The Saskatoon Blades announced today that assistant coach David Struch will replace Lorne Molleken as head coach of the Western Hockey League club.

Molleken, who led the Blades behind the bench for the past 13 seasons, will remain with the team as general manager and alternate governor.

"The biggest thing is in my mind is that it was time for a change," Molleken said. "I think that a new voice was needed."

Struch joined the Saskatoon coaching staff following the 2005-06 season. He played for the Blades from 1988-92 and appeared in 253 regular season games. He went on to play 12 seasons of professional hockey, including time with the Calgary Flames.

"We can all grow together as a team," Struch said. "And team mentality, everything we do, everything is for the team. And I think we can create something special here for the city."

Molleken became the second coach in WHL history to reach 600 career wins. His teams have won four Eastern Division titles, a pair of Eastern Conference championships and a Scotty Munro Trophy as the WHL's top team.

The rest of the Blades coaching staff remains the same.