VIJHL: Expansion Port Alberni Bombers hire coach and GM

Saskatchewan coach excited to join city’s new Jr. B hockey team

The Port Alberni Bombers of the VIJHL have hired Gaelan Patterson as their inaugural head coach and general manager. He will join the team in August 2021. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

The Port Alberni Bombers have named Gaelan Patterson the first head coach and general manager in Port Alberni Bombersthe fledgling Jr. B hockey team’s history.

Patterson is a native of La Ronge, Saskatchewan and was a seventh-round draft pick of the Calgary Flames.

After completing a four-year junior career with the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades, Patterson embarked on an eight-year professional career which included stops in the AHL, ECHL, Norway, France and England.

Patterson has spent the past three seasons on the coaching staff of the SJHL’s La Ronge Ice Wolves.

The opportunity to become a head coach was too good of an opportunity for Patterson to pass up. “I’m very excited for the opportunity to join the Port Alberni Bombers,” he said in a press release.

“I look forward to working with Joe and the Bulldogs organization in developing the Bombers into a top end VIJHL organization. I believe in their vision and development model for the team and I feel this is a great opportunity for me to develop as a coach. I look forward to helping form a successful organization and helping players realize the goal of moving on to the next level.”

The hiring of Patterson was equally as exciting for the first-year franchise, which will start play in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) in September 2021. They are one of two expansion teams, including the Lake Cowichan Kraken.

“The addition of Gaelan is a huge step for the Bombers,” said Joe Martin, who is in charge of Bombers’ hockey operations. “He’s experienced at the Jr. A level, experienced as a player, and motivated to help develop players and move them on. We’re thrilled with what he will bring to our group.”

Patterson will officially join the Bombers in August.

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