I’m still waiting to hear back about a few minor particulars, but this staff report (is Doyle Potenteau on vacation?!) from the Kelowna Daily Courier states that Kim Dillabaugh is leaving the Kelowna Rockets and will join the Kings full time in scouting and goaltending development. The Rockets’ website also contains a story on Dillabaugh’s departure.
Other than the added scouting responsibilities, it doesn’t sound like too much of a stretch in the duties for Dillabaugh, who becomes a full-time employee after having worked in Goaltender Development in his nine seasons with Los Angeles. He has also worked since the 2003-04 season as an assistant coach and the goaltending coach for Kelowna, a very successful Western Hockey League franchise.
Also, respect: Like Vaclav Varada, Scott Hannan and Kyle McLaren, Dillabaugh is one of the few alumni of the Tacoma Rockets, who played four seasons south of Puget Sound before relocating to Kelowna for the 1995-96 season. The name “Rockets” is a nod to Western Washington’s aerospace industry. While the franchise kept the name upon relocation to British Columbia, its jersey depicts Ogopogo, the mythical (?) and popular resident of Okanagan Lake.
From KelownaDailyCourier.ca, L.A. Kings hire Rockets’ goalie coach:
A former goalie, Dillabaugh played three seasons in the WHL with the Rockets (in both Kelowna and Tacoma) and the Calgary Hitmen from 1994-97. He also worked 10 years with The Goaltender Development Institute. Hamilton said the development of his team’s goalies under Dillabaugh has been a big part of the Rockets’ success.
“You don’t win without great goaltending and Kim has done a remarkable job for a lot of goalies that have played here,” said Hamilton, who plans on hiring a new goalie coach. “I think this is an excellent situation. Kim has been with us for a long time and now he’s moving up and he has two Stanley Cups to his name.
“Certainly it’s going to be a loss, but we’re excited for his opportunity.”
“I’m excited to be taking on an expanded role,” Dillabaugh said of also getting to scout for the Kings. “My experience with Los Angeles over the past eight seasons has been tremendous and now having the opportunity to work full time with one of the NHL’s top franchises is a great opportunity and a challenge.”
Along with Goaltending Coach Bill Ranford, Dillabaugh has worked extensively with Jonathan Quick and Los Angeles goaltenders. Kings goalies combined to post a .922 save percentage in 2013-14, the second highest mark in the league.