After eight seasons behind the bench of the Ridge Meadows Flames, head coach Bayne Ryshak will not be returning next season.
“The change is effectively immediately, and comes after much thought and deliberation, given Bayne’s significant history with the team,” said a press release issued by Maple Ridge’s Junior B club on Monday.
“We would like to thank Bayne for his hard work and dedication during his tenure with the Flames,” said Andrew Ilaender, who has owned the local entry into the Pacific Junior Hockey League for 15 seasons.
“I felt like the organization needed a change,” he said, explaining he would like to see the team sending more players on to the BC Hockey League and the higher levels of hockey.
Ryshak was first with the club in 2008, which was the start of three seasons as a forward. In his last year he was named an alternate captain. He had 16 goals and 29 points in 141 career games.
Ryshak came back in the 2013-2014 season as an assistant under head coach Jamie Fiset. He was named head coach in the 2015-2016 season.
Ryshak inherited a team that had gone 16-25-0-3, and turned it into a club that that was always competitive. His best season was the 2017-2018, when they went 26-14-2-2, topped the Harold Brittain Conference for the first time in eight seasons, and played in the league championship. That same year, he was named the PJHL coach of the year.
Ilaender said he has known Ryshak from the time he was 18.
“Besides being a player and coach, he’s also a good friend,” he said.
Ryshak said he is proud of the job he has done, with his various assistants, in turning around a team that had become an easy night on the junior B schedule. Maple Ridge is now considered by up-and-coming hockey players to be a good place to play, he said.
“I would have loved to have had more success in the playoffs,” said Ryshak.
“It was really cool to have a long run in my home town. I’m really thankful for the opportunity,” he added.
“I’m proud to be a Flame.”
Ryshak said he would like to coach a minor hockey team, at a minimum, and spend more time fishing.
Ilaender said he will meet with Blaine Hallman, director of hockey operations, and Derek Bedard, general manager, to discuss a new head coach in the coming weeks.
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