The Hershey Bears lost their head coach Scott Allen to the NHL a few weeks ago, when the Washington Capitals promoted him to replace the outgoing Scott Arniel. That left an appealing vacancy for the Capitals affiliate, one they have filled with an equally experienced coach. Todd Nelson, who spent the last four seasons as an assistant with the Dallas Stars, has been hired as the new head coach in Hershey.
It was in 2017 that Nelson led the Grand Rapids Griffins to a Calder Cup championship but his success in the minor leagues started long before that. In 11 seasons as the head coach of an AHL or UHL team he has never missed the playoffs or had a record below .500. With two championships in the UHL with the Muskegon Fury, the Calder Cup win just a few years ago, and even some head coaching experience at the NHL level with the Edmonton Oilers, it’s hard to argue with the choice.
Fans of the team may even remember him from his playing days when he spent one season with the Bears and racked up a career-high 50 points in 70 games. The former defenseman appeared seven times at the NHL level, including six (two regular season, four playoff) games for the Capitals where he scored his first (and only) NHL goal.