Major Midget Rockets lock up Whistle

The Okanagan Rockets have added David Whistle to their coach staff.

Morning Star Staff

The Okanagan Rockets have added David Whistle to their coach staff as an assistant for the upcoming B.C. Major Midget Hockey League season.

Whistle, 47, played 28 games in the CHL, including 13 games with the Brandon Wheat Kings before attending Brandon University and playing four years for the Bobcats.

His career then saw him play pro in England for seven years. He also spent two years coaching in the English league and is in the British Ice Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Sudbury native was head coach of the BCHL Alberni Bulldogs in the 2006-07 season.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to join the Okanagan Rockets and work with Mack O’Rourke,” said Whistle. “He’s a great young coach and it will be enjoyable to work with him in the development of this year’s team.”

Rockets’ GM David Michaud, on the appointment: “Dave is a proven developer of talent, not only in the Okanagan, but around the world. Adding him to our staff is a tremendous gain for our program and our players who will have the opportunity to learn from one of the best.”

The Rockets are hoping to build on a season which saw them fall in the third and deciding game of the championship series to the Vancouver NW Giants.

As is the case each season, the Rockets are looking to replace several key players from the 2012-2013 squad.

“There is no question we are losing a fair chunk of our offence from a season ago,” said Michaud, in his fourth season. “There will be plenty of competition for jobs at this years camp”.

The Rockets will say goodbye to three of their top five scorers from last season as Josh Blanchard moves on to Penticton Vees, Brett Mennear heads to West Kelowna Warriors and Vernon’s Spencer Hewson leaves for the Nanaimo Clippers. The Rockets will also lose graduating players Cortlan Procter, goaltender Brenden Mills, and Vernon Vipers prospect Alex Gran.

The Okanagan Rockets will host their annual evaluation camp from Aug. 8-11 at the Capital News Centre in Kelowna. Deadline to register is July 31.  Visit www.bcmml.net to sign up.