Laurence Gilman outside Rogers Arena in Vancouver in 2012. (photo: Postmedia News)

Surrey Knights add ‘credibility and knowledge’ as hockey team looks to rebound from a very bad season

PJHL team hires former Canucks execs Gilman and Henning

By Cam Tucker, Surrey Now-Leader contributor

The Surrey Knights are hoping to turn the page on what’s been a difficult two years for their franchise, and that the consultation of former Canucks executives Laurence Gilman and Lorne Henning can help steer the hockey team in the right direction.

The Knights went 0-41-3 last year, a record that made national headlines while following on the heels another difficult 4-38-0-2 campaign two years ago when the club was still in Langley. That same season, team owner and then head coach at the time John Craighead was given a six-year suspension by BC Hockey for confronting a Mission City Outlaws coach during an on-ice brawl, according to reports.

Gilman and Henning were well-respected and integral members of the Canucks front office, helping to oversee the franchise during its most successful time in history with back-to-back Presidents’ Trophy wins and making it within one victory of the 2011 Stanley Cup.

Packed with knowledge of the game at its highest level, they will both help advise the Knights, who are part of the 11-team Pacific Coast Junior Hockey League.

“We’re very excited to work with them,” said Amar Gill, Knights co-owner and general manager, in a phone interview. “Total hockey guys — to another level. We’re all going to learn more about the game.

“That kind of credibility and hockey knowledge is incredible.”

The opportunity to discuss hockey with Gilman and Henning, in the hopes of improving the franchise’s fortunes for this upcoming season and into future years, came about through the connections of Craighead, who is still a team owner.

Craighead played five NHL games for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1996-97 and had a professional hockey career of 13 years with numerous stops in North America and Europe.

Craighead’s roots in junior hockey date back to the early 1990s with the BC Junior Hockey League, most notably with teams in Surrey and Chilliwack.

“It’s almost like going to school,” said Gill. “I feel we’re pretty lucky – more than lucky to have hockey minds like that.”

Gilman met with both Gill and Craighead, and was asked if he would consider consulting with them on a variety of different levels to help the Knights. The hope is for the franchise to become one of the “exemplary teams” in the PIJHL, Gilman said.

“If I can help and, in turn, it will help some young hockey players, why not do it?” he said.

After a busy offseason of scouting talent for the upcoming season, the Knights open their main training camp from Aug. 22 to 26 at Surrey Sport and Leisure Centre. For details, visit surreyknights.ca.

Just Posted

Team B.C. wins the 2017 WHL Cup

The team features Surrey natives and Valley West Hawks forwards Justin Sourdif and Cameron MacDonald

VIDEO: Crash closes Fraser Highway in Langley

One vehicle ends up in ditch, air ambulance called in

Optimist Club has its sights set on Cloverdale

The international club has been helping youth in the community nearly 100 years.

Surrey RCMP are looking for 47-year-old Audra Jager

Reports say she is easily confused and disoriented because of previous head injury.

Oct. 21st-27th is Newcomer Employment Week in Surrey

The City of Surrey is offering a number of services to help new residents find jobs

SLIDESHOW: PAN’s week in pictures

Highlights from this week’s Peace Arch News

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Holy Heritage Rail Batman: Superheros come to Cloverdale historic train

The Fraser Valley Heritage Rail is hosting its third annual Halloween rail adventure Oct 28, 29

Surrey Eagles prep for road tilt with first-place Vernon Vipers

After a Friday night game against Wenatchee, the Birds take aim at BCHL leaders Saturday

Most Read