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Colin Birkas, GM and head coach of the Nanaimo Clippers, suspended

It's the second year in a row a Nanaimo head coach has been suspended.

It’s déjà vu for the Nanaimo Clippers with a head coach and general manager suspended late in the season for a second consecutive year.

The B.C. Hockey League club announced on Friday that Colin Birkas has been temporarily ­suspended from his positions.

The Clippers, in a statement, said they have been notified that Birkas was suspended “pending the completion of a third-party investigation into complaints filed under Hockey Canada’s discipline and complaints policy” and that “no further comment will be made until this matter is resolved.”

The club added Birkas “denies the allegations made against him” and that the ­Clippers are “co-operating with the investigation and working diligently to help resolve this matter expeditiously.”

Associate coach Bob Beatty and assistant coach Tyler Gow will coach and manage the club in Birkas’ absence.

Ironically, it was then assistant-coach Birkas who was raised to the level of Clippers head coach and general manager when Darren Naylor, who held those positions, was placed on league-mandated administrative leave late last season for allegedly breaching the league coaches code of conduct. The BCHL has still offered few details about that situation.

Birkas replaced Naylor and went onto lead the Clippers to the Coastal Conference playoff championship and into the BCHL final series against the eventual-champion Penticton Vees.

The ironies continue to pile up as the Clippers played the Vees on Friday night in Penticton and, without Birkas on the bench, lost 9-2.

Birkas has guided Nanaimo to the top of the Coastal Conference standings at 35-13-3 after Friday’s much-anticipated meeting against the Interior Conference and league-leading Vees (46-3-1).

Birkas did not return calls for comment by press time.

Naylor, meanwhile, was announced in September as head coach of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation Blizzard of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. The head coach of the Blizzard, however, is now listed as Doug Johnson.

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