SPRINGFIELD HOCKEY WELL REPRESENTED IN THE NHL
FALCONS BLOG - By: Damon Markiewicz - June 18, 2009 - 12-noon
With the off-season now officially in full swing for everyone throughout pro hockey, vacant head coaching jobs around both the NHL and AHL are being filled at a rapid pace. On June 15, the Minnesota Wild hired former Springfield Indians defenseman Todd Richards to be their second head coach in franchise history. Richards is another example of a young coach who worked his way up through the AHL level and is now receiving his opportunity to display his coaching skills at the highest level possible. Current Pittsburgh Penguins head coach and former Falcons forward Dan Bylsma was an assistant coach on Richards' staff with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Prior to the start of the 2008-09 season, Richards was named an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks and Bylsma was promoted to head coach in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Everything has worked out well for both as Bylsma was later promoted to Pittsburgh and recently won the Stanley Cup, while Richards is now the head man in his home state of Minnesota.
Richards and Bylsma are two more examples of former AHL coaches who have earned the fruits of their labor and are perfecting their craft in the NHL. Richards and Bylsma join Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau as Springfield Hockey and AHL Alumni who have now graduated to the NHL and they are providing some fresh blood behind the bench in the show.
CURRENT NHL COACHES WHO EITHER PLAYED OR COACHED IN SPRINGFIELD
Todd Richards - Head Coach Minnesota Wild (Was a member of the 1991 Springfield Indians Calder Cup Championship Team)
John Stevens - Head Coach Philadelphia Flyers (Scored last goal in Indians history and first goal in Falcons history. Captain of 1991 Indians championship team)
Dan Bylsma - Head Coach Pittsburgh Penguins (Played for the Falcons during 1998-99 season)
Bruce Boudreau - Head Coach Washington Capitals (Holds Springfield Hockey record for points in a season with 116 in 1987-88)
Todd McLellan - Head Coach San Jose Sharks (Was a teammate of Boudreau from 1987-89 with the Springfield Indians)
Brad Shaw - Asst. Coach St. Louis Blues (Falcons Assistant Coach during 2002-03 season)
Marc Bergevin - Asst. Coach Chicago Blackhawks (Member of both 1990 and 1991 Springfield Indians Calder Cup Teams)
Dave Farrish - Asst. Coach Anaheim Ducks (Falcons head coach from 1997-2000)
Joel Quenneville - Head Coach Chicago Blackhawks (Last coach in Springfield Indians history, 1993-94 season)
Geoff Ward - Asst. Coach Boston Bruins (Named Falcons head coach on May 15, 2007, but never coached a game)
Tom Fitzgerald - Asst. Coach Pittsburgh Penguins (Played in Springfield from 1988-90 and a member of 1990 Calder Cup Championship Team)
Kelly Buchberger - Asst. Coach Edmonton Oilers (Served as head coach of the Falcons during 2007-08 season)
Kevin McCarthy - Asst. Coach Carolina Hurricanes (Head coach of Falcons from 1995-1997 collecting a record of 83-47-23)
- The Falcons will be playing in their second Ball Hockey Challenge of the off-season on Thursday, June 25 when they take on the Westfield Youth Hockey Coaches from 6:30 - 7:30 pm at Amelia Park. Former Falcons forward Scott Daniels and former broadcaster and current St. Louis Blues radio voice Chris Kerber are scheduled to appear. Falcons assistant coach Gerry Fleming will also be back in the lineup.
- Most of the Falcons staff will be taking part in the AHL's marketing meetings next week starting on Monday and concluding on Wednesday. Team reps from the majority of the AHL teams will be in town to take part and there will be break out sessions in the areas of tickets sales, corporate sales, web site, communications and game night operations.
- A special thank you to BIG Y for their continued support of Falcons hockey and signing up once again to be a corporate partner through the 2010-2011 season.
- Look for Screech to take part in the Inter-Church Softball All-Star Game on Tuesday, June 23 at Szot Park in Chicopee. Screech is scheduled to visit around 7 pm and will join former Boston Red Sox great Bernie Carbo and Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster in the festivities.
We will continue to update you with info from around The Nest! Don't forget Father's Day this Sunday!
Talk to you soon,