2020 Memorial Cup hosts Kelowna Rockets release Adam Foote as head coach

In what’s been a disappointing season, the Kelowna Rockets announced on Wednesday that head coach Adam Foote had been released of his duties.

Hosts of the upcoming 2020 Memorial Cup in May, the Rockets are languishing in fourth place in B.C. Division standings with a dismal record of 24 wins, 26 losses, 2 overtime losses and 2 shootout losses.

With just 52 points through 54 games, and just 14 regular-season games left, Kelowna has little chance of improving its seventh-overall place in the Western Conference standings.

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Come playoff time, the Rockets will face either first-place Portland (85 points) or second-place Kamloops (74 pts.), both of which have beaten Kelowna this season.

READ MORE: WHL Roundup: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

In releasing Foote, the Rockets said assistant head coach Kris Mallette was named interim head coach.

“The team has struggled since the Christmas break,” Rockets President and General Manager Bruce Hamilton said in a press release.

“With 14 games remaining in the regular season, I felt a change was necessary at this time.”

Red Deer Rebels beat Kelowna Rockets 3-2
Red Deer Rebels beat Kelowna Rockets 3-2

The Rockets hired Foote on Oct. 23, 2018. The team had a record of 24-23-6-2 under Foote last season.

Mallette is currently in his fifth season as a member of the Rockets’ coaching staff. He was hired as an assistant coach during the summer of 2014.

Prior to Wednesday, Mallette’s primary focus has been the team’s defensive units and penalty kill units.

Mallette, 41, played two-and-a-half seasons with Kelowna in 1996-99, before being traded to the Moose Jaw Warriors.

Following four seasons in the WHL, he then went on to play several seasons in the minors.

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— More to come.

Winterhawks dismantle Rockets
Winterhawks dismantle Rockets

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