Friday, May 30, 2014

Indy hockey links 5/30: Coaches with Indy ties headed to USHL

Two coaches with Indianapolis ties are headed to USHL teams -- Des Moines and Fargo. Some ECHL news -- the Kelly Cup Final begins tonight in Alaska and some affiliation updates. 

Two USHL teams announced this week the hiring of coaches with ties to Indianapolis. 
  • The Des Moines Buccaneers are set to announce former IHL Ice player Dave Allison as their head coach. Allison played the final 34 games of his 10-year pro career with the inaugural Ice team in 1988-89, where he also served as an assistant coach. It's his second go-round in Des Moines, as he also coached the AHL Iowa Stars for three seasons. 
  • Indiana University grad and former Indiana Ice assistant coach Brad Lutsch has been hired as an assistant coach and director of player personnel for the Fargo Force. Lutsch was an assistant with the Ice for four seasons, from 2008-12, working with coaches Jeff Blashill, Kyle Wallack, Charlie Skjodt and Ron Gay. The Ice won the Clark Cup title in the first of his four years with the team. He had a 35-18-7 record with Rio Grande Valley in the NAHL this past season. Lutsch adds to a coaching staff in Fargo full of familiar faces -- former Checkers player and IHL Ice coach John Marks is the team's head coach, and former CHL Ice player Byron Pool is an assistant. 
  • Coaches with ties to Indy in different leagues: 
    • NHL: Darryl Sutter, Los Angeles (IHL Ice coach); Peter Laviolette, Nashville (Checkers player)
    • AHL: Bruce Cassidy, Providence (IHL Ice player & head coach); Roy Sommer, Worcester (Checkers player); Jeff Blashill, Grand Rapids (USHL Ice head coach); Kurt Kleinendorst, Iowa (Checkers player)
    • ECHL: Vince Williams, Orlando (IHL Ice player)
    • Canadian Major Junior: Mike Stapleton, Sault Ste. Marie (IHL Ice player); Ryan McGill, Kootenay (IHL Ice player); Ryan Huska, Kelowna (IHL Ice player)
    • USHL: John Marks, Fargo (Checkers player, IHL Ice coach); Scott McConnell, Chicago (USHL Ice assistant coach); Dave Allison, Des Moines (IHL Ice player & assistant coach); Danton Cole, USNTDP (IHL Ice player).
ECHL updates
  • The Kelly Cup Final begins Friday with the first of three games in Anchorage, Alaska as the Alaska Aces meet the Cincinnati Cyclones. A full preview is at Games in Cincinnati are scheduled for June 6, and if necessary, June 7 and 9. 
  • While the Fuel will align with the Chicago Blackhawks, there will be some other affiliation changes. The Elmira Jackals announced an affiliation agreement with the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo previously did not have a dedicated affiliate in the ECHL. Elmira had previously been affiliated with the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators. The Sens and Devils now currently do not have a direct ECHL affiliation (along with the Avalanche, Flyers and Sharks).  
  • Current ECHL affiliations 

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