The Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA) has hired NHL veteran Tim Hunter for its hockey operations as a head coach for the 2011-12 season.
Hunter, who spent 15 seasons as an NHL player and 13 as an assistant coach, is no stranger to OHA. He participated in the Okanagan Hockey School as a developing player and worked as a guest instructor during summer sessions in the 1990’s.
“For me, the attraction to OHA dates back to when I was a kid attending power skating at the Okanagan Hockey School,” said Hunter, in a statement. “Through the years they’ve maintained a reputation of professionalism and prestige by being the best at what they do. I was interested in a head coaching opportunity, so the timing works well for me. I’m really looking forward to it and can’t wait to get started.”
Hunter, who wasn’t available for comment at press time, was selected 54th overall by the Flames in the 1979 NHL entry draft. He played 11 seasons with the Flames, departing as the club’s all-time leader in penalty minutes with 2,405. He then joined the Quebec Nordiques for the 1992-93 season before being signed by the Vancouver Canucks.
He spent three and a half seasons with the Canucks and was a leader in helping his team to the Stanley Cup finals in 1994. He eventually left the Canucks in 1996 to sign with the San Jose Sharks before retiring.
Hunter was an assistant coach for the Washington Capitals, Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs from 1997 to 2001.
“We are excited to have a coach with Tim’s playing and coaching background join our organization to work with our players,” said president of the Okanagan Hockey Academy Andy Oakes. “His discipline and attention to detail within player development will be a major benefit to our program. We welcome Tim to the City of Penticton and OHA for the 2011–12 season.”