Former Powell River King and recent Canisius Golden Griffin graduate (second highest career scoring defenceman) Chris Forsman, has spent the summer cutting grass at Myrtle Point Golf Club while pondering his future in hockey.
Recently, while surfing the net a coaching vacancy for Kindersley caught his eye and, with input from friends and colleagues, he came to the difficult decision to trade in his hockey stick for a clipboard.
“I applied for jobs at division three schools and if I got one I would have seriously considered it,” he said. “But this one came up in Kindersley and was a pretty good situation. It was what I was looking to do after hockey so I decided to take it.”
The Klippers play in the Saskatchewan Junior A Hockey League. They finished second in their conference last year and were a runner up in the 2004 Royal Bank Cup.
Forsman flew into Saskatoon in June, where the team was holding a summer camp, and basically had an on-the-job interview with Kindersley coach Rockie Zinger.
“Things at camp are extremely hectic,” said Zinger, who wasn’t immediately available to meet his applicant, “but Chris didn’t just come in and sit on his hands and watch. He picked the ball up and ran with it and for me that’s important, because there will be times in the season when he has to take the reins and I’m comfortable in knowing that he will.”
Zinger said he appreciates the amount of work and dedication that has led Forsman through his career goals to this point.
“He obviously has a strong passion for the game and we’re excited about adding that element to our team.”
Hesitant to talk about himself, Forsman said, “It’s tough to explain to 16 to 18-year-old hockey players that it’s probably the hardest thing you’ll ever do in terms of time commitment and dedicating yourself just to move on. I think I can help young players see that. In terms of skills, working out and from being [in college] there’s a lot of systems work and video skill that I picked up.”
Video systems, education and five years with the Griffins in various roles are tools he is eager to use as an assistant coach and office administrator.
“I’m pretty fortunate because I had my masters in sports administration,” he said. “That’s another reason why I took this job so I can get experience in office administration, marketing and community relations. I’ll be wearing a bunch of hats.”
It sounds like he’s going to be pretty busy, but he’s itching to get going, and one of his immediate goals is having his contract extended.
“I knew getting into coaching that it doesn’t come with a lot of job security. But that’s part of the business and if I’m not going to play then this is the next best thing.”
Injuries have hampered the 25-year-old’s ability to compete to the point where he is comfortable with his decision to fall back on his experience and education.
“I lost a lot of sleep because I wanted to continue playing,” he said, “but right now this is the best thing for me.”