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Former Winnipeg Ice head coach James Patrick named Victoria Royals Director of Player Development

The Winnipegger has himself a new gig.

Last week the Victoria Royals announced that they had hired Winnipegger James Patrick to be their Director of Player Development where his “his primary responsibilities will be assisting in developing future National Hockey League players”.

Shouldn’t be difficult for the defenceman who played close to 1300 games as a pro with teams like the Rangers, Whalers, Flames and Sabres before retiring in 2006 and turning his attention to coaching. He joined Buffalo in 2006-07 as an assistant coach where he would spend seven seasons with the last NHL team he played for as a player. He moved onto Dallas in 2013-14 and would spend four seasons as an assistant coach with the Stars.

In 2017-18 he was named head coach of the Kootenay Ice of the WHL. His clubs didn’t have much success in Kootenay but after two seasons in B.C. they moved the team to his hometown of Winnipeg where they were re-branded the Ice and that coincided with the club turning things around on the ice. Unfortunately they lost the 2019-20 season due to covid and then had a solid bubble season the next year (.711 winning percentage). The last two seasons in Manitoba saw the club really take off(.816 and .846 winning percentages) as they set all sorts of records. However they weren’t able to get past two similarly outstanding clubs in Edmonton (2021-22) and Seattle (2022-23).

James Patrick on Winnipeg Ice bench

Photo Credit: Colby Spence (Illegal Curve)

In June of this year it was announced that the Ice had been purchased by David White and the team were being moved to Wenatchee, Washington. Other than the players on the roster the new entity didn’t take anything else with them including head coach James Patrick.

And Patrick isn’t the only Winnipegger who is going to be working with Victoria next season. The Royals also hired Jake Heisinger as an Associate General Manager after he held the title of Vice President of Hockey Operations and Assistant General Manager of the Winnipeg Ice.