Rick Lanz has returned to the Surrey Eagles as an assistant coach.

Lanz returns to Surrey Eagles as assistant coach

Veteran bench boss coached team to BCHL title in 1997.

One of the most successful coaches in Surrey Eagles history is returning to the nest.

Longtime BC Hockey League coach Rick Lanz – who coached the Eagles to a 47-7-6 record and a league title in 1996/97 – was hired this week as an assistant coach.

Lanz will replace assistant coach Colin Hemingway, who had to leave the team recently for family health reasons.

“He’s got a lot of great experience, and brings so much insight on the finer details of the game,” said Eagles head coach and general manager Blaine Neufeld.

“He was here in our league a long time and in our community even longer, so he’ll add a lot to our group.”

After coaching the Eagles to a BCHL title, the 55-year-old Lanz – who played more than 500 games in the National Hockey League with the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1980s – moved on to the Western Hockey League, where he coached the Tri-City Americans for one season.

He returned to the BCHL the following year, coaching the Langley Hornets for four seasons and the Burnaby Express for one.

Since the mid-2000s, Lanz – who was born in the former Czechoslovakia but defected to Canada with his family in the late 1960s – has been a western scout for the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, but left the team in the summer in order to stay closer to home in the Lower Mainland, Neufeld said.

The wheels for an eventual return to the organization began to spin in the summer, as members of the Eagles front office reconnected with former players and coaches in advance of the team’s alumni game last month.

“It really came about through that game. There was a good chemistry and that opened the door,” Neufeld explained.

“I think we’re trending in the right direction, and Rick is only going to help us.”

The Eagles are 1-6-1-0 (win-loss-overtime loss-tie) so far this  season, but are coming off a weekend in which they took three of a possible four points from their Mainland Division-rival Chilliwack Chiefs.

This weekend, the Birds head north, for a pair of road tilts against Okanagan competition. On Friday, they’ll face off against the Vernon Vipers before playing the Salmon Arm Silverbacks Saturday night.

Just Posted

Surrey council unanimously votes down move to allow more liquor stores

Amid a cannabis shop ban in the city, Surrey councillors had questioned proposed zoning changes

Ban on sleeping overnight in RVs, motorhomes on Surrey streets referred back to staff

Proposal came amid complaints about homeless people living in recreational vehicles

Dog rescued from South Surrey house fire

Firefighters dispatched to 19400-block of 0 Avenue

Surrey developer says second Central City office tower doesn’t need to be taller

Application for second 25-storey tower at mall sent back to staff by Surrey council for being ‘way too low’

Minor injuries after South Surrey student struck in school crosswalk

Collision ‘a reminder to drivers, pedestrians to take safety seriously’

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Police watchdog seeking ‘key witness’ in Taser incident along Vancouver seawall

Independent Investigations Office of B.C. looking for woman who was sitting nearby with dog

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Most Read

l -->