LANGLEY ADVANCE EXCLUSIVE: Giants coach’s corner

Each week, the Advance catches up with Vancouver Giants coach Jason McKee for his thoughts about the team.

Behind the bench and away from the rink, Jason McKee is settling in as the Vancouver Giants’ new head coach.

“The biggest thing is, I wanted to get to the next level,” he said, of his decision to join the Giants prior to the start of the 2016/17 Western Hockey League campaign. “The way it worked out, Vancouver was looking for a guy, and it was a market that – if I ever had the opportunity to get involved with – it’s what I wanted to do. So it kind of worked out for both sides.”

It was announced June 2 that McKee was hired as the Giants bench boss after serving as the head coach and general manager of the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League the past six seasons.

During McKee’s head coaching tenure, the Saints played in the AJHL finals on five occasions, winning the league championship three times.

A two-time AJHL Coach of the Year, McKee was also named the Canadian Junior A Coach of the Year for the 2013/14 season.

Now comes a whole new challenge. With key players out of the lineup due to injuries, or being away at NHL training camps, the Giants opened the season with back-to-back losses to the Everett Silvertips, followed by a 7-6 setback to the visiting Prince George Cougars on Tuesday.

“We’re missing a significant amount of players,” McKee said. “We’re playing with a real young team, now, and it is what it is. No one’s feeling sorry for you. We’ve got to go out and play. It’s an opportunity for our young guys to play a lot of minutes and get better, and there’s no better way to learn than playing in the games.”

Away from the rink, McKee, 37, lives in Tsawwassen with his wife Carey-Ann and young daughters Brianna and Brynn.

“It’s been great,” McKee said. “Everyone around us has been really supportive. With regards to life in general outside of hockey with school and housing and all that stuff, we feel very fortunate. We’ve got a great place, a great school, and we’re able to tie everything together, so we feel real happy with the way things have come together.”

Just Posted

Vancouver Giant named to Western Conference first-tier all-star team

Young hockey defenceman Bowen Byram is once again lauded for his outstanding efforts on the ice

WATCH: Langley Glow events denied permission to run

Darvonda Nurseries received a notice from the ALC on March 5.

Arrest and prohibition part of RCMP-CN police education exercise.

Tickets were issued and violations observed, although the focus was to educate drivers.

Mounties hunt for missing Langley man

The public has been asked to help locate David Grainger, last seen on March 19

Langley takedown linked to murder conspiracy case

Dramatic arrest was part of Taskforce Tourniquet, a multi-agency police gang investigation

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Punching Parkinson’s in the Fraser Valley

Rock Steady Boxing program, designed to help battle symptoms of Parkinson’s, coming to Abbotsford in April

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

Most Read