Thunder hockey team extends contract of coach Cameron

The Wichita Thunder have parted ways with hockey coach Malcolm Cameron.
The Wichita Thunder have parted ways with hockey coach Malcolm Cameron. Eagle file photo

The Wichita Thunder on Wednesday extended the contract of head coach Malcolm Cameron.

This spring, Cameron led the Thunder back to the postseason for the first time since 2013. Their playoff run ended April 23 against the Colorado Eagles.

"I look forward to building on our playoff run this past year," Cameron said. "I know the experience and disappointment (of losing in the playoffs) will motivate the returning players."

Cameron's next game will be the 700th of his ECHL career. This season, he led the Thunder to their most wins (34) and most home victories (22) since 2013 and most since joining the league.

"We're happy to have Malcolm back behind the bench again next season," general manager Joel T. Lomurno said. "Our goal when we hired Malcolm was to get the Thunder back to the playoffs and to bolster our relationship with NHL clubs, both of which we have achieved. I'm confident that he can guide us to another level next year and put together a nice playoff run."

Cameron spent eight seasons as a head coach in the ECHL with Cincinnati, Long Beach, Texas, Florida and Elmira before going to the Western Hockey League. His teams reached 40 or more wins in four of those eight seasons and qualified for the playoffs seven times, advancing past the first round in each of their seven appearances.

In Wichita, Cameron helped the Thunder secure their first NHL affiliation with the Ottawa Senators. They affiliated with the NHL's Edmonton Oilers in 2017-18 and hope to continue that partnership in the future.

"The relationship we've built with the Oilers over the past 12 months has been beneficial to our on-ice product, credibility with agents and in recruiting," Cameron said. "I'm looking forward to further conversation with them regarding extending our agreement.

"Even though the season just ended, we've been evaluating our year-end roster, looking at available free agents and new players that will turn pro next season."

Cameron is is fifth all-time in ECHL wins (372), sixth in games coached (699), 12th in playoff wins (36), and ninth in playoff games coached (74).