Truitt to reunite with Habscheid on Raiders bench

In 2004, Marc Habscheid and Jeff Truitt worked together behind the bench for the Kelowna Rockets as they won a Memorial Cup title in their own rink.

Fast-forward 14 years and the two are set to join forces once again with the Prince Albert Raiders.

It was announced on Monday afternoon that Truitt would serve as an assistant coach for the Western Hockey League club for the 2018-19 season.

He’ll be taking over the position that was left vacated by Dave Manson moving up to an assistant coaching job with the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors.

“It’s been awhile since Marc and I worked together,” Truitt said. “I’m really looking forward to working with him again and to have a chance to do so in Prince Albert.”

Truitt, who is from Rosetown, spent the last six seasons as associate coach with the Red Deer Rebels until his contract was not renewed at the end of last year.

“I’ve known (general manager) Curtis Hunt and Marc for a number of years, and the opportunity to come back to Saskatchewan was really appealing to me,” Truitt said.

“It’s a privilege to coach in this league and I’m really looking forward to working with a team that has a lot of excitement around it and one that is looking to build off what they did in the second half.”

Prior to his stint with the Rebels, Truitt served as an assistant coach and a head coach for the Rockets from 2000 to 2007.

The 53-year-old has also worked in the American Hockey League for the Springfield Falcons, San Antonio Rampage and Texas Stars.

“I’m a highly competitive guy,” Truitt said. “As a coach, you always want to win and I always put the time in to prepare teams and prepare myself behind the bench.

“My job is to support Marc with whatever he wants to do and I always pride myself on developing players and helping them get to the next level.”

The Raiders also announced that Dan Gendur will be an assistant coach next season and Mike Brodeur has been brought in as the goaltender coach to replace Kelly Guard, who is now an assistant coach with the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Lloydminster Bobcats.

Gendur, 31, was previously with the Raiders in an internship role for the end of the 2017-18 regular season and for their first round playoff series with the Moose Jaw Warriors.

He was the head coach for the Airdrie CFR Bisons of the Albert Midget Hockey League last year and played in the WHL from 2004 to 2008 with the Prince George Cougars and the Everett Silvertips.

“One thing about junior hockey is while those behind the scenes get older, the players are still 17 to 20 years of age,” Hunt said.

“Dan’s just out of playing the game and he’s starting his coaching career, so he’ll be able to relate to our players and help to bridge the gap a little bit.”

Brodeur, 35, served as an assistant coach with the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons last season and worked under Hunt as a goaltending coach for the team during the 2014-15 campaign.

He also played in seven National Hockey League games for the Ottawa Senators and compiled a 23-11-5-1 record with a 2.11 goals against average and a league best .929 save percentage with the Moose Jaw Warriors during the 2003-04 WHL regular season.

“Mike really keeps things simple,” Hunt said. “He’s a comfortable guy to talk to and I really like the language that he uses and the energy that he brings.

“He talks a lot about the mental part of the game and the fundamentals. I’m looking forward to see what he can do.”