A love for the game and helping players make their dreams come true is what motivates Geoff Grimwood to coach.
The native of Victoria loves being at the rink and playing a part in developing players for hockey or life.
“I take pride and enjoyment from that,” says Grimwood, who was announced as the new Kamloops Storm head coach on July 21, replacing Steve Gainey, who becomes director of hockey operations.
Grimwood, whose coaching career began in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League with the Peninsula Panthers, accepted the Storm’s coaching position after being presented by general manager Matt Kolle on what the Storm program is about, and why they thought Grimwood would be a good fit.
His resume includes coaching in minor hockey, the B.C. Hockey League, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, Manitoba Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League, where Grimwood was an assistant coach with the Victoria Royals for three seasons, while he also coached the South Island Royals U18 AAA program.
Grimwood feels the Storm has a really good program in place and praised the work that Gainey and his coaching staff have done. Grimwood intends to bring leadership and create an identity in how they want to play. He wants his team to play a two-way brand of hockey that people are going to want to watch.
“I don’t think you can cut any corners on any end of the ice,” he says. “If you want to be really strong offensively, the good base of that is to be a strong defensive team. We expect our guys to play hard at both ends. Hard work all over the ice.”
Knowing that they have younger players who are driven to move on to the WHL and BCHL, a strong skill base component is necessary. Grimwood says the Storm need to have players with offensive skill who possess creativity and can play with pace. In working with Gainey, Grimwood will lean on the director of hockey operations for support as he has knowledge of the players, but also because of his reputation and the character person he is.
He’s looking forward to get going based on the roster assembled heading into the fall.
“Matt has done a really good job of building the program. When we look at the roster, I don’t think there is anything glaring that we need to add right now,” he says. “We believe in them.”