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Bruins sign Biette to one-year extension

Karry Biette will get the chance to see firsthand whether or not his gamble will pay off.

Karry Biette will get the chance to see firsthand whether or not his gamble will pay off.

The Estevan Bruins announced Monday that the club had agreed with its head coach and general manager to a one-year contract extension, through the end of the 2010-11 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season.

"Have we sat down and nailed out where we want the hockey club to be in November or at Christmas break or the deadline? That hasn't been done yet," said Bruins president Jeff Pierson. "I think we're just committed to putting a very competitive team on the ice and I'm glad we have Karry here to do that."

Biette rolled the dice on his tenure with the Bruins when he traded most of his top players in December and January, after the team won eight of its first 29 games last season.

The Bruins went on to finish last in the league, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2005-06.

But the team's executive looked favourably upon Biette's trade deadline deals and his recent commitment to establish a more aggressive scouting department, as well as the relationships he has repaired and established with the local business community.

Pierson also pointed to Biette's work negotiating with the city on behalf of the Bruins as they prepare to move into a new arena in January, in addition to the board's own desire for stability in the front office.

Biette was hired in October 2005 to replace the fired Kelvin MacKay and has a win-loss-tie record of 112-155-3 as Bruins coach.

"If Karry Biette got fired but the Estevan Bruins had a great season next year, you'd still have a happy guy," said Biette. "I'm here firstly and foremost for this organization to move forward.

"I've had opportunities myself to move on in hockey in coaching, and I've chose to stay here in Estevan and help this franchise grow. And the decisions I've made are solely based on the health and for the goodness of this franchise.

"Calculated risk? Absolutely. But, again, I felt it was one that was right for this franchise and I think we'll see that in the next little while."

Biette was encouraged by the example set by the La Ronge Ice Wolves, who won the SJHL championship Sunday after finishing last in 2008-09, and by his own team's improved slightly improved performance after the Jan. 10 trade deadline.

The Bruins won three of their last eight games and four of their final 11 despite icing a roster that more closely resembled a jigsaw puzzle with a few of the pieces missing. This stretch included wins over La Ronge and the powerhouse Kindersley Klippers, after Estevan won just 14 of its first 47.

"That was something as a coaching staff we had to show this executive, that this group of players can be motivated and we can compete night in and night out with what we had," said Biette. "And going forward that's a good sign."

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