Return of Manitoba Moose also marks coach’s homecoming

Manitoba Moose head coach Keith McCambridge draws out a drill during practice at the MTS Iceplex. Randall Paull / Global News

WINNIPEG — It’s been a month since the Moose made their way back to Manitoba. But hidden in the homecoming is another return.

“To have a chance to work with these young prospects, these Jets prospects in your home province, it’s definitely something I enjoy,” said Moose head coach Keith McCambridge.

The 41-year-old has slid into his old stomping grounds to guide the Moose. He transferred with the team when it jumped from St. John’s to Manitoba this past summer.

READ MORE: Manitoba Moose happy to be home

“Just the crowds we’ve had, the energy in the building,” said McCambridge. “How excited (the fans) are, how knowledgeable they are. It’s been a really good atmosphere in MTS Centre.”

Born in Thompson, Manitoba, McCambrdige played a season with the MJHL’s Selkirk Steelers before graduating to the WHL. In 1999-2000, his path through the pros brought him back home for three games with the Moose. McCambrdige later served two seasons as Manitoba’s assistant coach before becoming the bench boss of the IceCaps when the Moose moved to Newfoundland and Labrador.

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“St. John’s was a smaller place so people recognized you a little more with that smaller population,” said McCambridge. “Here not as much.”

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Less notoriety but also less winter.

“I’ll take the -40 with the sunshine compared to not seeing the sun for a couple weeks out in Newfoundland,” said McCambridge.

Even though McCambridge coached in St. John’s for four years, he still kept his home in Winnipeg. He would return to the city with his wife and two kids every summer and Christmas to see family – something McCambridge is looking forward to doing more now that he’s living in Manitoba year-round.

“My wife is from Selkirk, my mom lives out in St. Andrews so just a chance to be around them a lot more,” said McCambridge.

The more important team in McCambridge’s life.

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