Peter Schaefer on the Surrey Eagles bench during a stint there during the 2013-14 season. (File photo)

Surrey Eagles change coaches a week from season start; Schaefer in, West out

Former Canuck returns to familiar role as bench boss of BCHL team

Little more than a week before the start of the 2018-19 hockey season, and well into their exhibition-games schedule, the Surrey Eagles have announced a coaching change.

Peter Schaefer will immediately take over as head coach, according to a post on the BCHL team’s website, with bench boss Brandon West stepping down. He has “mutually agreed to part ways with the team,” the team says.

Schaefer was previously head coach of the Eagles for the 2013-14 season after serving as an assistant coach before that. He is a veteran of 13 pro hockey seasons during his playing career, which included 572 NHL games with Vancouver Canucks, Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins.

“We’re very excited about this year’s group of players, and we’re confident moving forward with Peter Schaefer in charge,” Eagles general manager Blaine Neufeld said about the coaching change.

“We want to thank Brandon West for what he accomplished while with the Eagles. He’s a very passionate coach, and he will certainly find another opportunity quickly.”

In July, the franchise announced the return of Schaefer as an assistant coaching for the coming season.

• READ MORE: Former Canuck Schaefer returns to Surrey Eagles as assistant coach.

West is stepping away from the organization because of personal reasons, according to the website post.

He led the Eagles to a 26-22-8 record last season and a first-round playoff victory over Langley Rivermen.

“The entire team thanks him for his time in Surrey, and wishes him nothing but the best in his future in hockey,” the post adds.

The team is looking to add another BCHL-experienced assistant coach to the staff, Neufeld said.

The Eagles’ season opens Friday, Sept. 7 at home against Coquitlam Express.

The team has two wins and a loss in preseason play, as of Tuesday (Aug. 28), with a win over Chilliwack and a split against Langley. In another exhibition game, the Eagles play Coquitlam at South Surrey Arena on Friday, Aug. 31. The full schedule is posted at surreyeagles.ca.

Just Posted

BREAKING: Province approves Surrey police force

Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth green lights city’s municipal police force

White Rock’s ‘Grizlee’ sculpture to be replaced

Popular statue was installed 20 years ago in memory of Lee Slavin

Delta reassuring residents tap water is safe to drink

Statement prompted by telemarketers claiming water quality concerns to sell filtration systems

Report finds some Surrey school district staff expenses ‘not adequately supported’

Auditor General review highlights practices ‘inconsistent’ with policy, such steaks costing $80

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

Vancouver Island father says he attempted suicide a month before murders

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Province funds new shuttle buses for 13 B.C. senior centres

Activity, socializing helps maintain health, Adrian Dix says

Thermal imaging cameras eye Salish Sea in hopes of better detecting whales

Cameras installed at BC Ferries’ terminal on Galiano Island, and off southern Gulf Islands

Two Vancouver police officers bitten, scratched after ‘violent’ arrest

Police will recommend charges against a 50-year-old man

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Police watchdog investigating two officers after Langley teen’s suspected overdose

According to IIO, two officers were deployed to help Carson Crimeni but did not locate him before he died

Most Read

l -->