The Kootenay Ice have relieved head coach Kris Knoblauch of his coaching duties effective immediately, announced Jeff Chynoweth, the president and general manager, in a press release on Friday.
No reasons or comments for the move were mentioned in the release, which said the Kootenay Ice club has "terminated Kris Knoblauch's contract effective immediately."
Phone calls to the Kootenay Ice office, Chynoweth and Knoblauch weren't returned by Friday afternoon.
This is the first termination of a head coach in Kootenay's 14-year history in Cranbrook.
It has been rumoured that Knoblauch was interested in pursuing a job in CIS hockey as head coach for the University of Alberta Golden Bears—the same institution where he played as a player—and that he is shortlisted with four other candidates.
He still had one year left on his contract with the Ice.
Knoblauch's assistant, Todd Johnson, also left the Ice franchise in April, taking the reins of the University of Regina Cougars.
Knoblauch has spent six years in the WHL in a coaching capacity, first as an assistant under Peter Anholt in Prince Albert for a year and three under Mark Holick with the Ice.
When Holick left for the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch, Knoblauch took over the helm of the Ice, guiding the team to its third WHL championship.