Kris Mallette watching the action at Prospera Place on Feb. 28. (Marissa Baecker - Shoot the Breeze)

Kris Mallette watching the action at Prospera Place on Feb. 28. (Marissa Baecker - Shoot the Breeze)

Kelowna Rockets put faith in coach Mallette, drop interim tag from job title

The Kelowna Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton made the announcement on Monday

It looks as though interim Kelowna Rockets head coach, Kris Mallette, is here to stay.

On Monday, Rockets president and general manager Bruce Hamilton announced Kris Mallette has been named the head coach of the team.

Mallette was originally announced as the interim head coach after Adam Foote was fired on Feb. 19.

“I feel that he’s most deserving of this opportunity,” said Hamilton. “The title interim has been lifted, he’s under contract for this season and next.”

Under their new head coach, the Rockets have gone 3-1-1-1 and are playing like a rejuvenated group.

“It’s a huge honour,” said Mallette. “I said it when I signed here, I have a lot of respect for this organization and the Hamilton family. This is what I’ve always wanted for myself and my family, and to be able to be given that opportunity I’m very humbled.”

Malette has a strong tie to the organization, having played defence for the Rockets between 1996 and 1999, racking up an astonishing 466 penalty minutes in just 139 games played. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the third round of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. Mallette had a nine-year pro career before retiring in 2009 due to injury.

Following his career, Mallette took up coaching and was the Rockets assistant coach from 2014 to Feb. 19, 2020.

The Rockets take on the Seattle Thunderbirds on March 6, starting at 7 p.m. in Prospera Place. On March 7, they have another home game against the Lethbridge Hurricane.

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Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
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