Hershey Bears identify former Capital Todd Nelson new head coach

The Hershey Bears have their new coach, and longtime Capitals followers might keep in mind the identify.

Former Capitals defenseman Todd Nelson would be the twenty eighth coach of the Hershey Bears in franchise historical past.

Nelson, who was born Could 15, 1969, is coming into his twentieth teaching season after retiring as a participant in 2002. Nelson most not too long ago served as an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars for the previous 4 seasons. On the AHL degree, Nelson led the Grand Speedy Griffins to a Calder Cup championship in 2017.

“I’m extraordinarily enthusiastic about working with the Hershey Bears and Washington Capitals,” Nelson stated in a press release. “Having performed at Hershey, I’m conscious of the wealthy historical past of the group and am thrilled to return to the membership. The Bears and Capitals try for excellence, and it’s an honor to be a part of these premier organizations. class. I am unable to wait to drop the puck for the season quickly and I am unable to wait to get began.”

In accordance with the Capitals, Nelson has received six championships in his profession: one as a participant, one as a participant/assistant coach, one as an assistant coach and three as a head coach.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Todd Nelson to Hershey as head coach,” stated Bryan Helmer. “Todd had an completed teaching profession with a number of championships. He is a coach decided to win and has performed a pivotal function in growing an extended listing of gamers who’ve certified for the Nationwide Hockey League. Having performed for Todd myself, I understand how thorough he’s and he actually is a coach who will get the very best out of his gamers. We’re lucky to have Todd on the helm, and we’re thrilled to finish his group with an skilled and adorned group of coaches.

Becoming a member of Nelson behind the bench will probably be assistant coach Nick Bootland, assistant coach Patrick Wellar, affiliate goaltending coach Juha Lehtola and video coach Adam Purner. Notably, all of Hershey’s employees behind the bench are actually all former Bears gamers.

The press release below of the Washington Capitals has extra info on the hirings:

Bears identify Todd Nelson twenty eighth head coach in franchise historical past

Assistant Coach Nick Bootland, Affiliate Goaltending Coach Juha Lehtola and Video Coach Adam Purner be a part of the employees

(Hershey, PA – Aug. 11, 2022) – The Hershey Bears introduced in the present day that Todd Nelson has been named the twenty eighth head coach in franchise historical past. Moreover, the membership introduced the hiring of assistant coach Nick Bootland, affiliate goalkeeping coach Juha Lehtola and video coach Adam Purner. The bulletins have been made by Hershey Bears vp of hockey operations Bryan Helmer and Washington Capitals senior vp and normal supervisor Brian MacLellan.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Todd Nelson to Hershey as head coach,” stated Helmer. “Todd had an completed teaching profession with a number of championships. He is a coach decided to win and has performed a pivotal function in growing an extended listing of gamers who’ve certified for the Nationwide Hockey League. Having performed for Todd myself, I understand how thorough he’s and he actually is a coach who will get the very best out of his gamers. We’re lucky to have Todd on the helm, and we’re thrilled to finish his group with an skilled and adorned group of coaches.

Nelson, 53, brings intensive teaching expertise and championship pedigree to Hershey. The veteran bench supervisor has greater than twenty years of expertise within the United Hockey League, American Hockey League and NHL. The native of Prince Albert, Sask., has spent the previous 4 seasons as an assistant coach for the NHL’s Dallas Stars and returns to Hershey after skating one season with the membership throughout his enjoying profession, donning the Chocolate and White through the 1995-96 marketing campaign. .

“I am extraordinarily excited to work with the Hershey Bears and Washington Capitals,” Nelson stated. “Having performed at Hershey, I’m conscious of the wealthy historical past of the group and am thrilled to return to the membership. The Bears and Capitals try for excellence, and it’s an honor to be a part of these premier organizations. class. I am unable to wait to drop the puck for the season quickly and I am unable to wait to get began.”

Throughout his completed skilled profession, Nelson has received six championships, together with one as a participant, one as a participant/assistant coach, one as an assistant coach, and three as a head coach. Nelson led Grand Rapids to a Calder Cup championship in 2017, turning into the third individual in AHL historical past to win the Calder Cup as a participant (1994, Portland), assistant coach (2008, Chicago) and head coach, becoming a member of former Bears Bob Woods and Mike Stothers on this unique listing.

Throughout Nelson’s tenure as AHL head coach, he labored eight seasons with Oklahoma Metropolis (2010-15) and Grand Rapids (2015-18), posting a document of 309-189-16-47 (.607) within the common season. Moreover, Nelson is 42-31 (.575) in 73 profession Calder Cup playoff video games. As head coach, he helped his group qualify for the Calder Cup playoffs within the eight seasons he labored within the AHL.

Nelson was named AHL All-Star Basic coach in 2012 and 2017. With Grand Rapids, he helped 24 Griffins advance to the NHL, together with present Washington Capitals Nick Jensen and Anthony Mantha.

