The Birch Group and the Society are thrilled to announce that NHLer and former Canucks star Cliff Ronning will join Glenn Anderson as Assistant Coach of the Powell River Kings.
Ronning is a member of the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame and played in 1137 NHL games over his 18 year NHL career. His professional experience included 6 seasons with the Canucks including the iconic 1994 Canucks run to the Stanley Cup Finals in which they lost: yes, to Glenn Anderson and the Rangers in 7 games!
Team President Stephan Seeger explains the addition has been in the works for some time: “Cliff came on scene in December as a guest skills coach. The players loved his energy and Glenn and Cliff worked in hockey lock step like I’ve never seen before. The opportunity presented and I began serious discussions about an increased presence and role for Cliff immediately. Glenn was certainly a catalyst in the convincing but I think Powell River’s small market charm and the warm welcome sealed the deal. After careful consideration and juggling his other commitments, we reached an agreement after last weekend’s away games. I can’t tell you how excited we are to learn and grow with yet another professional role model under whose tutelage our players can develop. I can’t imagine a better bench addition as we approach a playoff run with a very exciting newly fortified roster. Cliff is the consummate gentleman- a real statesman of the game our players will benefit immensely by what he can teach about hockey both on and off ice, we are truly lucky to have him here in Powell River.”
Coach Ronning made his first appearance on the Kings’ bench last weekend on their Island trip and he will be making his Hap Parker Arena debut this weekend when the Kings host the Langley Rivermen in a very critical two game home stand.
Associate Coach Dwight Lee is getting a coaching experience he would never have imagined and is taking it all in for very good reasons. “Not many aspiring coaches get to surround themselves with the knowledge, experience, and accolades of Glenn Anderson and Cliff Ronning and I am very fortunate to be in that position. As a young kid growing up in BC, Cliff was a player that I really admired. I am thrilled to get to work alongside and learn from him.”
New to the position of Powell River Kings Hockey Club Society, President Shaun Garvey echoes the excitement stating “I’ve only been in this position for a couple of months now and what I’ve seen over that time is a consistent commitment by management to surround our players with high quality coaches, former NHL players whose experience, knowledge and unwavering focus on player development is inspiring. This is an exciting time to be a Powell River King and a Kings fan.”
As for the two NHL greats, they remain focused on the task at hand. “This game has given me a lot and I am happy to give back by contributing to player development at the junior level. I have experienced a warm community welcome here in Powell River and I’m sincerely touched by that; now it’s time to go to work and make playoffs. Nothing like playoff hockey” said Ronning. As for Head Coach Glenn Anderson, the sentiment is clear: “I couldn’t be happier to have Cliff’s energy and experience in the middle of this rebuild, it’s amazing. He’s an unmatched competitor and a winner. Just what we need in the stretch here.”
Clearly the tides have ushered in a new era of Kings Hockey. Our fans are in for a new and exciting look at a Kings squad loaded with an experienced bench and a revamped roster ready to make a playoff run. See you all this weekend.