KENNEWICK – Don Nachbaur’s team is talented. Unfortunately it’s his old team.
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The Spokane Chiefs have some big holes to fill as their Western Hockey League season gets under way Saturday with a trip to rival Tri-City. Gone are a pair of forwards who combined for 82 goals and 182 points, a pair of defensemen with 76 assists and 92 points, plus the steadying influence from a couple of other veterans.
It would seem the second weekend of preseason games was a rousing success for the Spokane Chiefs. Minus a few veterans, the Chiefs put a 7-2 whippin’ on Lethbridge before losing to Tri-City, 2-1.
A decade ago, the Kamloops Blazers fired coach Marc Habscheid, who months later wound up 200 kilometers down the road in Kelowna, where eventually he would win a Memorial Cup. In the space of 10 years, Lorne Molleken coached three different hockey clubs in Saskatchewan. Inevitably, the guy at Medicine Hat ends up with the same job in Lethbridge, and just as inevitably it is something less than cataclysmic. Some bloodlines you just don’t cross – an Auburn man, for instance, cannot be the football coach at Alabama.