Thanks to a heads-up from Jeff Helminiak at the Peninsula Clarion, we can belatedly report the NAHL's Kenai River Brown Bears have hired their new head coach -- former Fairbanks Ice Dogs assistant coach Geoff Beauparlant, 35, is the new bench boss on the Peninsula.
Beauparlant, 35, was an assistant with the Ice Dogs for three seasons, and that was no doubt helpful in learning the ropes and developing as a coach -- Rob Proffitt of the Ice Dogs is a three-time NAHL General Manager of the Year. Beauparlant was with the Ice Dogs when they won the Robertson Cup as NAHL champs.
Beauparlant replaces Oliver David, who earlier this offseason took an assistant coaching job with the USHL's Dubuque Fighting Saints.
"It's going to be a lot of fun,'' Beauparlant told the Clarion about facing his old club several times next season. "It'll be a challenge for both organizations, and for both coaching staffs.''
Another interesting twist, according to Helminiak's story -- Beauparlant's wife, Heather, is a major in the Army and has been transferred from Fort Wainwright to Fort Carson in Colorado. That means Beauparlant on the Peninsula will be living apart from his wife and their sons Luc, 7, and Ian, 4.
"It's a challenge we've prepared for, for a number of years,'' Beauparlant told the Clarion. "With my wife's position with the U.S. Army, there was always a possibility she would have to go overseas.''