(photo: Jack Lima Photography)
“He’s been part of the organization for quite a while,” Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Rich Kromm said. “Garet’s obviously looking to his future and would like to eventually become a coach so it’s an opportunity for him to get involved here, learn this side of the business, and still be able to play and lead our team.”
Over the weekend, Stockton Thunder Captain Garet Hunt re-signed for his seventh season with the team. The 5’9”, 190 lbs. forward has served as team captain for the past two seasons. After he led his team to a berth in the Kelly Cup Finals in 2013, Hunt put up career highs with 14 goals, 22 assists and 36 points during the 2013-14 campaign. The 2014-15 season will mark a new chapter in Hunt’s career as he takes on an expanded role with the team; serving as assistant coach beside Head Coach Kromm while still maintaining his role as the gritty, tough-nosed player on the ice and the captaincy.
“My goal is to help the team anyway I can,” Hunt said. “I want to develop into more of a complete two-way player and be a good teammate and leader. Obviously I’m very competitive and want to win. I’ve had a taste of what it’s like to go deep into the playoffs and play for a Kelly Cup. Last year’s playoff exit in the second round left a sour taste in my mouth, so I can’t wait to get back to work and go after the Kelly Cup again.”
Hunt is a fan favorite both on and off the ice in Stockton. He is a part of the community and a backbone of the organization. He is currently the franchise’s all-time leader in games played with 383, in penalty minutes, 1,388 (no surprise there) and ranks second all time in points with 138, just 18 points behind Mike Lalonde.
“My long term goal is to play as long as I can but I’m very interested in coaching after my playing career is over, so working with Coach Kromm, who’s so down to earth and easy going, is a chance I don’t want to miss out on,” Hunt said. “I don’t want to waste an opportunity with someone so willing to teach both on and off the ice so I plan to take full advantage. Coach has played in the NHL and coached in many leagues. I want to learn from a guy like that, a guy who does and says the right thing. I look up to that.”
“We had talked about him getting into coaching last year and talked more about it during the course of the offseason,” Kromm said. “More than anything else, Garet’s going to be able to work with younger guys and help out more in practices. He’s going to be a little more involved there and certainly we’ll introduce him to the business side of things, be it working on immigration, preparing video or other things.”