Edmonton, AB - Edmonton Oil Kings General Manager Bob Green today announced a change in leadership of Edmonton’s WHL franchise. Head Coach Steve Pleau and Assistant Coach Rocky Thompson will not return to their positions behind the Oil Kings bench for next season and will be leaving the organization.
“These are always the most difficult decisions, particularly when they involve people you respect and work very closely with,” said Bob Green. “Steve and Rocky worked very hard over the past three years and they first and foremost should be thanked for their hard work and the time they dedicated to the Kings. However I feel we need to make a change prior to heading into next season.”
Pleau has been with the team since its reinsertion to the WHL in 2007-2008. Pleau guided the team to an overall record of 67-116-12-21 including a berth in the playoffs in just their second season in the league.
Thompson has also been with the team since 2007-2008. The former WHL player was in his first coaching assignment following his transition from playing professional hockey in the National Hockey League and American Hockey League.
Green, who is attending the 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship in Belarus, will begin the process of hiring a new coaching staff upon his return to Edmonton.
Edmonton will play host to the 2010 WHL Awards on April 28, and WHL Bantam Draft on April 29. Both events will be held at the Fantasyland Hotel at West Edmonton Mall.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)