver Giants at Prospera Place, Kelowna, on January 26, 2020. (Marissa Baecker/Kelowna Rockets)
‘Joy for the players’; Kelowna Rockets staff react to season restart

WHL players set to arrive in Kelowna, Kamloops March 13 to begin 48-day, 24-game season

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

A B.C. government-run cannabis retail outlet was proposed for a building to be constructed at the Salmon Arm SmartCentres site. (File photo)
Province backs away from plans for Salmon Arm cannabis store

BC Cannabis Store was proposed to be in building to be constructed at shopping centre

Sicamous will have a new locally-owned option for grabbing a bite on the go as the Snacktastic food trailer opened at the start of March. (Kelly Hesleton/Facebook)
Snacktastic offers Sicamous a new dining option

Food trailer owner Dawn Backs grateful for support from family and community

A fire truck and police car park at the entrance to the Foreshore Trail about 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 4 as fire crews respond to a report of a fire farther down the trail and just above the railway tracks, between Lakeshore Road and the tracks. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm Fire Department quickly extinguishes fire above Foreshore Trail

Blaze started when man’s campfire catches fuel containers on fire

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)
Estate of dead B.C. Hells Angels prospect to be divided between wife, secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of its Janssen subsidiary’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Johnson & Johnson via AP
Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine

It is the 4th vaccine approved in Canada and the 1st that requires just a single dose

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Most Read