Former Kelowna Rockets player Quintin Laing has joined the club’s coaching staff as the team’s assistant coach for the 2021-22 season. (Contributed)

Former Kelowna Rockets player Quintin Laing has joined the club’s coaching staff as the team’s assistant coach for the 2021-22 season. (Contributed)

Former Kelowna Rocket launched into assistant coach position

Laing first joined the Rockets as an undrafted player in 1996

Former Kelowna Rockets player Quintin Laing has rejoined the team as its assistant coach for the 2021-22 season.

Bruce Hamilton, the club’s president and general manager, made the announcement on Wednesday (Sept. 8), where he said he was looking forward to seeing Laing progress as a young coach.

“He brings many years of experience as a professional player and also as a coach with Kelowna Minor Hockey. It’s just great to have another former Rocket back in the fold here to help out with (head coach) Kris Mallette’s coaching staff,” said Hamilton.

Laing first joined the Rockets as an undrafted player in 1996, where he suited up for 260 regular-season games with Kelowna over four seasons as a forward.

“Words can’t express how excited I am to be back in the same building, where I played over 20 years ago for four seasons,” said Laing.

“I plan on bringing the same work ethic and passion to coaching that I did when I was playing. I can’t wait to get started with this great coaching staff and talented group of hockey players.”

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Mallette said that Rockets forwards will benefit immensely from Laing’s work ethic and knowledge as a player.

“You won’t find a more loyal and trustworthy person who will complement our current coaches very well,” said Mallette.

Laing, 42, has spent the past seasons coaching and working with Kelowna Minor Hockey Association (KMHA). Despite his new assistant coaching duties, he plans to continue working with KMHA.

“As head coach with Kelowna Minor Hockey, everything he is able to learn with us will also help their coaches within their system to develop local players,” said Mallette.

In the 1997 NHL entry draft, Laing was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the fourth round, 102nd overall, making his NHL debut with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2003-04 season, where he played three games.

He spent 14 seasons between the NHL, ECHL, Europe and the AHL, where he helped lead the AHL’s Hershey Bears to victory in the 2009 Calder Cup. He was also the captain of the Abbotsford Heat between 2010 and 2012.

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