The Tri-City Storm today named Jim Hulton as the team’s new head coach and general manager, becoming the sixth coach in team history.
He replaces Josh Hauge who was relieved of his duties on Monday. Hauge compiled a 46-62-10 record over parts of three seasons with the Storm, including 4-9-2 this season.
Hulton has coached at multiple levels of hockey, including most recently as an assistant in the NHL with the Florida Panthers for three seasons (2008-11). While in Florida, he coached a number of USHL alumni, including former Tri-City Storm player Bill Thomas (2002-04)
“I’m honored and excited to join the Tri-City Storm as the head coach,” said Hulton. “I’m excited to work with the group we have here and I’m really looking forward to creating a team that the people in the Tri-City area can be proud of. We want to be competitive, we want to be a hard team to play against, and first and foremost we want to set our sights on a playoff spot.”
Before his stint with Florida, Hulton served as a coach in the OHL for 10 seasons. He got his first OHL head coaching experience midway through the 1998-99 season, taking over the Mississauga IceDogs program, and continued there until the conclusion of the 1999-00 campaign. He also was head coach for the Belleville Bulls (2000-03), his hometown Kingston Frontenacs (2003-06), and returned to Mississauga for the 2007-08 season.
Hulton, 44, has coached multiple OHL players who have gone on to NHL careers such as Jason Spezza (Ottawa Senators), David Clarkson (Toronto Maple Leafs), Chris Stewart (St. Louis Blues), and Zac Rinaldo (Philadelphia Flyers).
“We found Jim by talking to some very high level contacts throughout the industry and found that everyone had glowing endorsements about him,” said Tri-City Storm owner Kirk Brooks. “In Coach Hulton, we’re getting a deeply experienced guy that has time on the bench in both the highest level of junior hockey in Canada and in the NHL with the Panthers. Hulton will use his vast experience to further develop the talent we have on this team, but more importantly, he will drive and engineer better performance.”
In addition, Hulton has international coaching experience with Hockey Canada. He was an assistant coach for the 2002 Canadian National U-18 team and the head coach for the National U-18 team in 2003, before helping to coach the Canadian National Junior team in 2004 and 2005. The 2005 team was victorious at the IIHF World Junior Championship, winning a gold medal.
As a player, Hulton appeared in 128 games in the OHL for the Kitchener Rangers and Kingston Raiders during parts of three seasons from 1986-89.
Since his time with the Florida Panthers, Hulton has resided in Kingston, Ontario with his wife and two sons.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)
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