Craig Didmon is trading in his Grizzlies cap for a Royals version. He is one of the assistant coaches for the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals and also runs the West Shore Hockey Academy.

Craig Didmon is trading in his Grizzlies cap for a Royals version. He is one of the assistant coaches for the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals and also runs the West Shore Hockey Academy.

Hockey academy boss is Royals’ eye in the sky

If you follow any variety of hockey in Greater Victoria, chances are the name Craig Didmon rings a bell.

If you follow any variety of hockey in Greater Victoria, chances are the name Craig Didmon rings a bell.

Didmon has been selected as one of the assistant coaches for the Victoria Royals in the Western Hockey League.

Living and breathing hockey, Didmon is also director and head coach of the Sooke School District West Shore Hockey academy, He also had a stint as assistant coach for the junior A Victoria Grizzlies.

“I spent two years with the Grizzlies and I learned a lot there. This is just the next step,” Didmon said.

During Royals home games, Didmon will sit in the media box watching the game from above. He will communicate with coaching staff at ice level.

From above Didmon will asses the other team’s line up and how it handles a power play.

“I am watching for tendencies of our team and the other team,” Didmon said. “I’ll be watching for how they are on the floor and their checking.”

Watching the game from a different angle and separating himself from the team will give a needed perspective to correct problems before they become ingrained, Didmon said.

“You are not getting caught up in doing other things and jobs,” he said. “I am sitting on the outside.”

He will be separated from the team during games, but during practices it’s a different story. “I have a big role in practices,” Didmon said. He will be running drills and working with players.

At the Royals tryouts, Didmon was pleased to see about a dozen former West Shore academy players on the ice.

“It’s tough to evaluate them when I am looking at them with rose-coloured glasses,” Didmon said. “I’d love to see local kids make it.”

Working with the Royals will help him run the West Shore hockey academy, now in its second year as a merged unit with players from Belmont secondary and Spencer middle schools.

This year the academy will operate out of the Westhills Arena in Langford.

“(Royals head coach) Marc Habscheid has taught me so much, he’s a great leader,” Didmon said. “Marc is a great delegator.”

Didmon said this year the high school portion of the academy will be based on tactical development. His aim is to prepare young players for a higher level of hockey.

“It’ll be more about playing the game and decision making,” Didmon said.

For the middle school students, the academy focuses on skills building and technical development.

This is the seventh year Didmon has been running a high school hockey academy on the West Shore. Growing more popular every season, 150 students are signed up for the year. It had 48 players when the academy was first introduced.

“This is one of the largest academies in the country of its kind,” Didmon said.

Somehow Didmon finds time to coach his son Ty’s peewee team in Sooke. Although he’s moved his way up into the WHL, his peewee players have known him for years, so they aren’t star struck.

“They do give me the table when I want to talk though,” Didmon said. “I think they like it, and I am sure they’ll get some perks.”

sports@goldstreamgazette.com

 

 

Just Posted

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Biosolids at Hartland still being placed on landfill in Saanich

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

Proposed design for the Topaz Park bike and skate park elements. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Victoria requesting feedback on Topaz Park redesign

Public input now being taken for proposed skate, bike park ideas

Victoria police are searching for high-risk missing woman Chloe Morrison who was last seen in Victoria June 13. (Courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Chloe Morrison, last seen in Victoria

Morrison, 25, was last seen shortly after 2 p.m. June 13

An SUV sits where it crashed through the front window of the 2:18 Run store in Fairfield Plaza, after the driver appeared to lose control on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Phil Nicholls)
Driver crashes through front window of Victoria running store in Fairfield

Phil Nicholls of 2:18 Run said crash sounded like an earthquake at first

Saanich Neighbourhood Place is hoping to open the doors to its new centre in July, pending final council approval. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich childcare agency awaits final approval on much-needed new facility

Saanich Neighbourhood Place keen to open new centre this summer, expand options for community

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Coroners’ inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni teen rescheduled for June 21

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Most Read