Former Canuck blueliner ready to coach Lakers

When Robert Dirk retired from the NHL in 1997, some of the players who will play for the Penticton Lakers this fall would have just been learning to skate then.

Robert Dirk will be the new coach of the Penticton Lakers who play in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

Robert Dirk will be the new coach of the Penticton Lakers who play in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

When Robert Dirk retired from the NHL in 1997, some of the players who will play for the Penticton Lakers this fall would have just been learning to skate then.

While coaching the Okanagan Hockey Academy’s midget squad, Dirk’s players mocked him by saying Dirk wasn’t the prettiest skater. As the new Lakers coach, replacing

Evan Marble, Dirk’s payback can be making them bag skate.

“I can still rope them and throw’em down and there would no penalty,” joked Dirk, who played 402 NHL games and collected 42 points.

Because of the experience Dirk gained in the NHL, he feels what he says will carry weight with his players. Dirk is making the jump to junior B because he needed a change after four years coaching midget.

Following his retirement in ‘97, Dirk accepted a head coach job in the United Hockey League (which ceased in 2010 following a merger with the Central Hockey League) with the Winston-Salem Icehawks where he earned the title of UHL Coach of the Year. He spent two more seasons in the UHL with the Saginaw Gears. He then spent two seasons with the West Coast Hockey League’s Tacoma Sabercats. Dirk was then hired as the first head coach of the Texas Wildcatters of the East Coast Hockey League before joining the OHA in 2007.

Dirk looks forward to icing a competitive team that hopefully is able to collect a few more wins. He’d like to see them make the playoffs and win a round, but stated it’s about development.

“This is a great chance for me to coach and mentor players at the junior level,” said Dirk. “With the Lakers, I will be developing a team style that is smart and responsible defensively. One that wins races and battles. A team that is willing to sacrifice both on and off the ice. For the new Lakers, character is key.”

Dirk feels he better suited to coach junior with his experience and background.

Andy Oakes, president of the Okanagan Hockey Academy, believes Dirk will be a perfect fit for the Lakers.

“We’re very excited to see Dirk take on this new challenge,” said Oakes. “Without a doubt he was the best choice for the job. His players will continue to learn from his extensive experience both on the ice and behind the bench. The Lakers team is under construction at the present moment and Robert is already doing a great job getting the players he wants to have play for him that will meet his style of play.”

 

Just Posted

Travel Penticton went to city council for support in increasing the tax on short-term stays to fund a convention bureau and affordable housing. (File photo)
Travel Penticton seeks to grow through increased hotel tax

The increased funds would go to creating a convention bureau and to affordable housing

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Penticton Indian Band joins for the Children Caravan to Kamloops

The Okanagan Nation Alliance has arranged a ceremony for local nations to pay respects

Directors and alternate directors at the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen received nearly $560,000 in remuneration and expenses in 2020, according to the Statement of Financial Information. (Black Press file photo)
Almost $560,000 in remuneration for Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen board

Costs of directors and alternate directors outlined in Statement of Financial Information

(File photo)
$8M in wages for Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen staff

34 employees paid more than $75,000 in 2020

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Dr. Janet Mort

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus students Ethan Reid, from left, Brenden Higgins, Ty Oviatt, Kaleb Alphonse, Nathan Kendrick and Landon Brink with RCMP officers Const. Nicoll and Const. Stancec. (Photo submitted)
RCMP thank 6 teens for helping prevent forest fire in Williams Lake

The students came across fire in a wooded area and used the water they had to try and extinguish the flames

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses a crowd of more than 100 people who gathered at Stuart Park on June 12 to honour the Muslim family who was attacked in London, Ont., on June 6. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
‘It’s gotta stop’: Kelowna mayor, local faith groups honour victims of London attack

Faith groups at the event included the Okanagan Jewish Community, the Baha’i community and the Sikh community

Most Read