Welcome to Quick Shift, which provides a preview of each of the 20 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League teams, with insight from their respective general managers. Next up is the Kimberley Dynamiters in the Eddie Mountain division. The Dynamiters enter the 2023-24 season as the defending KIJHL Teck Cup champs and Cyclone Taylor Cup silver medalists. Goalie Matt Fleet, who was key in the Dynamiters’ championship run, returns after winning 12 of 19 regular season games and adding seven wins in 11 playoff appearances. Dynamiters Head Coach-GM Derek Stuart answered questions about piecing together a roster with hopes of defending its championship.
What are the important characteristics/skills you look for in players to shape your roster?
Emphasis is placed on character and we seek out the ones who will buy into how we do things and are willing to put the team first.
Did you have a good off-season of recruiting?
I think we did, but right now 19 other teams think they did too. I really like our new recruits, but time will tell which teams recruited well and which teams just think they did.
What do you like about the group of players returning who will play a big part on your team?
We have 14 players who know exactly what it takes to win a championship. I won’t have to tell them what it takes or how they need to do things on a daily basis. You can’t teach that type of experience and it gives us a very strong foundation to build off.
What were some key areas of success achieved last season that the organization wants to build on?
We achieved our goal last season. The last time we won the Teck Cup, we lost in the finals the following season. We will be hungrier to repeat this time around.
What is the important vision you have that leads to building the team you want?
I want to assemble a REAL team that becomes a family pulling in the same direction so we can all have a chance to experience success. I think achieving team success is the most rewarding thing one can experience in a team sport.