Within the NHL, Nelson was named interim head coach of the Edmonton Oilers on December 15, 2014, guiding the membership to a 17-22-7 document within the remaining 46 video games of the season. He additionally has expertise as an assistant coach with Atlanta (2008-10) and extra not too long ago with Dallas (2018-22). Nelson was on Rick Bowness’ employees in 2019-20 because the Stars reached the Stanley Cup Ultimate.

Total, Nelson has a document of 475-269-48-47 (.623) as knowledgeable head coach. He spent three seasons (2003-06) as head coach of the UHL’s Muskegon Fury, profitable back-to-back Colonial Cups (2004, 2005). He received his first Colonial Cup with Muskegon within the 2001-02 season as a participant/assistant coach.

Hershey’s listing has a number of hyperlinks to Nelson. Defenseman Dylan McIlrath was on the 2017 Grand Rapids championship group and coached by Nelson for 2 seasons with the Griffins. Ahead Kale Kessy performed two seasons for Nelson at Oklahoma Metropolis from 2013 to 2015. Moreover, Helmer performed for Nelson with the Barons for 2 seasons from 2011 to 2012, captaining Nelson with the membership.

Throughout his 12-year enjoying profession, Nelson appeared in three NHL common season video games, together with two for the Capitals, scoring his solely NHL objective with Washington on April 12, 1994 in opposition to Winnipeg. He additionally appeared in 4 playoff video games with the Capitals within the 1994 Stanley Cup Playoffs. With the Bears in 1995-96, Nelson had the most efficient season of his enjoying profession, recording 50 factors (10g, 40a) in 70 matches.

“Todd brings a wealth of teaching expertise to Hershey and has demonstrated all through his profession his means to develop younger gamers and assist them transition to the NHL,” MacLellan stated. “We’re additionally delighted to welcome Nick, Juha and Adam to Hershey. We consider they every have the expertise and data to assist our younger gamers within the group.

Nelson’s teaching employees at Hershey will embody the trio of recent signings, in addition to returning assistant coach Patrick Wellar and energy and conditioning coach Mike Wagner.

Bootland, 44, joins the Bears after spending the previous 13 seasons as head coach and director of hockey operations for the ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings. He took over behind the bench for the Okay-Wings in 2008-09 when the membership was a member of the Worldwide Hockey League, and continued with the group in its transfer to the ECHL. He had a training document of 481-366-82 in 929 profession IHL and ECHL video games with Kalamazoo, serving to the membership qualify for the playoffs 9 occasions. Whereas on the helm, he guided the Wings to an look within the 2011 Kelly Cup Finals and through his tenure the group received 4 division championships and one convention championship.

Throughout his enjoying profession, Bootland skated for 4 seasons with the Bears from 1998 to 1903. The ahead performed 208 profession video games with the Chocolat et Blanc, posting 42 factors (15g, 27a) and 350 penalty minutes . The Shelburne, Ont., native spent the final three seasons of his profession in Kalamazoo as group captain. In 2006, he led the Okay-Wings to a UHL championship, incomes Colonial Cup playoff MVP honors with 16 factors (10g, 6a) in 13 playoff video games.

Together with Nelson, Wellar and Bootland, all of Hershey’s employees behind the bench on sport night time are former Bears, marking the primary time this has occurred since 1989-90 (head coach Kevin McCarthy, assistant coach Al Hill).

Lehtola, 37, joins the Bears from his native Finland, the place he labored within the nation’s prime league, Liiga, for HPK Hameenlinna as a goalkeeper coach and video coach since 2016. He was a part of the membership HPK 2018-19 which received the league championship. , and the previous goalkeeper was a product of HPK’s junior program throughout his enjoying days.

The native of Hameenlinna, Finland was chosen because the goaltending coach for Finland on the 2021 and 2022 World Junior Championships. From 2011 to 2013, Lehtola labored alongside Washington Capitals goaltending coach, Scott Murray, with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League. He served as Murray’s assistant goalkeeper coach and in addition held the Video Coach title through the 2012–13 marketing campaign.

Purner, 46, has spent the previous two seasons working as a video coach for the New Jersey Devils AHL affiliate (Binghamton 2020-21, Utica 2021-22). The Glens Falls, New York native additionally has expertise with USA Hockey, serving because the Girls’s Nationwide Crew video coordinator on the 2022 IIHF Girls’s World Championship. Moreover, Purner was a goalie video analyst for the St. Louis Blues in 2020 and labored for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League as a hockey video coordinator from 2016-2019, and held the Video Coach title in 2019-20.

The brand new teaching employees will make their debut because the membership enters its eighty fifth season, introduced by Penn State Well being, in opposition to the Utica Comets at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15 at GIANT Middle. Followers can be a part of the season ticket holder neighborhood with plans beginning at lower than $12 per sport. Select your video games and seats with full and partial plans accessible now. Click on right here to search out out extra.

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