The St. Louis Jr. Blues, members of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), are proud to announce that head coach J.P. Beilsten has been offered and accepted an Assistant Coaching position with the St. Louis Chill. The Chill is a newly formed Minor Professional team that plays in the Central Hockey League.
Beilsten is a Jr. Blues alumni that lead the team for 3 seasons to an overall record of 117-32-7-14 in that span. The team also represented the NA3HL in one of the two seasons the league participated in the Tier III Jr. Hockey National Championships, and lost in the finals of the year the league did not send a representative.
Co-General Manager Brian Gardner has named Chris Flaugher as the teams head coach. Says Gardner, “This is a great opportunity for J.P. and we wish him well in this endeavor. Like our desire to develop and promote players, we have the same goal for our coaches.” He continued, “Having Chris serve as the Head Coach made sense due to the quick turnaround of the job offer to J.P. We felt that we wanted as little disruption to the team as possible.”
Assistant Coaches Ken Daleo, Greg Anderson, and Mike Hazelton will remain with the club as will goaltender coach Mark Staub. Gardner said, “We believe that having 3 assistant coaches that played for the Jr. Blues, with a lot of experience with the club and league as players and coaches was important. We can maintain the continuity of the program and not miss a step.”
Flaugher is no stranger to the program either. He, too, was a former player and captain for the Jr. Blues before playing four years at St. Mary’s University in Winona, MN. After completing his collegiate career, Flaugher returned to St. Louis to attend the St. Louis Police Academy and worked as an assistant coach with the Jr. Blues. After several years he resigned in order to become the head coach for the Affton Americans CSDHL Midget Major team where he recently won a National Championship.
Ryan Kretzer, another Jr. Blues alumni, will replace Flaugher as the head coach of the Affton CSDHL Midget Major team. Kretzer enjoyed a successful career in the NAHL with the Springfield Jr. Blues and the USHL with the Lincoln Stars before playing a couple of seasons at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. After playing several years of minor professional hockey, Kretzer returned to St. Louis and became an assistant coach with Flaugher.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)