Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston has announced a restructuring of the team’s hockey operations, with the hiring of Karl Taylor as assistant coach and the promotions of Kyle Gustafson and Matt Bardsley to new roles.
Taylor spent six seasons as a head coach in the East Coast Hockey League from 2005-11 with the Reading Royals (2005-08) and Ontario Reign (2008-11), compiling a record of 208-181-44. Both the Royals and Reign were affiliated with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings during Taylor’s time with each team. He then spent the 2011-12 season as an assistant coach with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.
Taylor will join returning assistant coach Kyle Gustafson on the coaching staff. Gustafson will assume greater responsibilities in his position as assistant coach, and will be behind the bench at all games this season after doing much of the team’s in-game video work in previous seasons.
In addition, Matt Bardsley has been promoted to assistant general manager. Bardsley has been with the Winterhawks for 15 years, beginning his career as an area scout and working his way up through the organization.
“Karl is a highly-regarded coach who will be a great asset for our organization,” said Johnston. “I’m also pleased that Matt and Kyle will be taking on additional responsibilities. Both have been integral parts of our success in building a championship team.”
The changes come after former Assistant Coach and Assistant General Manager Travis Green resigned last month to accept the position of head coach with the AHL’s Utica Comets.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)