Ex-Kitchener Rangers coach hired as new assistant by Humboldt Broncos

A Saskatchewan junior hockey team will be getting a little taste of Kitchener, as former Rangers coach Troy Smith has been hired as an assistant coach in Humboldt.

Troy Smith flies to Saskatchewan on Saturday, says he's excited about new opportunity

Troy Smith stands with members of the Saginaw Spirit hockey team at a camp in Calgary in July 2018. (Twitter: Troy Smith)

Troy Smith, former coach of the Ontario Hockey League's Kitchener Rangers, has been hired as the new assistant coach for the Humboldt Broncos for the remaining 2018-2019 season. 

Smith worked as an assistant and then head coach of the Rangers for nine years from 2006 to 2015. After that, he coached and managed the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Saginaw Spirit.

"I was surprised to get the call, I wasn't expecting a call from Saskatchewan but when ... Scott Barney (the Broncos' head coach) ...  asked me if I would consider coming out for the remainder of the season, obviously I wanted to do it and I'm happy to be given the opportunity to accept the position," Smith told CBC K-W.  

Smith also previously coached the U17 program and represented Canada seven times.

"Hopefully my experience of learning how to deal with players that age will help me to build that trust and ... that I can be a good resource for Scott to put us on a winning track," he said. 

Smith says he knows the team garnered national focus last year because of the tragic bus crash

"You can't dispute that there's a lot more attention," he said.

"The way I've viewed this is that these kids are probably the happiest during the day when they're playing hockey and I feel real fortunate that I can be a part of that — you know, allow them to focus on something that makes them happy and be there for support otherwise." 

Smith will fly to Saskatchewan to begin his position on Saturday. 

Troy Smith stands with Kitchener Rangers general manager Mike McKenzie for a food bank drive in March 2015. (Twitter: Troy Smith )