With the recent addition of a former NHLer as head coach of the Fresno Monsters we thought we’d look at the other NHL connections in the WSHL, as well as the experience of other WSHL coaches.
WSHL coaches who played in the NHL
Fresno Monsters head coach: Kevin Kaminski
Played in the IHL, AHL, and NHL. Played junior hockey with the Western Hockey League’s Saskatoon Blades. He was drafted 48th overall in 1987 by the Minnesota North Stars. He scored 16 goals and had 25 assists during his IHL career. He scored 82 goals and 124 assists during his AHL career. He scored 3 goals and had 10 assists during his NHL career.
Southern Oregon Spartans goalie coach: Clint Malarchuk
Was a goalie in the IHL and NHL. Played junior hockey for the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winter Hawks. He was drafted 74th overall in 1981 by the Quebec Nordiques. He’s well known for a life-threatening injury when an opposing player’s skate hit the front ride side of his neck, it severed the carotid artery and injured the jugular vein and sheath muscle causing immediate massive blood loss. After 2 seasons with the Quebec Nordiques he went on to play 2 seasons with the Washington Capitals, 4 with the Buffalo Sabres, then played for the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (AHL) for a season before going to the International Hockey League (IHL) for five seasons, 1 with the San Diego Gulls and 4 with the Las Vegas Thunder. His career record was 141 wins, 130 losses, 45 ties, 12 shutouts, and an .885 save percentage.
Cheyenne Stampede guest coach: Bobby Holik
Had a solid, 10-season career in the NHL. Bobby was drafted 10th overall in 1989 by the Hartford Whalers. He played for Hartford for 2 seasons before going to the AHL for a game and then going back to the NHL with the New Jersey Devils for the remainder of his career, winning a Stanley Cup two of those seasons. He then went on to play for the New York Rangers for 2 seasons. After the lockout, he played 3 seasons for the Atlanta Thrashers. He returned to the New Jersey Devils for his last season. He scored 314 goals and had 337 assists in during his NHL career. He was a 2 time NHL All-Star. Bobby makes appearances in Cheyenne at practices as a guest coach, on the ice with the team.
Vail Powder Hounds head coach: Tom Younghans
Played in the CHL, AHL, and NHL. He had 8 goals and 5 assists in the CHL, 4 goals in the AHL, and 44 goals with 41 assists in the NHL. He played a combined 429 games with the New York Rangers and Minnesota North Stars. He represented the United States at the Ice Hockey World Championships in 1976, 1977, and 1978. He also represented the United States at the 1981 Canada Cup.
Las Vegas Storm head coach: Gabe Gauthier
Played in the CHL, ECHL, AHL, and NHL. He had 12 goals and 26 assists in the CHL, an assist in the ECHL, 57 goals and 122 assists in the AHL, and played 8 games in the NHL.
WSHL coaches who played in the AHL
Lake Tahoe Icemen head coach: Mickey Lang
WSHL coaches who played in the ECHL
Dallas Snipers head coach: Aaron Davis
Tulsa Jr. Oilers head coach: Marty Magers
Wichita Jr. Thunder head coach: Rob Weingartner
Colorado Jr. Eagles head coach: Steve Haddon
Utah Outliers head coach: Paul Taylor
WSHL coaches who played in the SPHL
Springfield Express head coach: Jeremy Law
Ogden Mustangs head coach: Jake Laime
Long Beach Bombers head coach: Chris White
WSHL coaches who played in the CHL
Oklahoma City Blazers head coach: Tyler Fleck
WRITTEN BY DEREK HARPER