Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes are pleased to announce the hiring of Rich Preston as the team’s new General Manager and a Head Coach. Preston was introduced to the Lethbridge media by Hurricanes President Brian McNaughton at a press conference this afternoon.
Preston is a former WHA and NHL player with 388 regular season NHL games and 285 points (133G, 152A) with the Chicago Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils. Preston began coaching in 1991 as an assistant coach with the Blackhawks under Mike Keenan and was part of the Blackhawks 1992 Campbell Conference Championship. In the ‘95-‘96 season, Preston signed on as the Head Coach of the WHL’s Regina Pats. While there he helped the team from a 26-43-3 record the year before his hiring; to a 37-33-2 record in his first season as Head Coach. He then followed this up in ‘96-’97 with a record of 42-27-3, at the time, the franchise’s first 40 win season in over a decade. While there he also helped in the development of future NHL players Kyle Calder, Brad Stuart and Derek Morris to name a few.
Preston has spent the last 11 seasons in the NHL as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames. He was an assistant coach with the Flames in 2004 and helped to guide that team to the Stanley Cup Finals. In 15 seasons and 1198 games, his overall record in the NHL as an assistant coach is 564-461-134-39. Preston brings with him a wife; Laura of 28 years and three boys; Troy, Lucas and Thomas.
“The candidates who applied for the GM and Head Coaching job left us in the enviable position of choosing from several qualified individuals. This also meant that we were forced to go through a very thorough and extensive interview process.” said McNaughton “Myself and the Board of Directors are pleased with our final decision and have the utmost confidence and respect for Rich Preston as a leader, coach and individual.”
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)