SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Chiefs officially introduced its new head coach Manny Viveiros on Wednesday.
Before joining the team, Viveiros was an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oilers. He coached Chiefs legend Kailer Yamamoto there last season.
Today, Yamamoto presented Viveiros with a Chiefs jersey.
“I definitely think they just got a steal," Yamamoto said. "He coached me up in Edmonton. I'm shocked he's still not in the NHL."
Viveiros was fired from his position in May with the Oilers when a new coaching staff came in. He quoted by the Edmonton Sun saying that he wanted to stay in the NHL and didn’t want to coach at a lower league again.
But as time went on, he saw the Chiefs as a great opportunity.
“Everybody's goal is to be at the highest level and that's what the NHL is," Viveiros said. "It's something I'd like to get back eventually. Spokane gives me a great opportunity to do that. If you look at the past history of the coaching staff, they come here have success and move on to the National Hockey League."
That was the case with former head coach Dan Lambert, who many compare Viveiros' coaching style too.
Before coaching with the Oilers, Viveiros was the head coach with the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos form 2016 to 2018. With that team, he won a WHL championship and was named WHL Coach of the Year in the 2017-2018 season.
He made the team a power play powerhouse, which is something the Chiefs did well last year.
The Broncos led the league in power play conversion percentage in the 2017-2018 season. The Chiefs had the highest percentage last season.
“You know, you don't have to tweak much. If it's not broken don't fix it," Viveiros said. "It's something that I look forward to hopefully continue the success they had last season."
Viveiros said he plans on getting touch with players tomorrow. The season is not too far away. The season opener is September 20 on the road against the Kamloops Blazers.