The Missouri Mavericks are in need of a new head coach.
After two seasons at the helm, Richard Matvichuk is leaving the Mavericks after agreeing to coach the Prince George Cougars, a Canadian major junior ice hockey team in the Western Hockey League based in Prince George, British Columbia.
Matvichuk, a former NHL star, was the coach as the Mavericks won the Brabham Cup title as ECHL regular-season champions with a 52-15-5 record (109 points). Their 29 home wins tied for the second most in a single-season in ECHL history.
Matvichuk, who won a Stanley Cup title with the Dallas Stars in 1999, won last season’s ECHL Coach of the Year award.
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“I’ve been blessed in both my playing career and coaching positions with great teams to be part of,” Matvichuk said in a news release. “The Mavericks’ players and organization are some of the finest in the ECHL and I know they will continue on the path to a championship. A special thanks to team owner Lamar Hunt Jr. and general manager Brent Thiessen for their unwavering support and kindness over these last two seasons”
Hunt said Matvichuk will be missed.
“When I purchased the Mavericks In January of 2015 I knew we had possibly a special coach in place with a great pedigree as an NHL player,” Hunt said in a news release. “Over the last 16 months I saw him work through the adversity of a losing season and leverage the relationships the organization had put in place to bring our franchise back to perhaps as good as it has ever been on the ice.
“We will miss his intensity and the thoughtful planning he did to bring our roster and franchise back to life as a viable contender in the ECHL. When coaches are winners others take notice and though we are disappointed that he will be leaving the Missouri Mavericks we also understand that with success comes greater rewards and opportunities. We wish him and his family the best and thank him in a heartfelt manner for his dedicated service to our team and franchise.”