In the wake of announcing a contract extension for Head Coach Greg Gilbert this week, the team has done likewise with General Manager Jim Paliafito, adding one more year to his agreement. This move will extend Paliafito’s contract with the organization through the 2014-15 OHL season. The Milwaukee, WI native began his tenure with the Spirit in May, 2009 taking on the role as the team’s Head Scout, eventually adding the Assistant General Manager portfolio to his duties in 2010. Paliafito was then elevated to the General Manager’s chair in mid-December of 2011.
One of Paliafito’s first decisions as General Manager was to bring in current Head Coach Greg Gilbert, who has produced a 52-39-5-8 record behind the Spirit bench, to go along with his selection as the Ontario Hockey League’s Coach of the Year in the 2011-12 season.
Prior to joining the Spirit organization, Paliafito worked with the USHL’s Indiana Ice leading the team’s player personnel division and scouting department. He was with the franchise when they won the league championship in 2009. Paliafito’s diverse track record in sports also saw him work as an agent representing players from the National Football League including some of the finest talents of the late 1970’s and 80’s. Those players included Lawrence Taylor, Anthony Munoz, and Tony Dorsett.
Paliafito looks forward to the work ahead in building a championship with the Spirit. “I’m very excited about the future of the Saginaw Spirit and very appreciative of the trust Dick Garber and Craig Goslin have shown in me by extending my contract.”
Spirit President Craig Goslin adds that it has been a great week for the franchise with the extensions agreed upon by both Gilbert and Paliafito.
“On behalf of Dick Garber, we are glad to extend the contract of our General Manager Jim Paliafito. Jim has a history and experience at building champions and we feel that he has laid the foundation of an on ice product that will be very competitive in that regard. Jim has demonstrated excellence in many areas of the hockey operations for our franchise including the hiring of a top caliber coaching staff, handling of the priority selection draft, budget and fiscal management amongst many others. Our goal is to together build a champion and model franchise both on and off the ice and we look forward to working with Jim to continue to build on the strong foundation that he has already laid here with the Saginaw Spirit.“
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)