Byrne checks in as 67's coach

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

Chris Byrne is a step closer to his ultimate coaching goal.

"I've made no secret that I want to coach at the highest level, and this is a step in that direction," said the 31-year-old Byrne who joins Brian Kilrea's 67's coaching staff as an assistant.

He comes with a stacked resume after spending the last eight seasons as the head honcho behind the bench of the CJHL's Nepean Raiders.

The Raiders won back-to-back CJHL titles under Byrne's charge in 2003 and 2004, and advanced to the league final during the last two seasons.

In March, the Raiders overcame a 3-1 deficit to defeat the heavily favoured Pembroke Lumber Kings for the conference championship before losing to Hawkesbury in the league final.

He won his 200th game with the Raiders last season, and was twice named the CJHL's coach of the year.

"We had a great staff, scouts, trainers and a great owner," said Byrne, who was hired as head coach when he was 24 by Raiders owner Gord Black.

"He took a chance on me and let me make mistakes."

The job on the 67's staff became vacant last month when Vince Malette resigned to pursue other coaching opportunities.

It's believed Malette turned down a job offer from the QMJHL's Saint John Sea Dogs before it was taken by Jacques Beaulieu, who had been as assistant with the London Knights.

RUSSIAN TO GATINEAU: The Gatineau Olympiques, preparing for next weekend's QMJHL draft, have made a move to bolster their scoring. In a deal with the P.E.I Rocket, the 'Piques obtained 17-year-old left winger and Russian import Slava Trukhno for defenceman Pierre-Luc Lessard.

The Rocket also gets a second-round pick in the upcoming draft, with a first-round choice in next month's Canadian Hockey League import selection.

Gatineau also receives a sixth-round pick. Last season, Trukhno set a franchise record with 96 points (26 goals) in 60 games.

In his rookie year, Trukhno was drafted in the fourth round by the Edmonton Oilers.

Last year, the 'Piques were aided by Czech import centre David Krejci, who recently signed a contract with Boston.


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