Jeff Chynoweth, General Manager of the Kootenay ICE Hockey Club, today announced the Club has hired Ryan McGill as the sixth bench boss in franchise history. McGill, who has signed a three-year contract, was Head Coach of the Edmonton / Kootenay ICE from 1997 – 2002 and led the club to the 2000 WHL Championship and 2002 Memorial Cup.
“Today is a special day for our organization as the Head Coach who first developed the winning culture and tradition that has been synonymous with our program for the past 14 years has come full circle. A Head Coach of Ryan McGill's caliber and experience will be invaluable to our Hockey Club as we move forward. During his time in the American Hockey League Ryan developed many current National Hockey League players and that experience will come in handy as we ice one of the youngest teams in the WHL this season,” continued Chynoweth.
“Being away from the game of hockey for the past year has made me appreciate it even more. Dealing with players today is much different than it was in 2002, but just like being a parent you learn to adapt and to adjust to each individual situation. The WHL is a great League with a lot of great coaches, but my familiarity with the Chynoweth family made the decision to return to Major Junior Hockey an easy one for myself and my family,” commented Ryan McGill.
Ryan McGill led the ICE to a 174-133-43 career regular season record during his first tenure with the Club, including back-to-back 100 point seasons (1999-2000 and 2000-2001), four playoff appearances, two conference titles, two WHL Championships (2000 and 2002) and one Memorial Cup Championship (2002). He was also named the Western Conference Coach of the Year in 2001-2002 and posted a 42-19 career playoff record (.689 winning percentage).
McGill left Kootenay following the 2002 Memorial Cup and spent seven years in the AHL as Head Coach with the Hartford Wolf Pack (2002-2005) and Omaha Ak-Sar Ben Knights / Quad City Flames (2005-2009). He was promoted to Assistant Coach with the Calgary Flames in June 2009 and spent two years with the NHL club.