Flyers still seeking head coach

The Fort St. John Senior Flyers have found a bus for the upcoming hockey season, but they're still missing a major piece of personnel as of early September.

Working together with the Huskies, the two teams have raised enough money to hopefully purchase a new bus located in Quesnel, but for the Flyers, there's still another big item needed before the season starts - a coach.

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"The bus fundraising has gone well so far and we just need to top things up a bit, so things are very positive right now," said Flyers' president Paul van Nostrand on Monday. "We're getting to crunch time as far as getting a coach is concerned. We're still hoping to have someone step forward."

"We haven't had anyone come forward yet who's interested, so we're going to begin to do a little more advertising. We'll maybe get more word out on Facebook and so forth."

With no coaching candidates yet, van Nostrand says the team and the executive are going to have to put their heads together to see how they want to handle the pre-season, which is roughly five weeks away.

Former head coach Darrel Leahy stepped down after the Flyers' wrapped up their 2012/13 season, but with no one applying to replace him, the club is getting a bit antsy as October approaches.

"We'd have to talk to some of the senior players and get together and see how we want to handle training camp," van Nostrand said. "We still have a bit of time here, but it's crunch time approaching."

There are also rumours swirling about veteran players possibly retiring, but van Nostrand says there have been no confirmations yet.

One player who might not be returning is Ryan Carter, who's attempting to get the Fort Nelson Yeti Senior Hockey Club into the North Peace Hockey League alongside the Flyers this season.

"I think there's lots going on in Fort Nelson, so I think there's a pretty solid opportunity for a team up there. It'll be a good expansion and will certainly mean a bit more lengthy travel," van Nostrand said.

"[Carter's proposal] went to the league and came out through them to us. There's talk of weekend double-headers to minimize travel and expenses for visiting teams, so we'll see what happens."

The decision on whether or not the NPHL will accept the Fort Nelson Yeti into the league will be made on Sept. 18 in Fairview during the league meeting.

In the meantime, the Flyers are hoping coaching applicants start stepping forward as the team looks forward to returning to AA status and full-time competition in the NPHL.

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