Ferry travel will become part of the PJHL experience for teams in the 2024-25 season because a new team is coming aboard, the Gibsons-based Coastal Tsunami.
It’s a hard-hat environment around the expansion club as preparations and roster construction are underway. The team’s head coach Brad Wingfield, a Gibsons product who played more than 10 years in pro hockey, is relishing the work being done now and can hardly wait for next season though there is much to do between now and opening night.
“The bulk of my work with the Tsunami right now and since being hired is of course scouting and recruiting,” says Wingfield. “There is the business side of things that I am working on as well, there is spring programming for youth, our inaugural ID camp, August youth camp along with rookie and main camps leading up to September.”
His familiarity with local hockey talent will play a major factor in growing the team on the ice and the team’s reputation in the community. Not only is he a local boy, he’s coaching the Sunshine Coast Blues a U18 team of 2006-born players he’s been working with since the players got started in hockey. Safe to say, there will be local flavour on the menu in the Tsunami’s inaugural season.
“We surely hope and it’s a goal of ours as an organization to have as many local players as possible on our team; local talent with the skill set to play at the Junior level will certainly be given every opportunity to play for the Tsunami.”
Anyone who followed Wingfield’s playing career will know he spent a fair amount of time without his gloves on but he’s evolved, just as the game of hockey has, and he wants his club to play an entertaining brand of hockey that features skill and quickness while being a positive presence in town.
“The type of players for our squad are ones that play fast and pressure, they will work hard, finish their checks and have the ability to work together for the greater good of the team and to achieve our goals as a team,” says Wingfield, 48. “Being a small community, it’s super important to recruit and bring in high-character players, ones that can set good examples and be really good role models for the many younger players and fans to look up to.”
“There is definitely a lot of talk and chatter in the air about the Tsunami; people are excited to have a team to call their own and as we get closer to the puck drop in September, I’m sure it’s just going to continue to build momentum,” says Wingfield.