Monday, December 3, 2012

Stapleton relieved of coaching duties; Keefe named Hounds new Head Coach

Press Release

Soo Greyhounds General Manager Kyle Dubas announced early Monday morning that Mike Stapleton was relieved of his coaching duties and SHELDON KEEFE has been named the team’s new Head Coach.  He becomes the 18th different Head Coach in Greyhounds team history

"This was extremely difficult decision. Over the past 20 months working with Mike we have gone through a lot of ups and downs together, and become very close friends. I would like to thank Mike for his hard work and dedication to our program over his time here. These young men here have learned a lot from Mike, and when they look back on their time being coached by Mike they will realize that they have learned a lot about developing as a young man and a hockey player” began Dubas.

The 32-year old Keefe joins the Hounds after spending the past six seasons as GM/Head Coach of the Pembroke Lumber Kings (CCHL).  During that time the Brampton, ON native led the Kings to a league record five consecutive championships (2007-2011) accumulating a regular season record of 265-76-20 along with a 67-22 post-season mark.

He became the fastest coach in league history to 200 wins and also guided the Kings to the 2007 and 2011 Fred Page Cup Eastern Canadian Championship and 2011 RBC Cup Canadian Junior A National Championship.

Sheldon was selected by Hockey Canada as an Assistant Coach of Team Canada East for the 2012 World Jr. A Challenge and was named Head Coach for the 2011 Canadian Jr. A Top Prospect game.

"In every conversation that I had regarding a replacement for Mike, whether it was with NHL scouts or executives, Hockey Canada personnel, or his competitors at the Junior A level one of the first names that kept coming up with regards to 'best coach available' was Sheldon Keefe” commented Dubas.

"As a young coach, Sheldon has had unprecedented success in Pembroke. He is a proven winner as a head coach and feel that his experiences with Pembroke and Hockey Canada will allow him to have success at the Major Junior Level."

"Sheldon's Pembroke teams are renowned for being well prepared and well structured while playing a high-pressure, disciplined, puck possession style. Given that body of work, I felt Sheldon was the best coach to have our team reach it's full potential” concluded the Hounds GM.

Keefe played two seasons in the OHL between the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors and Barrie Colts.  In 1998-99 he was named the OHL Rookie of the Year and later advanced to the Mastercard Memorial Cup with Barrie in 1999-00. 

After being drafted 47th overall in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning he spent 125 games in the NHL before ending his playing career in the AHL in 2004-05.

The Hounds newest Head Coach will join the team on Tuesday in Sault Ste. Marie in preparation for the team’s upcoming three-game roadtrip.


Assistant Coaches Joe Cirella, Seamus Kotyk and Mike Oliverio will remain with the club.

 (Nathan can be reached at

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