It’s a day Dave Struch hoped four years ago would have happened, but he was more than happy to wait.
On Thursday, the Regina Pats announced John Paddock was relinquishing his role as the team’s head coach and handing it over to Struch, who became one of his assistants when he took the job four years ago.
While stepping away from behind the bench, Paddock will remain the team’s director of hockey operations with Struch remaining as assistant general manager.
For Struch, he says not getting the job four years ago turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
“When I interviewed for the job with the new ownership group and seeing the people they are, you really wanted to be a head coach at that point. “a beaming Struch said at the Pats office. ” When I didn’t get it and John did, it wasn’t in the cards for me to come on as an assistant, but I’m so thankful for myself, my family and my kids that I did because of the payoff. We’ve had a lot of success, we’ve had good players come through, good people come through that we’ve developed and we’ve had a lot of success. We hope to continue that.”
As for Paddock, he says the time for transition was now.
“This was a progression we have had for a while unless something went astray. ” Paddock said. “There wasn’t one thing, it is just a continuation of the plan that we could see clearly then. This is the direction that we’re going in and I think its the right thing. Dave is a good coach, he’s very experienced and could have been a head coach in this league before now.”
In his four years as head coach, Paddock won 165 games and was named the league’s coach of the year twice. He also guided the team to within two wins of a league championship two years ago and within a victory of a Memorial Cup championship this past season.
The club also selected two 17-year-old Russian players in the CHL Import Draft Thursday morning, taking forward Sergi Alkhimov with the 47th overall pick and D-man Nikita Sedov with the 107th selection.
Alkhimov, a product of Moscow played with the Colorado Evolution U16 in 2017-18, scoring eight goals and adding 15 assists for 23 points in 13 games.
Sedov played the 2017-18 season with the Colorado Evolution U16 as well, he put up three goals and eight assists for 11 points in 11 games.
(with files from Drew Postey)