Ten years after retiring from his day job at Canada Post, Ken Law is busier than ever as bench boss for the Kelowna Chiefs.
Law, 63, is in his 11th season as a coach in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, which is awaiting guidance from the B.C. government next to week to find out if, and when, it can resume its 2020-21 campaign.
It’s his third season in Kelowna, following eight with the Osoyoos Coyotes. The six-time KIJHL divisional Coach of the Year was also named the Overall Coach of the Year in 2010-11 and 2018-19.
Law hopes that’s a reflection on his approach to hockey.
“I try to conduct myself in an honourable manner and to be fair to everybody,” he said.
The recognition is nice, of course, but that isn’t why he coaches – it’s about the players. He sees himself as a players’ coach, though he receives valuable support from his former Coyotes player Thierry Martine, now one of his assistant coaches in Kelowna.
“He’s more in touch with the younger group and I'm still old school,” says Law. “My other assistant coach Travers Rebman has been an eye-opener. He’s more of a skills-based coach and helps instruct players to go through stuff that you don’t always get a chance to do.
“I try to really connect with the players and find out what they need to be successful and what we need to be successful as a team itself. I have always been a guy that doesn’t panic really easily,” continued Law.
While awaiting word on hockey’s restart, the coach is focused on keeping players motivated and ready to go. He also keeps in touch with opposing bench bosses.
“They are all quality guys and every time I talk to one of them, I pick up something else,” said Law.
Law has helped several players advance to junior A and collegiate ranks. Among them: Shana Hanna (2010-11, BCHL/Michigan Tech); Taylor House (2010-11, BCHL); Carter Rigby (2010-11, BCHL/WHL); Dexter Dancs (2011-12, BCHL/University of Michigan); Alex Jewell (2011-12, BCHL); Rainer Glimpel (2013-16, Adrian College); Brody Dale (2015-19, MJHL/AJHL); Dylan Kent (2016-19, Adrian College); Jordan Lowry (2018-20, SJHL); Lane Paddison (2017-19, AJHL); and Devin Sutton (2017-19, AJHL).
Recruiting for the Chiefs is made easier by the club’s central location and close proximity to six B.C. Hockey League teams and the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.
“We have a pretty good network from Western Canada,” says Law. “We send out information on players to promote them and we never hold anyone back.”
Players also help sell the program.
“If they enjoy their experience, they are going to direct their friends to make that same move,” said Law.
“The team that we start with is pretty much the same group we finish with. We pride ourselves on making good choices right off the bat.”