Cadillac native and former Swift Current Broncos Coach/GM Mark Lamb is back in the WHL.
He is the new General Manager of the Prince George Cougars.
"The decision was about opportunity," Lamb said. "It came together pretty quick. I've been talking to a lot of people over the last five or six months... to have the chance to run your own team again, to put a team together and the people that I'm going to be working for are some familiar faces that I know... after I put everything together it was a pretty simple decision."
It's the first time the former NHL player will take on a role exclusively in management after a coaching career that started in 2001. He last coached for Tucson in the American Hockey League in 2016-17.
"It very well could be a change (in his career)," Lamb noted. "I look back at my experience in Swift Current, and I thought at times when you're doing both jobs the way the game has changed that it was a really big job... I've always really enjoyed the managing part, the building part and I think I'm weighted to that area. I'm looking forward to moving on and just concentrating on that."
Lamb spent seven seasons as Coach/GM in Swift Current where he guided the Broncos to the playoffs four times and helped set the table for a team that took the next step under Manny Viveiros to a league championship two years later.
"I loved it I went to all the games," Lamb said. "I still know the coaching staff I spoke to those guys a lot. The players that I had I still had a good relationship with them... there's nothing better than winning a championship. I'm just glad they were able to do it. If you're lucky enough to win in any league, you're doing something. I was very happy."
He joins a Prince George organization that started rebuilding during a down year by trading key veterans at the deadline in January.
That included a deal with the Broncos for defenceman Josh Anderson which produced Swift Current's 2018 and 2019 first round WHL Bantam Draft picks. The Cougars also picked up five draft picks (including a first round pick in 2020) from Portland in the Dennis Cholowski deal and two more from Regina for Jesse Gabrielle.
"I think it's a head start for sure," Lamb said. "Those first round draft picks are like gold. You need those to build your franchise... that's exciting. The next couple drafts are very loaded, so you have a lot of manoeuvring to do. To build that puzzle you need players, and you need assets. The more you can pile up the better. Then you try to get that winning tradition."
Lamb will be working for Cougars part-owner Eric Brewer who he coached in Edmonton and with Head Coach Richard Matvichuk who he coached in Dallas.
"You never know who you're auditioning for at any given time," Lamb noted. "You never know what that person is going to be. Things change quickly, especially in the hockey business. Here I am years ago coaching (Brewer), and now he's going to be my boss. The conversations have been great. I think that gave me a (leg) up in this process of getting the job knowing what I did years ago with Eric Brewer."
Lamb's Cougars won't be making a trip to Swift Current this season as the Broncos are slated for their BC road trip in 2018-19 and will host Prince George the following season.
He signed a four-year contract with the Cougars.