Stothers out as Griffins coach
The AHL governors meeting starts in a few days. There's already a change for the Grand Rapids Griffins, howeve,r who have reacquired the right to hire and fire coaches. The Red Wings, specifically Jim Nill, were responsible for the coaching staff last season. Not sure why the change, but perhaps it came down to a difference in opinion on Mike Stothers, who coached the Griffins this past season. Stothers was with the Red Wings, as was assistant Jim Paek, throughout the playoff run.
Here's the Griffins' press release ...
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday announced that they have reacquired the responsibility for their coaching staff from the Detroit Red Wings for the remainder of the teams’ current affiliation agreement, which runs through the 2011-12 season. As part of this change, head coach Mike Stothers will not return for the 2008-09 season.
“After having the opportunity to sit down with the Red Wings and discuss where we are and where we are headed, both sides agreed to return to the previous formula that had worked so well for both franchises,” said Bob McNamara, Griffins general manager. The Griffins hired their own coaching staffs in all seasons prior to 2007-08, when a renewal of their affiliation with the Red Wings shifted that responsibility to Detroit.
The Griffins have begun the process of identifying candidates to fill their head coaching vacancy. Assistant coach Jim Paek, who joined Grand Rapids’ staff in 2005, will remain in his current role and begin his fourth season behind the team’s bench this fall.
The new head coach will join one of the American Hockey League’s premier franchises. Over the last nine seasons, the Griffins have the most wins (402, tied), regular season championships (two) and division titles (five) of any Triple-A hockey team.