From behind the bench to the goaltender’s crease, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks organization has seen a number of personnel changes over the past week.
The team announced Scott Atkinson of Calgary will replace outgoing head coach Misko Antisin heading into the 2017/2018 season.
“We are very excited for Scott to lead this veteran group in our quest for a national championship this season” said Silverbacks general manager Troy Mick.
Atkinson brings with him a wealth of experience coaching young hockey players at the EDGE School for Athletes as well as teams at the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University.
“I would like to thank president and general manager Troy Mick and the Silverback ownership group for giving me the opportunity to coach the Salmon Arm team. It is a great honour and privilege to join such a prestigious organization and league,” Atkinson said.
“I am very excited to begin our quest toward BCHL and national championships.”
“I would be remiss not to mention the exceptional job Misko Antisin and his staff did in building and developing the team last year; they have left us in a very favourable position,” he added.
Filling a vacancy behind the bench will be one of the first orders of business for Atkinson. Assistant coach Darrell Hay announced he will not be returning to the team for the upcoming season.
Brooks Christensen will remain with the team as an assistant coach and has also been hired by the club as their marketing manager.
The Silverbacks added some local talent to the team Atkinson will coach this season by trading for Salmon Arm native Logan Mostat. The team acquired Mostat from the West Kelowna Warriors by trading Matt Kowalski.
Mostat will add to the ’Backs offensive firepower as a forward; he tallied up 18 goals and 24 assists in 60 games last season playing for the Surrey Eagles as well as West Kelowna.
“I am very excited to be a part of the Silverbacks organization and to play in front of friends and family in my hometown this season. I can’t wait to get the year going – it’s going to be a great one,” Mostat said.
The Silverbacks also acquired goaltender Bo Didur by trading defenceman Carter Stephenson to the Langley Rivermen.
Didur has played the last three seasons for Langley and averaged a .897 save percentage in 136 games.
“Bo is a tremendous goalie in the BCHL and his stats reflect this,” said Mick. “Having Bo Didur and Nic Tallarico as our one-two punch for this coming season – it is a great way to start the BCHL campaign.”
The ’Backs also traded forward Trevor Ayre to the Weyburn Red Wings of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
Ayre, a trade-deadline addition to the Silverbacks late last season, contributed three goals and four assists in his 21 games as a Silverback.