The Vancouver Giants announced on Tuesday that Lorne Molleken has been named the sixth Head Coach in the club’s history.
“After last season, we felt it was very important to add a coach with WHL experience,” said Giants Executive Vice President and General Manager Scott Bonner. “We know we will have a young group which will create both highs and lows, and Lorne’s experiences will help guide them. He’s a career coach who has worked at the NHL, AHL and WHL levels, and the intangibles that he will bring should help our group take some needed steps forward.”
Molleken comes to the Giants with over 20 years of coaching experience. The Regina, Saskatchewan native most recently spent nine years behind the bench with the Saskatoon Blades from 2004-2013 while also serving as the club’s General Manager until 2014. Molleken also coached the Blades from 1991-1995, leading the team to the Western Hockey League Finals in 1992 and 1994. He was named the WHL’s Coach of the Year in 1994 and is one of only four men to amass over 600 career wins in the WHL.
“I want to thank Ron and Scott for the opportunity to coach the Vancouver Giants,” said Molleken. “I’m really looking forward to getting back behind the bench. It’s something that I’ve really missed, especially being away from the game last year. The opportunity to coach a franchise that is steeped in history and tradition is an honour.”
The 59-year-old has also coached extensively at the professional level. He served as the Head Coach of the Chicago Blackhawks for parts of the 1998/99 and 1999/00 seasons with a NHL head coaching record of 18-21-8. Molleken has also worked as an Assistant Coach in the NHL with the Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins and was a Head Coach in the AHL with both the Cape Breton Oilers and Hamilton Bulldogs.
In his playing days, Molleken tended goal in the WHL over parts of four seasons with the Swift Current/Lethbridge Broncos and the Winnipeg Clubs. He went on to play eight seasons of professional hockey in the IHL, AHL, CHL and NAHL, spending most of his time with the IHL’s Toledo Goaldiggers from 1981-1985.
(Vancouver Giants hockey club)