The OHL’s Oshawa Generals today named Derek Laxdal the 35th head coach in team history via a press release. Laxdal, 56, had spent the last eight seasons in the Dallas Stars organization. Before he was promoted midseason to the Stars’ NHL bench as an assistant coach in 2019-20, Laxdal was the head coach of the AHL’s Texas Stars from 2014-15 to 2019.
The news means that Dallas will indeed undergo a complete overhaul of their core coaching staff from last season. The organization replaced a pair of other assistants this offseason, hiring Alain Nasreddine and Steve Spott to replace Todd Nelson and John Stevens. For Laxdal, the news marks a return to the CHL after eight years, last serving there as the head coach of the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings from 2010 to 2014. His resume includes an ECHL Kelly Cup win in 2007 and ECHL Coach of the Year award in 2010 as the head coach of the Idaho Steelheads, a pair of WHL championships with the Oil Kings in 2012 and 2014, and a Memorial Cup championship in 2014.
- The AHL’s Toronto Marlies announced via Twitter today that captain and former NHLer Rich Clune has announced his retirement from professional hockey after 16 seasons, moving to a player development role with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Clune hadn’t played in the NHL since 2015-16 saw him play 19 games with the Maple Leafs, but since then, he’d been an alternate captain or captain for the Marlies, providing an important leadership voice and mentoring the Leafs’ prospects. Clune joins Toronto’s player development department headed by Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser.
- Former NHLer Rob Klinkhammer is returning to the Chicago Blackhawks organization as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, per a team release. The news marks Klinkhammer’s retirement after he spent the last six seasons playing in the KHL. Klinkhammer, an undrafted free agent, played for Rockford from 2008-09 through 2011-12 and made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks in the 2010-11 season.