The Red Deer Vipers will have a new look when they open their 2012-13 Heritage Junior B Hockey League season.
Gone are long-time general manager Gilbert Renaud and the majority of the coaching staff. Larry Corbett has taken over for Renaud, who is the new president of the Heritage League, with Stephen Pattison and Sheldon Baerg moving into the coaching ranks.
Pattison will act as head coach and Baerg as associate coach.
Corbett has a long history of coaching and working with minor hockey in Red Deer and with two of his sons playing with the Vipers it was a natural progression for him to step in when Renaud moved on.
“I was going to be around anyway, but I certainly won’t be able to fill Gilbert’s shoes,” said Corbett.
“He was with the team for 10 years and did everything from washing uniforms to attending league meetings. He was Mr. Viper and will be missed. But he wanted to keep his hand involved and it’s good that he’s taking over as the new president.
“He knows the ins and outs of the league and will be good for it.”
Corbett likes what he sees from the new coaches.
“They’re energetic and we feel they’ll fit in with the team. I know the kids will respond well to their style of play. They’re both dynamic young men and are upbeat and have a style similar to Mike Babcock.”
Pattison grew up in Red Deer playing minor hockey, and later played junior A in St. Albert and Alberni Valley.
He attended Brock University and was an assistant coach with the Banff Hockey Academy prior to moving back to Red Deer. Baerg, is from Burnaby, B.C., and played junior with Pattison before playing with Concordia University.
Corbett, who has been involved in the Red Deer Minor Hockey Association for 16 years and has been on the board of directors for six, will be able to help the coaches when it comes to the players.
“The majority of the players come from Red Deer and I can help them there as I know the majority of them. We do get some players from out of town and some who attend RDC and are looking for a place to play, so they will be new.”
Brian Renaud is expected to return as an assistant coach next year, which will help.
“He knows the guys who will be back.”
Corbett is also looking for a trainer and equipment manager and feels former player Ryan Traynor may fill both roles.
“He will be equipment manager and is taking a trainer’s course. He’ll be a jack of all trades.”
Meanwhile, the majority of the minor hockey coaches have been announced for the 2012-13 season, including Doug Quinn, who is back with the Canadian midget AAA champion Red Deer Optimist Rebels.
The only major position not filled is the head coach for the Red Deer Major Midget Female Sutter Fund Chiefs.
Neither Mickey Girard nor Mel Christensen are expected to return.
Meanwhile, in the midget AA boys’ division Brent Zimmerman will coach the Elks and Glenn Barre the ProStitch Chiefs while Al Letendre will handle the IROC Chiefs and Justin Jarmolicz the Northstar Chiefs in the minor midget AAA category.
Stan Krawiec will coach the Rebels White and Kevin Smyth the Rebels Black in the bantam AAA category with Tom Bast, who directed the IROC Chiefs to the provincial title last year, has dropped down to coach the peewee AA TBS Chiefs. Brian Dawes will handle the peewee AA Parkland Chiefs.
In the atom AA division, Dave Kalinowski will coach the KFC/Taco Bell Chiefs, Terry Nieth the Sports World Chiefs and Dion Zukiwsky the Sheraton Chiefs.
In the girls’ categories, all sponsored by the Sutter Fund, Ron Lebsack will handle the midget A squad, Doug Young the bantam AAA team and Wes Makofka the bantam A team. The peewee A squad will see Jim Bussard at the helm and Randy Gehring will coach the atom A team.