Clippers organization continues to evolve as team takes first place

By Dan Marshall
January 4, 2018 - 10:58am

The Clippers celebrate during a 5-2 win in Port Alberni. With the win Nanaimo took sole possession of first place in the BCHL's Island Division.Gary Dorland

NANAIMO — The Clippers have moved into first place in the Island Division with an impressive run in December and early January.

The hockey team took over first place with a 5-2 win in Port Alberni Wednesday night in a week filled with changes.

Those changes on the ice included the addition of Josh Bourne.

As an affiliate Bourne had a goal and an assist in two games, he also scored and added an assist in his first game as a full time Clipper against the Bulldogs.

Coach Darren Naylor says Bourne will continue to bring an offensive element.

"Every level he's played at he's had the touch and been able to put up points. He's a power play guy so I'm hoping he can really help us on the power play. He's a hardworking boy too so he's going to fit in that way," said Naylor.

To make room for Bourne, Jack MacNab was moved on to Coquitlam for future considerations.

Wednesday's game was not only the first for Bourne, but the first for Nanaimo native Bob Foglietta as the team's assistant coach.

He was in charge of running the defense on the bench but Naylor believes his new AC will be able to help out the club's offense, especially on the man advantage.

Off the ice the Clippers announced Paul German as the Director of Business Operations and Marketing.

He'll be working with the current staff and volunteers beginning this week.

German says he'll be meeting with corporate partners, and working to augment the fan experience.

"At the end of the day we want to create the best possible experience," said German. "So that when the fans leave all they're doing is saying - oh my gosh - were you at the Clippers game?"

The Clippers also made additions to their scouting staff for the upcoming season.

Lou Gravel is the new Director of Scouting and Recruiting.

He has an extensive scouting background that includes working with the Clippers, Salmon Arm Silverbacks, and Cowichan Valley Capitals in the past.

Gravel has also been responsible for putting teams together for showcase events like the Chowder Cup and NHL Pre-Draft tournament.

Josh Hand has joined the club as well, as a US eastern scout.

Hand has been a coach at NCAA Division 1 and Division 3 levels and has been used an evaluator for USA Hockey.

There's no doubt the organization will continue to evolve over the coming weeks both on and off the ice under the guidance of new owner Wes Mussio.

Nanaimo fans will get their first look at the Clippers in nearly a month when the team hosts the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Friday at 7 p.m.

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