Cam Basarab credits the leaders on the Storm for helping his transition as head coach. Photo by Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River coach credits Storm leaders for helping his transition

Basarab took over head coaching duties in early November from Lee Stone

When Cam Basarab signed up as an assistant coach with the Campbell River Storm, little did he know he’d be running the show so soon.

In early November, it was announced previous coach Lee Stone was moving upstairs. He has since taken a job as an assistant coach with the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles.

RELATED STORY: Former Campbell River Storm coach takes up assistant coaching duties with BCHL’s Surrey Eagles

While it all appears to be a bit of a whirlwind, Basarab says the transition has moved more smoothly than one would expect.

“It looks, from the outside, to be a much more stressful transition than it really has been,” he says. “A lot of the credit for that goes to the players.”

As far as his role on the bench, he says it means keeping his eye more on the game as a whole than some specific aspect, like managing the lines, as he was doing as an assistant coach.

“I just try to get a feel for the game as a whole a little bit more,” he says.

“You go from paying attention to a certain group of players to paying attention to all of them.”

Certainly, on the ice, the team has kept to its winning ways.

By late December, they remained out front of the rest of the VIJHL’s North Division and basically neck in neck with the South’s Victoria Cougars.

Basarab credits the main leaders of the team for helping make the transition relatively easy.

This has not only helped the team stay focused but also be able to cope with the occasional loss.

“They’ve taken a lot of the stress away with how they’ve stepped up,” he says.

“The real test is after a loss. Everything’s easy and fun when you’re winning.”

While the year might be changing, the hockey season still has a long way to go, so Basarab wants to make sure the team does not lose its focus.

“I’m fairly confident in this group in the way they’ve shown they can handle things,” he adds.

“I’ve just been trying to keep it fairly loose and let these guys play…. A lot of it has been just showing them that they’re capable of doing things they were capable of doing all along. Maybe they just didn’t realize it.”

A trait of the team which helps is that there are so many players on any given night who are capable of stepping up and giving the Storm a much-needed goal.

It makes it hard for opponents to match up against Campbell River because the scoring attack has been balanced all season.

“There has been contributions from up and down the lineup,” he says.

“Not only does that take the pressure off some of our guys to score every single night, it makes it really hard for other teams to match up against us…. There’s only so many shut-down lines and shut-down D-pairs that other teams can put out when we’re scoring like that.”

One thing that should help is the return of some key players like Reid Wheeldon, Darren Hards and Cole Slaney.

The coach is hopeful the players will be back in the new year after the break.

There are other big things on the horizon, such as the upcoming VIJHL all-star game and the Cyclone Taylor Cup, which Campbell River is hosting.

Even as the host team, Basarab is taking nothing for granted, so if the team has the occasional bad loss this time of year, he wants to make sure they are in top form once the playoffs begin.

“The message, for me, has never changed,” he says. “Have fun, go out and play, do what you’re capable of doing.”

The first game back is Jan. 4 when the Storm take on Comox Valley at home.

Just Posted

Campbell River Amnesty International chapter to host Write for Rights events

Opportunity to take action on human rights cases focussing on youth Dec. 10 at the library

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Take a tour of the holiday lights in Campbell River

Brighten up your holiday season this year with the Lights Tour in… Continue reading

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Design work for seismic upgrade of John Hart Dam continues

BC Hydro’s planned seismic upgrades to the John Hart Dam are targeted… Continue reading

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Most Read