And The Waiting Is Over…Again!

Well, Trenton Devils interns, you can finally stop your search for Jeff Flanagan’s country songs.  It seems he’ll have plenty of time on his hands to make a few new albums…

(Chiefs PR) JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – The Johnstown Chiefs announced today that they have relieved Jeff Flanagan of his head coaching duties effective immediately. In the interim, Chiefs owner Neil Smith will serve as the head coach. Smith will be assisted by Jason Spence who will continue to serve as assistant coach and director of community relations. Chiefs general manager Bill Bredin will take on an expanded role to assist the coach staff.

Smith becomes the 10th head coach in the history of the only ECHL team still playing in its original city. For the past seven years Smith has served as the owner and governor of the Chiefs having purchased the club in June 2002. Smith, 55, brings a wealth of hockey experience, as a player and executive at the professional and amateur levels, to the Chiefs’ bench.

As general manager of the New York Rangers, Smith left his most indelible mark on the hockey world by leading the Original Six club to its first Stanley Cup championship in 54 years in the spring of 1994. He served as the Rangers’ general manager from 1989-2000 and was promoted to team president in 1992, becoming the first person in team history to hold both positions simultaneously. Following the 1991-92 and 1993-94 seasons, Smith was named Executive of the Year by The Hockey News and The Sporting News, respectively.

Smith began to earn his stripes in the front office as a pro and amateur scout for the New York Islanders in the early 1980s. From there he was hired by the Detroit Red Wings in 1982 and served as the director of scouting and the general manager of the AHL’s Adirondack Red Wings. In 1986 and 1989 the Red Wings won Calder Cup Championships under Smith’s direction.

In the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft the New York Islanders selected Smith in the 13th round (#204 overall) out of Western Michigan University. A defenseman, he earned All-American honors as a freshman with 31 points (4G, 27A) in 34 games. He went on to play two professional seasons splitting time between the NEHL, EHL, and IHL. Smith played 89 games for seven different teams totaling 44 points (5G, 39A) and 73 penalty minutes.

Smith will be behind the bench when the Chiefs take on the Trenton Devils on January 13 at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton. He replaces Flanagan who was 10-18-7 in his first season as a head coach in the ECHL.

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24 Responses to “And The Waiting Is Over…Again!”

  1. Shtikl Says:

    Killer’s job is perfectly safe. NOBODY ELSE WANTS IT.

  2. chiarams Says:

    But what if an AHL team wants Killer as their coach?

    Sorry – I almost managed to type that without bowling over laughing.

  3. Shtikl Says:

    Springfield Falcons might take him. Their record is 11-21-8-2 over 42 games; the T-Devils are 12-17-4-4 in 37 games. It’s not *much* of an improvement, but sometimes all it takes is one change…

  4. tdevils Says:

    I hate how the way hockey records are presented now makes it seem as though teams are better than they actually are. Trenton is 12-25. Sounds MUCH worse than 12-17-4-4, doesn’t it?

  5. chiarams Says:

    Yep – with all the freebie points you get from losing in OT/SO, finishing below .500 is even more of an embarrassment then it used to be.

  6. titans04 Says:

    Come on boys positive thoughts, positive thoughts.

    We’re fine only x number of points out of 2nd place. We’re playing our system, getting our chances, playing a full 30 minutes on average for the season. Two goalies that are 25th and 26th out of 30 that are ranked. That along with a weak blueline and an offensive that’s not good make for exactly what we’ve been given this year. 1-8 on OT/SO now that’s hard to do,

  7. Trentondevilsfan Says:

    Maybe Neil can call the old Oilers he brought to NY to win a Cup and ask for donations to keep the Chiefs solvent.

  8. Section 106, Row F Says:

    Positive thoughts????

    Hmmph….Maybe this will light the prodigal fire under Kowalsky and Williams and get them to realize that NOBODY IS IRREPLACEABLE.

    Maybe the positive impact will be more verbal interaction between the bench and the players….or at the very least, the bench and the zebras.

    Maybe Kowalsky and Williams will take the hint and start coaching!

