After a winless, 2016-17 season, Surrey Knights general manager Amar Gill did anything but stay stagnant.
Gill made unusual headlines for a PJHL team by hiring former Vancouver Canucks assistant general managers Laurence Gilman and Lorne Henning. Gilman was hired as director of operations while Henning was brought on as the director of player development.
“They’ve been a factor for our team,” said head coach Spencer Mchaffie. “They’ve given us good guidance ever since they were hired.”
Even though most Canucks fans would know the names Gilman and Henning, that didn’t hold true for some of the Knights players.
“A lot of the guys didn’t know who they were, but once they found out, they were pretty excited,” said Mchaffie.
Although the team has made steady improvements, they are still searching for that elusive first win. The franchise hasn’t won a game since Nov. 19th, 2015, back when they were still the Langley Knights.
“We’ve got a pretty young group,” said Mchaffie.
“There’s lots of inexperience in our lineup.
Even though they haven’t won a game, Mchaffie is seeing steady progression in certain aspects of the Knights game.
“Our offensive production is where we want it to be, and we’re continually improving. We’re in games more often than not.”
Signs of the Knights’ progression might not be showing up in the win column, but there are noticeable differences with this year’s team.
The team is scoring almost a full goal-per-game more than last season, averaging 2.25 goals-per-game compared to 1.5 last year. With that first win failing to fall within their grasp, Mchaffie says the team is still in positive spirits.
“We’ve had lots of team bonding events to keep the positivity up in the room. “We stress that negativity will get us nowhere.”