The Campbell River Storm will have a new set of eyes on the bench with coach Lee Stone next season.
The team has added Cam Basarab, 23, to the staff as an assistant coach for the 2018/19 season. He joins the team from Lethbridge where he had been working with the Western Hockey League’s Hurricanes. The team finished this last year losing in the third round of the playoffs to the eventual champs from Swift Current. He will also serve as assistant general manager.
Basarab’s background is as a goaltender. From Lethbridge, he played all of his minor hockey in his hometown, except for one year during which he went to Winnipeg. He got a few junior offers but wanted to be on the bench.
“When I came home, I just moved straight into coaching,” he said. “It was a great way to stay involved in the game.”
Having coached for a few years now, he likes having an impact on young players’ lives.
“You can be a role model for people who do so much in the community,” he said. “Young kids look up to these players, and they look up to you. It’s a really exciting opportunity to be part of a community like that and to be a leader and role model for guys that have that responsibility.”
Basarab has also worked as a goalie coach with Lethbridge Minor Hockey and scout with the Canmore Eagles of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
“I started coaching goalies about six years ago, and then I started branching out a bit more, working with defence,” he said.
He also brings with him experience as a video coach, having helped out the Hurricanes. With the major junior team, he knew their video coach Andrew Doty, and when Doty went to work with Team Canada’s U17 program, Basarab stepped in on a temporary basis.
“When he left, they asked me to fill in for him,” he said. “When he came back, they asked me to stay and finish up the year with them.”
As far as his route to the Storm, he had a colleague with a connection to Storm coach Lee Stone.
“He put me in touch with Lee, and we kind of took it from there,” he said. “It was a really easy process. We were able to get everything done in about a week…. It was a pretty easy decision when he offered me the job.”
Basarab expects to be working with video with the Storm for the coming season and focus on bringing attention to detail to the goaltending and instilling an aggressive mindset for the defence.