The American Hockey League is the top feeder league to the National Hockey League. The AHL equals the NHL with the same quantity of franchises at thirty. They also mirror the NHL in another manner. The NHL claims ten head coaches out of thirty that played their junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League. The AHL also has ten *.
Rob Murray is in his third year as the head coach of the Providence Bruins and he was the team’s assistant coach the four previous seasons. Murray played three seasons in the OHL with the Peterborough Petes from 1984-85 to 1986-87. He played a total of 107 games during his NHL career with Washington and Winnipeg/Phoenix. A leader wherever he played in the AHL, Murray was captain of his team over ten seasons. He is sixth in all-time AHL games played with 1018 and second all-time in penalty minutes with 2940.
Rick Kowalsky played four seasons with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds from 1989-90 to 1992-93. In his final three seasons with the Sault, the team won the Robertson Cup twice as OHL playoff champion and the Memorial Cup once as Canadian champion. Rick is the head coach of the Albany Devils.
Jeff Daniels is the head coach of the Charlotte Checkers. Jeff played four seasons with the Oshawa Generals from 1984-85 to 1987-88. Daniels played 425 games in the NHL with Pittsburgh, Florida and Hartford/Carolina.
Mark French is our *. Mark is the head coach of the Hershey Bears, the reigning Calder Cup winners as AHL playoff champion. Mark did not actually play in the OHL but he was an assistant coach with the North Bay Centennials during the 1999-00 and 2000-01 season.
Randy Cunneyworth is the coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Randy played two seasons with the Ottawa 67’s, 1979-80 and 1980-81. In his final season in Ottawa, he scored 54 goals and 128 points. His NHL career spanned 866 games with six teams. He was captain of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators for four seasons. For eight seasons, from 2000-01 to 2007-08, he was the head coach of the Rochester Americans. This is his first year as head coach in Hamilton after a two year stint as assistant coach with the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers.
Claude Noel played just one season in the OHL, 1974-75, with the Kitchener Rangers. Noel is in his first year as head coach of the Manitoba Moose. He is in his twentieth year in coaching, spread over the NHL, AHL, IHL and ECHL. This past season, 2009-10, he was head coach of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets.
Dallas Eakins played four seasons with the Peterborough Petes from 1984-85 to 1987-88. He is in his second year as head coach of the Toronto Marlies and his sixth season in the organization. Eakins was drafted by the Washington Capitals in 1985 and although he didn’t play a single game with Washington, he has played 120 games with seven different teams over his NHL career.
Don Lever is in his second year as head coach of the Chicago Wolves. Lever played three seasons with the Niagara Falls Flyers from 1969-70 to 1971-72. In his final season, he was awarded the Red Tilson Trophy as OHL MVP on a 61 goal and 126 point performance over 61 games. He was the NHL’s third overall pick by the Vancouver Canucks in 1972. He played fifteen years in the NHL with Vancouver, Atlanta/Calgary, Colorado/New Jersey and Buffalo. He was captain of the Canucks for the 1977-78 and 1978-79 seasons. Lever is in his 23rdyear of coaching at the professional level.
Mike Yeo played four seasons with the Sudbury Wolves from 1990-91 to 1993-94. He is in his first year as head coach of the Houston Aeros. Yeo was captain of the Aeros for five years when they were in the IHL. In his final season playing for Houston, 1998-99, the team won the Turner Cup as IHL playoff champion. Mike has spent the past five seasons as assistant coach of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.
Ray Edwards is in his second season as head coach of the San Antonio Rampage. Edwards played four seasons in the OHL from 1987-88 to 1990-91. He began with the Sudbury Wolves and was moved to the Guelph Platers during his first season. He then followed the Platers as the franchise moved to Owen Sound for his third season. During his final season, he was traded to the Belleville Bulls. Ray had an eight year professional playing career in the ECHL.