Schaefer ‘relieved of duties’ as Surrey Eagles head coach

Schaefer ‘relieved of duties’ as Surrey Eagles head coach

Assistant coach Linden Saip to take over BCHL team’s top job on interim basis

The Surrey Eagles have another new head coach, after Peter Schaefer was “relieved of his duties” earlier this week, the team announced Tuesday.

In Schaefer’s absence, assistant coach Linden Saip has been promoted to interim head coach. Fellow assistant coach Brad Tobin also remains with the team, and the Eagles have added Cloverdale native Lee Stone to the staff from the junior ‘B’ Campbell River Storm, where he served as head coach and general manager.

Schaefer – who served as the Eagles’ head coach for one season in 2013/14, and was an assistant coach before that – was only in his first season back behind the team’s bench, having returned to the organization in the summer as an assistant, and then boosted into the top job in late August when former head coach Brandon West abruptly quit one week before the start of the season.

• READ ALSO: Former Canuck Schaefer joins Eagles as assistant coach

• READ ALSO: Surrey Eagles change coaches a week from season start

After making it to the second round of the playoffs last season, the Eagles had struggled this season. The team currently sits at the bottom of the BC Hockey League standings with a record of 7-23-0-1 (win-loss-overtime loss-shootout loss).

“The results just kind of speak for themselves,” Eagles general manager Blaine Neufeld told Peace Arch News Tuesday afternoon. “Changing the culture was important to us, too, and I think making this change is the way we can best execute that.”

Schaefer did not respond to a request for comment.

Neufeld said the idea of making a coaching change had been considered for a while before team brass finally made the move.

“What you try to do in these types of situations is to give everybody enough time and enough opportunity, and I think we were fair in how we did that. But we were in need of an adjustment and this was the right time to do it,” he said.

Though the team struggled under the command of Schaefer – a longtime National Hockey League player – Neufeld admitted that the coach was not put in the best position to succeed this season, after being thrust last-second into the head coaching role.

“Any coach is going to want months to prepare for a season, and is going to want to recruit the players that you want at an earlier stage than Day 1 of camp, and Peter wasn’t given that opportunity,” Neufeld said.

“We tried to adjust (the roster) on the fly and that’s not an easy thing to do in junior hockey.

“We just said, ‘where is this team headed and who are the people that you believe should be part of that moving forward?’”

In a news release, the 27-year-old Saip – a former Surrey Eagles defenceman who also had a long Western Hockey League career – said “we’re all very excited,” about the opportunity to take a larger role with the team.

“The task is going to be large, but we have the right guys surrounding this group. There’s a lot of experience here, both coaching and player. For the players, it’s nice to know there’s a committed group in the coach’s office.”

Saip, like Neufeld, made reference to overhauling the team’s “culture” with regard to getting the team back on the right track.

“We need to re-establish what this organization is all about. What our team is about, how we want to play. The staff, ownership, management – we’re all on the same page on how we want this organization to be run now. I think it’s already starting to show.”

In the news release, Cody Shiavon, one of the Eagles’ alternate captains, said, “I think the team needed a boost.”

“It’s always tough to see someone go, but that’s a part of the sport,” he continued. “Hopefully we can take it as a bit of a wake-up call and are able to take the next step because of it.”

The Eagles are next on the ice Friday, at home against the Chilliwack Chiefs.



sports@peacearchnews.com

Visit us at peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BCHLSurrey Eagles

 

Schaefer ‘relieved of duties’ as Surrey Eagles head coach

Schaefer ‘relieved of duties’ as Surrey Eagles head coach

Just Posted

Dooris Raad was last seen in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood on June 7. (Surrey RCMP photo)
Doris Anderson’s digital triptych Aberration, which she is marketing as an NFT.
Semiahmoo Peninsula abstract painter dives into NFT market

Works sold as one-of-a-kind digital files

Scales of Justice, Image courtesy Creative Outlet
Scales of Justice, Image courtesy Creative Outlet
Teacher’s elbow injury case against Surrey School District, WorkSafeBC struck by judge

Judge says processes put in place by legislation, collective agreement must be followed

Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

Surrey School District building. (File photo)
Naming schools after settler, historical figure ‘can be quite problematic’: Surrey school district

District working closely with Semiahmoo First Nation on naming three schools

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Most Read