The Regina Pats ownership group have given their hockey operations staff a tremendous vote of confidence.
On Thursday morning, the club announced they have signed Head Coach and GM John Paddock, Assistant Coach and Assistant GM Dave Struch and Assistant Coach Brad Herauf to multi-year contract extensions.
Paddock became a member of the organization just hours before training camp started in 2014. He says the experience so far has been something he has cherished and he certainly has no regrets with how things have gone.
“It’s been a tremendous experience in every aspect on and off the ice from the very start,” Paddock told reporters moments after the announcement. “I remember probably during the first year or second year telling one of my daughters you could just never imagine going any place that was going to work out as good as it did overall.”
Struch was also thrown into the mix with Paddock before that 2014 season started. He was asked how much time it took for the two men to get on the same page. His answer was not long.
“The truth?” Struch said. “Two hours and 15 minutes on a phone call. The first fifteen minutes we talked about hockey, and the next two hours was about life, family, people and and places we’ve been so it all happened right then. Then we decided to talk about a vision for the hockey team.”
That vision has worked.
In the first two years, the Pats won 37 and 36 games losing in the second round of the playoffs in both seasons.
In 2016-17, the team thanks to the likes of players like Adam Brooks, Sam Steel, Connor Hobbs and Dawson Leedahl won a franchise-high 52 games. They went all the way to the Ed Chynoweth Cup final before losing to the Seattle Thunderbirds in six games with that final win being in overtime.
For that effort, Paddock was named the WHL Coach of the Year and the WHL Executive of The Year.
Pats President Todd Lumbard says this was a no-brainer for them considering the level of success they have had both on and off the ice and that to keep the stability is key for them.
When asked what has impressed Lumbard and the ownership group the most about Paddock, Lumbard did not hesitate to answer.
“Everything he does is first class,” Lumbard said. “He’s inclusive, he keeps us in the loop, he runs things so well and we are lucky to have him.”