Wednesday, August 5, 2009

T-Birds hire Bechanic as Assistant Coach

It was the big announcement teased all day on the Seattle Thunderbirds' Facebook page, through Twitter updates and online at the KING 5 Hockey page. And judging by the number of hits my article received, many T-Birds fans tuned in to "NorthWest Sports Tonight with Paul Silvi" on NWCN at 9:30 last night.

Some fans who contacted me yesterday afternoon had some idea just what was going to come down. But others were taken completely by surprise, when the opening shot showed Paul sitting with T-Birds Head Coach Rob Sumner and former Everett Silvertips Head Coach John Bechanic. John, you may recall, was fired at the end of the season, and replaced by former NHL player and coach Craig Hartsburg.

John Bechanic is joining the T-Birds immediately as Assistant Coach.

If you missed the interview, just click here to watch it.
To see the behind-the-scenes video shot by the T-Birds, click here.

I've also posted the official Seattle Thunderbirds news release below. I'm interested to hear what you think about the hiring.

Official Seattle Thunderbirds News Release:
KENT -- Seattle Thunderbirds general manager Russ Farwell this evening announced the team has hired John Becanic as an assistant coach. The announcement was made on Northwest Sports Tonight with Paul Silvi on NWCN.

Becanic was the head coach of the Everett Silvertips for the last two seasons. He compiled a 69-66-7-5 record in his two years behind the Tips bench. Becanic was the associate head coach with Everett for four years prior to being promoted to head coach position.

"It is not often that you get to add a coach of Becanic's caliber," said T-Birds head coach Rob Sumner. "From the many games we have gone up against each other in the last few years, I have always appreciated his abilities behind the bench. I know his experience will benefit our team."

"I am looking forward to working with the entire T-Birds coaching staff and front office," said Becanic. "This is a great opportunity to work with one of the top organizations in the Western Hockey League."

The T-Birds coaching staff now consists of head coach Rob Sumner, assistant coaches Turner Stevenson, Jim McTaggart and Becanic and goalie coach Paul Fricker. Becanic, who lives in Snohomish, will join the T-Birds immediately.

The T-Birds open the 2009-10 season on Friday, September 18, against the Silvertips at 7:35 p.m. at ShoWare Center. They're also set to face off in a charity game at 7:05pm on Saturday, September 12 at ShoWare. Money raised at that game will benefit the Kent School District.

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