Soo sets up staff for success

Players, Coaches and Support Staff.

All three aspects of the Soo Greyhounds Program arrive in Sault Ste. Marie looking to fullfill their dreams.

And whether they are simply getting their feet wet for an eventual advancement in the hockey world, business world or life-in-general, the Greyhounds have proven to be an instrumental stepping stone to success for members of their club.

The organization has always been dedicated to providing the best experience in all aspects of it’s operations, while providing the necessary tools and experience to make those steps possible.

And it shows.

Since 2014 alone, sixteen (16) members of the organizations business and/or hockey operations staff has used their time with the ‘Red and White’ to advance their career.

Today we look at those individuals who have made that move onto the NHL or AHL immediately from Hounds over the past seven years:

Greyhounds 2011-12 through to, and including 2013-14 (3 seasons)
Now:  General Manager (Toronto Maple Leafs – NHL)
He was someone who ate, slept and breathed Greyhounds Hockey from a very young age.

Looking up to his grandfather Walter, whom was a six-year coach of the Greyhounds in the mid-to-late sixties, Kyle’s path started assisting the Training Staff in his younger years, later became scout before taking on the big role at the age of 25.

On April 15, 2011 – the Sault Ste. Marie ON product was named General Manager of the Greyhounds.
A position he would hold for three seasons.

Leaving his hometown, and his hometown team he starting his climb with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.

Starting as Assistant GM of the NHL Club, and GM of their AHL Affiliate the Toronto Marlies, Dubas was given the title of the Leafs GM in May of 2018.

Greyhounds: 2012-13 through to, and including 2014-15 (3 seasons)
Now:  Head Coach (Toronto Maple Leafs – NHL)
In the midst of the 2012-13 Ontario Hockey League season, Sheldon Keefe became the 18th different Head Coach in Greyhounds team history.

Arriving in the North after six seasons as GM/Head Coach of the CCHL’s Pembroke Lumber Kings, Keefe spent three seasons with the Greyhounds (2012-13 through to and including 2014-15).

During that span he compiled a regular season win/loss record of 121-41-3-10 (0.729 winning %) while guiding the club to back-to-back West Division titles.

Each of Keefe’s Greyhound teams advanced to the post season but fell in Round 1, 2 and 3 respectively during his OHL tenure.

At the conclusion of the 2014-15 season, Sheldon was named OHL and CHL Coach of the Year.

He reunited with the aforementioned Dubas with MLSE in June of 2015 when he was named Head Coach of the Toronto Marlies.
After four complete seasons there, Keefe was named Head Coach of the Leafs in November of 2019.

Greyhounds:  2013-14 to, and including, 2014-15 (2 seasons)
Now:  Assistant Coach (Toronto Marlies – AHL)
Fresh off a playing career in the European Elite Hockey League, AJ was named Assistant Coach with the Greyhounds on July 10, 2013.

AJ joined the Hounds most recently after serving a pair of seasons as a player/coach before making the jump to full-time coaching ranks in the OHL.

The second-generation MacLean to stand behind the bench, he stayed with the Greyhounds for a pair of seasons before being hired by MLSE as an Assistant Coach with the AHL’s Marlies where he continues today as an Assistant Coach.

Greyhounds:  2013-14 (1 season)
Now:  Goaltending Coach (Toronto Marlies – AHL)
While his tenure with the Greyhounds lasted only a single season, Jon joined the Greyhounds with vast experience with netminders, in particularly then-Greyhound and now Ottawa Senator, Matt Murray.

Elkin was hired by the Greyhounds in August 2013 with a resume highlighted with stops with the NHL’s Calgary Flames and OHL’s Peterborough Petes along with the operation of his very own ‘Jon Elkin’s Goalie Schools’.

After his single season in the Lock City, Elkin joined the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes in 2015-16 where he spent three seasons before settling into his current role with the AHL’s Marlies.

Greyhounds:  2015-16 through to, and including, 2017-18 (3 seasons)
Now:  Associate Head Coach (Utica Comets – AHL)
He was one of a select few whose hockey came full circle.

After manning the blueline for the Greyhounds for four seasons (1990/91-1993/94) including three consecutive Memorial Cup appearances, Drew was named Head Coach of the club on July 10, 2015.

He joined the club having spent the previous three seasons as an Assistant Coach with the Midwest Division’s Owen Sound Attack.

Over the course of his three seasons, his lead with the Greyhounds amassed an overall regular season record of 136-50-13-5, good for a .711 winning percentage.
All three seasons his Hounds clubs made post-season berths, won two West Division titles and one Hamilton Spectator Trophy.

In his final season behind the Greyhounds bench, the Hounds had a franchise year with 55 wins and 116 points and he was subsequently named the OHL and CHL Coach of the Year.

