KELOWNA, B.C. - The Kelowna Rockets named Dan Lambert the team's new head coach with the departure of Ryan Huska for the Calgary Flames organization.
Lambert was Huska's assistant coach for last five seasons. Huska departed to take a job as coach of Calgary's American Hockey League affiliate in Glens Fall, N.Y.
Lambert is a former defenceman who played 29 games for the NHL's Quebec Nordiques. He spent several seasons in minor pro and the German leagues before retiring in 2009.
The 44-year-old from St. Boniface, Man., won a Memorial Cup playing for the Swift Current Broncos in 1989.
Lambert will be Kelowna's eighth head coach after Huska held the job for seven seasons. The Rockets set a franchise record for wins in 2013-14 with 57 and posted the Western Hockey League's best record.
"This is an opportunity Ryan has deserved for many years," Rockets president Bruce Hamilton said Monday in a statement. "He's done a wonderful job for us and we will be his biggest fans.?
"We wanted to hire someone who would be capable of taking over when Ryan's term came to an end. I couldn't be happier or more satisfied that Dan is fully prepared to be our head coach."