  9. JB Says:

    Section 106, while Killer and Vinny haven’t done a great job by any means, the far bigger problem lies with the Lamoriellos. Scotty Bowman or Toe Blake or Herb Brooks could coach this team and it wouldn’t make much difference. The problem is the bad combination of players the Lamoriellos sent here.

    As for lighting fires under people, the Devils don’t want their players, coaches, or even janitors to be colorful personalities. The Lamoriellos have their precious system and want their employees to be bland automatons who play their particular role. Creativity is scorned. Passion is scorned. Anything that makes one stand out as an individual is scorned.

  10. Shtikl Says:

    Positive thoughts:

    1) you can go to Cheeburger Cheeburger and see Coach tonight. Share the love! I hear the shakes are good.

    2) Wednesday night is Dollar Dog Night! 😀

    3) you have 3 upcoming home games, 2 against the Everblades. You can see a team that *almost* has a winning record. Two goalies with lots of Experience, and Ernie Hartleib, who’s been around, like, forever.

    4) Chris Poli’s a +3…

  11. 1234 Says:

    give it up people, u will never reach second place ok or first. the devils are a joke not nj though but trenton is. there are better teams than you and you will never get high, just fire kowalsky, he stinks as a coach. face it last season’s playoffs are your last. oh yea bad fan base to all the other teams actually get over 3,000 or so or even higher and i saw one night you had 1321, that’s pathetic. just fold because the devils suck and so do their fans

  12. chiarams Says:

    Heh – Poli’s only a +3 because he’s been hurt…

    You’d think they’d try to market these games against the nEverblades with some sort of reminder that these two teams played a pretty heady Kelly Cup final a few years ago. But then they’d have to acknowledge the Titans actually existed.

    Then again, they acknowledged the Titans once last year, I forget what the results were…

  13. Shtikl Says:

    I think the Titans won 3-1.

  14. titans04 Says:

    JB nails it and I assume 1234 drinks the purple koolaid. He should be familiar with not making the playoffs and never having won anything meaningful in the post season.

  15. titans04 Says:

    Carter Lee – I just shot soda out of my nose. A move that will surely right the ship. Is there really any question that they’re basically going to mail it in. No need to shake things up that’s for sure. Any other Jtown throw aways we can bring in that are within a quarter tank of gas, no need to actually be any good.

  16. Shtikl Says:

    Cross your fingers and hope he does well. If he’s still around for the team autograph session, make sure to get him to sign your program.

  17. Shtikl Says:

    PS — I see Rob Smith, D, is still up for grabs.

  18. titans04 Says:

    Keep forgetting that the main and perhaps only goal is teaching guys to “play our system” which apparentlly means who cares if we win or lose. 12-25 really hits home. They’ve skated off the ice having lost twice as much as having gotten the two points.

  19. titans04 Says:

    Mike breakout the Graves or Messier sweater to pay homage to Mr. Smith.

  20. Shtikl Says:

    Mr. Lee is from Brick, maybe they’re seriously trying to build a collection of Jersey Boys.

  21. tdevils Says:

    Me + wearing my new Gaborik or Lundqvist or…uhhh Richter or Gretzky or McCarthy or Blackburn or Messier Oilers = my credential pulled.|

    Granted, I could just go as a fan…but uhhh, I’ll keep my $13.50.

  22. titans04 Says:

    The jersey boy that should have been the first guy they signed in the off season is from Hazlet. Jimmy I hope you have a huge smile on your face watching this team sontinuing to flounder away with no direction or hope of making something of this dreadful season. One thing for sure our family is smiling for you.

  23. Shtikl Says:

    I bet Jimmy’s not smiling to see the kids suffer. I bet he’d like to punch a few stuffed shirt a——s in the puss, though.

  24. 1234 Says:

    wow Carter Lee, yea he wont help. why do you think Chiefs released him, hmm uh because he stinks. how about this Lee getting released by a sucky team and then getting picked up by another sucky team. i’ll say it again you will not make playoffs or get above those 2 teams who are way better than you. how can’t you be winless against Reading? didn’t you like beat them alot last year. heck thats pathetic and so is the Trenton organization. have fun loosing games

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