The Castlegar Rebels have turned to experience to ensure their program continues in the direction that Carter Duffin left it in after joining the Lloydminster Bobcats in the summer.
The Rebels have hired Arnie Caplan as their next head coach and general manager.
“We’re very proud of where our organization is at. We felt an obligation to our players and fans to find a candidate that shares our vision and belief in the culture and practices we’ve worked hard to establish here over the last few years,” wrote Rebels president Mike Johnstone on their Facebook page.
“I want to thank all the candidates for their interest in our position, and congratulate and welcome Arnie. I’m confident Arnie will do a great job with our program and our players will enjoy playing for him. The most important thing is, they’ll continue to learn and develop at the level they’ve come to expect from the Rebels system.”
The Manitoba native brings a wealth of experience from coaching at the university (University of Maine – assistant coach/goaltending coach), college (Portage College – head coach), and junior levels.
Caplan applied for the Rebels role because he felt it was a great fit as he’s developed players for the junior level and recruited from it.
“Carter Duffin did a really good job for the past three years to turn the program around,” says Caplan. “I’d like to continue in the right direction and build a strong program for the community and help young men with their hockey and lives in general.”
Signed on for two seasons with a club option for a third, Caplan is excited about this new chapter because he’s heard great things about the KIJHL.
“I’ve had a lot of players that I have coached that have either gone to the KIJHL or come from the KIJHL. It’s got a great reputation for developing players,” says Caplan, who is also looking forward to living in Castlegar.
Along with his experience, Caplan brings energy and a love for the game and working with people.
“I think it’s a really good fit from a managerial side as I’m a proven recruiter,” he says. “As far as being able to run a team, and develop players, and try to put together a really good product on the ice. I want to work with the individuals to try to help them attain their goals. Those are things that I have been doing that I really enjoy.”
As far as the Rebels playing style, Caplan wants his players to perform at a high-tempo, high energy style that will excite fans.
“I like my teams to win battles, to work hard at all times and outwork our opposition,” says Caplan. “I’m going to set the bar really high. I expect a lot out of my athletes.”
A goalie in his playing days, Caplan wants his team to play with a never quit attitude. Being a late hire, the former Acadia University (1991-95) netminder will evaluate the talent on his roster and learn from the players, get to know them. He wants to create stability as he sees what they have in the returning players. He will also try to add to the group as he’s focused on building a competitive roster.