In June of 2018 he was named head coach of the now erstwhile San Antonio Rampage (AHL).

Greyhounds:  2016-17 and 2017-18
Now:  Director of Player Development (Tri-City Storm – USHL)
Joining Head Coach Drew Bannister and Associate Coach Joe Cirella, Ward was hired by the Greyhounds on August 3, 2016.

Ryan joined the Greyhounds following two years working as Video Coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Marlies while his work with MSLE followed work with the University of Rhode Island and a 4-year stint as the Video Co-Ordinator with the NHL’s New York Islanders.

The 2018-19 season saw the Massachusetts native moved onto a Video Coach position with the erstwhile San Antonio Rampage of the AHL before his current role in the USHL.

Greyhounds:  2012-13 through to, and including, 2017-18
Now:  Associate Coach (Stockton Heat – AHL)
Nine years ago (July 12, 2012), Joe Cirella was named Assistant Coach with the Soo Greyhounds.

The former NHL 1st Round pick spent 14 years playing in the NHL before retiring in 1997.

Post-playing Cirella spent one year as an Assistant Coach with the NHL Florida Panthers before working in the OHL nine years primarily with the Oshawa Generals before joining the Hounds.

Cirella was part of a Soo coaching staff that helped the club advance to the OHL playoffs each season.

In the off-season of 2018 (July 4), Joe was named Assistant Coach of the Stockton Heat (AHL) where he still remains today.

Greyhounds:  2014-15 to, and including 2017-18 (4 seasons)
Now:  Dallas Stars (Assistant Video Coach – NHL)
A member of the Greyhounds Business and Hockey Operations staff, Rodell spent four seasons with the Greyhounds holding dual roles.

Along with handling Video and Advanced Analytics for the Hounds, Rodell was also responsible as the club’s Manager of Ticket Sales within the GFL Memorial Gardens.

At the conclusion of the 2017-18 season Matt re-joined the the Dallas Stars organization where he had worked back in 2013-14 as an Inside Sales Representative.

In 2018-19 he was their AHL affiliate’s Video Co-Ordinator in Texas before joining the NHL club one year later as Assistant Video Coach.

Greyhounds:  2019-20
Now:  Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (AHL)
CJ tenure with the Greyhounds lasted a single year (2019-20) after joining the club following his previous stint with the Mississauga Steelheads (OHL).

While with the Greyhounds CJ worked closely with the Greyhounds coaching staff overseeing all video and technology needs while managing the analytics and team statistics.

This past January CJ was named the Video Coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL.

Greyhounds:  2016-17 through to, and including, 2019-20
Now:  St. Louis Blues (NHL)
For four seasons (2016-2019) dan was Goalie Coach with the Soo Greyhounds.

A Port Hope, ON native, Dan joined the Greyhounds following extensive experience with goaltenders at the Junior, University and academy level.

A career that with the Conneticut Crease Elite Goalie school he would later open CT Crease Canada and later work with St. Lawrence University Saints (NCAA Div. 1), UOIT Ridgebacks (CIS) and Coburg Cougars (OJHL) before joining the Hounds.

Earlier this week ‘Stewie’ was officially named to the St. Louis Blues organization where his current focus will be working with the talent on the AHL’s Utica Comets.

Additional members of the Greyhounds’ organization who made the step from the OHL’s most northern franchise and into the AHL/NHL include:

Greyhounds Goaltending Coach
To:  Stockton Heat (Goaltending Coach – AHL)

Greyhounds Central Ontario Area Scout
To:  Toronto Maple Leafs (Amateur Scout – NHL)

Greyhounds Soutwestern Ontario Scout
To:  Carolina Hurricanes (Pro Scout – NHL)

Greyhounds Athletic Therapist
To:  Toronto Maple Leafs (Director of High Performance – NHL)

Greyhounds Director of Player Personnel
To:  Toronto Maple Leafs (Amateur Scout – NHL)

Greyhounds Director of Player Development
To:  Toronto Maple Leafs (Assistant to Director of Player Personnel – NHL)

Greyhounds Equipment Manager
To:  Vancouver Canucks (Equipment Assistant – NHL)

Greyhounds Equipment Manager
To:  Belleville Senators (Assistant Equipment Manager)

More News
OHL Announces End of Return to Play Plans for 2020-21 Season
23 hours ago
OHL Statement on Return to Play Plans for 2020-21 Season
6 days ago
VIDEO; We Were Ready!; 2021 Memorial Cup Presentation Video
6 days ago
Lukenda ‘absolutely committed’ to bid for future Memorial Cup
7 days ago
CHL announces cancellation of the 2021 Memorial Cup
1 week ago
Verbeek looking forward to ‘fresh start’
1 week ago