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Kelowna Rockets coach inks new deal

After a sucessful season, Kris Mallette has signed on as head coach in a multi-year contract
Kris Mallette, former assistant coach of the Kelowna Rockets stands on the bench for his first home game as interim head coach. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)

Kelowna Rockets head coach Kris Mallette has signed a multi-year extension.

Mallette has been a part of the Rockets coaching team since the 2014-15 season and was appointed head coach on March 2, 2020, after the previous coach Adam Foote was let go.

Mallette has coached the team through 25 regular-season games so far, with a 15-7-23-1 record. This season, the team finished second in the WHL’s B.C. Division with a 10-5-1-0 record.

“We’re in a place where we need a little bit of a culture change and to get back to what we were three or four years ago where Prospera was a place where teams didn’t want to play games, I feel Kris is the right person to do that,” said president and general manager Bruce Hamilton in a June 30 announcement.

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Before entering the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1997, Mallette was a proud Kelowna Rocket. He played as a defenceman between 1996 and 1999 and was known for his stellar penalty-killing tactics. After playing in the NHL for nine years, he retired due to an injury and turned his focus to coaching.

“I’ve been fortunate to have been involved with the Kelowna Rockets organization for the past seven seasons and it’s been an absolute privilege,” said Mallette. “My family and I are grateful for the opportunity to continue calling Kelowna home for the next few seasons. I look forward to growing together with this young team and expect big things from this team.”