Chilliwack Chiefs sign former Smoke Eaters coach-GM, Cam Keith

Former Smoke Eaters coach, Cam Keith, happy to be part of RBC Cup champions coaching staff

Cam Keith

Cam Keith

Former Trail Smoke Eaters head coach and GM Cam Keith was named the Chilliwack Chiefs Associate coach and GM on June 25.

Chilliwack Chiefs head coach and GM Brian Maloney announced a trio of staff additions to the hockey department, headlined by the appointment of Keith as his assistant.

“I’m really excited to be joining the Chilliwack Chiefs organization and to work with Brian Maloney,” said Keith. “Watching how much passion he brought to the RBC cup, I knew that this team and working with him was something I wanted to be a part of.”

Maloney was thrilled to have Keith agree to a long-term contract with the club, after joining the Chiefs just prior to the recent RBC Cup Championship as an interim assistant coach.

“As a player, Cam has experience at both the NCAA and professional level,” said Maloney in a Chiefs’ press release. “He also has experience coaching in the BCHL. We’re very fortunate to find someone with this much experience to help enhance our program.”

Maloney himself was thrust into the position of head coach and GM nine days prior to hosting the RBC Cup following the firing of former head coach-GM Jason Tatarnic. With Keith as his assistant, the new coach then led the team to the championship with a 4-2 victory over the Wellington Dukes.

Prior to joining the Chiefs, Keith spent two seasons with the Smoke Eaters, where he posted a regular season record of 58-47-9-2 and earned a spot in the post-season both years. This past season, the Smoke Eaters defeated the West Kelowna Warriors and Penticton Vees in the playoffs before falling in the Interior Division Final to the eventual league champion Wenatchee Wild.

Prior to joining the Smoke Eaters, Keith spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL.

Keith’s playing days included two plus seasons in the BCHL where he spent time with both the Victoria Salsa and the Smoke Eaters. After four seasons at the NCAA’s University of Alaska Fairbanks, he moved on to a pro career where he suited up for eight different teams in six leagues including stops in both Germany and Italy.

Also joining the Chiefs hockey staff is Brad Rihela, who will add his talents to the coaching, as well as the scouting and recruiting departments.

The Chiefs also announced that Brian Patafie will be their new trainer and athletic therapist.

Looking at all the new additions, Maloney summed it up with the following comment. “Blending all this enthusiasm and passion together only makes it that much more exciting for the years to follow. I’m very honoured and humbled to be working alongside these talented individuals.”