Alberni’s Bulldogs restructure at the top

Changes abound at the Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Dog Pound this week.

The club announced a series of structural moves which include creating director of hockey and director of business operations positions, as well as changing the assistant coach’s role.

Paul Esdale will no longer carry the dual role of general manager and head coach, as the Bulldogs have eliminated the position of GM. Esdale remains the team’s head coach, as well as the assistant director of hockey operations.

The moves refine the organization’s operation on and off the ice, club president Andy Oakes said.

“We started looking at these measures as part of our year-end review after the series with Langley,” Oakes said.

Splitting the head coach and general manager’s role means eliminating the coach’s burden and focussing his attention on the players and the game.

“People think that general managers are mostly involved in player transactions but that’s only part of it,” Oakes said.

“The bulk of their time is spent on financial stuff and the business side of the operation.”

The new director of hockey operations will oversee the hockey department day to day.

The new director of business operations will oversee the day-to-day business operations and community relations.

The assistant coach’s position will now be in place during the season only, Oakes said.

Kevin Falkenberg was formerly the assistant coach but left the team last week and will not be assuming the role come September.

“Kevin has a lot of experience and wasn’t happy being an assistant coach,” Oakes said.

“This frees him up to pursue other opportunities.”

The club wants to hire local people for the positions, and hopes to have them filled by mid-April.

Esdale said he’s happy that he will be able to concentrate on the game and not the business duties.

“This allows me to focus on just the hockey side of things and at the end of the day I want to be a hockey coach,” he said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com