A former Canada Post employee, Ken Law gets a purpose from being a hockey coach.
“I did it while I was working and enjoy it even more now that I am retired (since 2010),” says Law, who has 42 years experience and has been coaching in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League for 11 seasons now – eight with Osoyoos and now into his third with Kelowna.
Law is a six-time KIJHL divisional Coach of the Year and twice has been named the Overall Coach of the Year (2010-11, 18-19).
“I must have some respect of the coaches throughout the league, the managers and the league itself,” says Law when asked what it means to him. “To me that speaks volumes. I try to conduct myself in a honourable manner and to be fair to everybody.”
The recognition is nice, but that isn’t why he coaches – it’s about the players. The Penticton native sees himself as a players coach, though he receives valuable support from his former Coyotes player Thierry Martine, who is one of his assistants coaches with the Chiefs.
“He’s more in touch with the younger group and I’m still old school,” says Law. “My other assistant coach Travers Rebman has been an eye-opener. He’s more of a skills-based coach and helps instruct players to go through stuff that you don’t always get a chance to do.
“I try to really connect with the players and find out what they need to be successful and what we need to be successful as a team itself,” continues Law. “I have always been a guy that doesn’t panic really easily.”
The 63-year-old learns something everyday in the KIJHL, adding that this year is trying as he works to stay on top of things. He’s focused on keeping players motivated and ready to go and he can’t make promises on when he will play them. He draws inspiration from all the KIJHL coaches.
“They are all quality guys and every time I talk to one of them, I pick up something else,” he says.
Law is enjoying his time with the Chiefs after moving on from the Osoyoos Coyotes.
“It started out great as I had a chance to work with Grant Sheridan,” says Law of the late Chiefs co-owner. “I always admired him and loved the way he treated his program.”
Current Chiefs owner Jason Tansem has given Law what he needs to continue a successful program. Law says Tansem has managed everything smoothly after losing his long-time friend and co-owner.
Law has helped several players advance to Junior A, WHL and the collegiate ranks. Among them are Shana Hanna (2010-11 – BCHL/Michigan Tech), Taylor House (2010-11 – BCHL), Carter Rigby (2010-11 – BCHL/WHL), Dexter Dancs (2011-12 – BCHL/University of Michigan) Alex Jewell (2011-12 – BCHL), Rainer Glimpel (2013-16 – Adrian College), Brody Dale – Kelowna (2015-19 – MJHL/AJHL), Dylan Kent – Beaver Valley/Kelowna (2016-19 – Adrian College), Jordan Lowry – Kelowna (2018-20 – SJHL), Lane Paddison – Kelowna (2017-19 – AJHL) and Devin Sutton – Kelowna (2017-19 – AJHL).
Since joining the Chiefs, he says they do a good job of developing players for the next level and attract players with their scouting staff and current players. He tries to see as many players as he can. Another recruiting asset are the solid post secondary institutions in Okanagan College and UBC-O.
The Chiefs offer a great developing environment with icetime and training facilities, plus they are centrally located to six B.C. Hockey League teams and the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. Up to eight scouts attend their games on a nightly basis.
“We have a pretty good network from western Canada,” says Law. “We send out information on players to promote them and we never hold anyone back.”
The Chiefs’ players are their best recruiting tool.
“If they enjoy their experience, they are going to direct their friends to make that same move,” says Law, adding there have been some situations where the fit hasn’t been right for some players. “The team that we start with is pretty much the same group we finish with. We pride ourselves on making good choices right off the bat.”