KENT, July 22, 2013 — Seattle Thunderbirds general manger Russ Farwell today announced Matt O’Dette has joined the team as an assistant coach.
“We are excited to add Matt to our coaching staff,” said Farwell. “He has a good mix of experience as a defenseman and a coach and he will provide a nice compliment to our coaching staff.”
“It's an honor to be a part of the Seattle Thunderbirds organization. I would like to thank Steve and Russ for the opportunity to work alongside them and the rest of the great T-Bird staff. I'm excited to be a part of and add to the great team culture in place,” said O’Dette.
“I have extensive experience in teaching and developing young players, and in particular defensemen. My experience as a player at the Major Junior and professional level will help me relate to these young players and to act as a mentor to these young athletes not only at the rink, but away from it as well.”
“The T-Birds are a team on the rise and I look forward to contributing to the developmental process already in place. I'm excited and can’t wait to get started on helping the team take the next step and build on the playoff experience from last season.”
O’Dette was the head coach and director of hockey operations for the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL for the last two seasons. Prior to joining the Condors he was an assistant coach and the assistant general manager of the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL.
He played 663 professional games over 14 professional seasons in the AHL and ECHL with the Roanoke Express (ECHL 1996-97), Saint John Flames (AHL 1997-2000), Quebec Citadelles (AHL 2000-02), Hamilton Bulldogs (2002-03), Fresno Falcons (ECHL 2004-09) and Falcons/Thunder (ECHL 2009-10). He also appeared in 69 playoffs games and was a member of two Calder Cup Final teams.
O’Dette played 183 career games as a defenseman in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He was selected by the Calgary Flames in the seventh round, 157th overall, in the 1994 NHL Draft.
O’Dette will be the head instructor at the T-Birds Hockey School taking place at ShoWare Center from August 5 to August 17. Fans can sign up for the 2013 Hockey School through the T-Birds online store.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)