Former Valley West Hawks head coach Jessie Leung is leaving the Trail Smoke Eaters organization after two seasons as an assistant coach with the BC Hockey League team. (Mike Hockley photo)

Former Valley West Hawks head coach Jessie Leung is leaving the Trail Smoke Eaters organization after two seasons as an assistant coach with the BC Hockey League team. (Mike Hockley photo)

Former Valley West coach leaves post with BC Hockey League team

Jessie Leung spent last two seasons as assistant coach with Trail Smoke Eaters

Former Valley West Hawks head coach Jessie Leung – who led the major-midget hockey squad to a provincial championship in 2015/16 – is leaving his current post as an assistant coach with the BC Hockey League’s Trail Smoke Eaters.

The BCHL team announced Leung’s departure in a news release Thursday afternoon.

The 34-year-old New Westminster native spent two seasons with the Kootenay-area junior ‘A’ team.

“The Smoke Eaters would like to thank Jessie for all of his hard work and dedication over the past two seasons with the organization and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours,” the news release noted.

Leung was at the helm of the Hawks – since rebranded as the Valley West Giants – for six seasons, compiling a record of 73-35-10-4 (win-loss-tie-overtime loss) before leaving for the junior ranks in 2017.

“It’s an opportunity and something I’d been thinking about for the last little bit – whether or not to jump in with both feet and try to make a go of coaching as a career,” he told Peace Arch News at the time.

In his first season in Trail, Leung helped lead the Smokies to the BCHL’s Interior Division final. This past season, they advanced to Game 7 of the divisional semifinal before being knocked out.

Despite the team’s success, Leung told Black Press Media on Thursday that he and the Smoke Eaters could not come to terms on a contract extension.

“I’m disappointed we couldn’t come to an agreement for an extension,” said Leung. “They explained to me that the coaching and managerial staff is changing and consequently with those changes there wasn’t a place for me.

“I enjoyed my time in Trail and loved the people that I worked with and coached with and loved the town and how the community embraced me.”

Leung was originally hired to join the staff of then-head coach Cam Keith, but Keith was fired by the Smokies last April, and replaced with Jeff Tambellini, who remains as the head coach/general manager.

Keith spent this past season as an associate coach with the Chilliwack Chiefs, and in late March was hired as the new head coach and associate general manager of the Surrey Eagles.

– with files from Jim Bailey/Trail Daily Times



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BCHLBCMML

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An online post caused some concern after two former Olympian skiers visited Rossland despite the city and provincial health recommendations to stay and play local.
Rossland man responds to Olympian ski controversy

A visit to Rossland by former Olympic gold medalists has created controversy for local man

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Interior Health reported 43 new COVID-19 cases in the region Feb. 23, 2021 and no additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
43 new cases of COVID reported in Interior Health

No new deaths, Williams Lake outbreak over

Construction for a new pharmacy and ambulatory care unit is underway on the second floor of the newly completed KBRH wing. Photo: Howard Regnier
Work begins on next phase of Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital redevelopment

This next phase of work is on target to finish up in 2023

Photo: Submitted
New year, new wheels for Trail Association for Community Living

The new vehicle is a 2020 Ford Transit converted with wheelchair lift and accessories

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after a news conference at the legislature in Victoria on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. reports 559 new cases of COVID-19, one death

4,677 cases of the virus remain active in the province; 238 people are in hospital

Vancouver Canucks left wing Antoine Roussel (26) tries to get a shot past Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks cough up 3-0 lead, fall 4-3 to visiting Edmonton Oilers

Vancouver falls to 8-13-2 on the NHL season

Jessica McCallum-Miller receives her signed oath of office from city chief administrative officer Heather Avison on Nov. 5, 2018 after being elected to Terrace City Council. McCallum-Miller resigned on Feb. 22, 2021, saying she felt unsupported and unheard by council. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Terrace’s 1st Indigenous councillor resigns citing ‘systemic and internalized racism,’ sexism

McCallum-Miller said in a Facebook post she felt unheard and unsupported by council

Temporary changes to allow for wholesale pricing for the hospitality industry were implemented June 2020 and set to expire March 31.	(Pixabay photo)
Pubs, restaurants to pay wholesale prices on liquor permanently in COVID-recovery

Pre-pandemic, restaurateurs and tourism operators paid full retail price on most liquor purchases

Wade Dyck with Luna, a dog who went missing near the Chasm for 17 days following a rollover on Feb. 5. (Photo submitted).
Dog missing for 17 days through cold snap reunited with owner in northern B.C.

Family ecstatic to have the Pyrenees-Shepherd cross back home.

Quesnel RCMP confirmed they are investigating a residential break-in at a home on the Barkerville Highway. (File image)
Thieves make off with $300K in Cariboo miner’s retirement gold

Tim Klemen is offering a reward for the return of his gold

Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire. Image: The Canadian Press
Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell makes third attempt at bail on sex charges

Maxwell claims she will renounce her U.K. and French citizenships if freed

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Feds agree people with mental illness should have access to MAID — in 2 years

This is one of a number of changes to Bill C-7 proposed by the government

Most Read