Van Ryn named new Road Runners head coach - Tucson News Now

Van Ryn named new Road Runners head coach

GLENDALE, ARIZONA – Arizona Coyotes President of Hockey Operations and General Manager John Chayka announced today that the Coyotes have named Mike Van Ryn as the head coach of the Coyotes’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Tucson Roadrunners. In addition, John Slaney and Steve Potvin have been named assistant coaches for the Roadrunners. Mark Lamb and Mark Hardy will not be returning next season.

“I’m very pleased to name Mike as our new head coach for the Tucson Roadrunners,” said Chayka. “Mike has great knowledge of the game and is an excellent communicator. He did a great job working with and developing our top prospects in Tucson last season and together with John and Steve, will form a very good coaching staff for us.”

Van Ryn joined the Coyotes on August 24, 2016 as the team’s Development Coach and was responsible for working with the Coyotes top prospects in Tucson (AHL) last season.

Prior to that, the 38-year-old native of London, Ont., served as the head coach of the Kitchener Rangers (OHL) in 2015-16. Van Ryn led the Rangers to a 44-17-5-2 record and the fourth-most points in the OHL (95). Van Ryn was previously an associate coach with Kitchener from 2013-15. The former NHL defenseman collected 30-99-129 and 260 penalty minutes (PIM) in 353 career games with the St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Potvin also joined the Coyotes organization on August 24, 2016 as the club’s skills coach. Potvin’s main focus was player assessment and individual skill improvement. The 42-year-old native of Montreal, QC., joined the Coyotes after a professional career that included 478 professional American Hockey League (AHL) and top European league games. The former forward registered 31-44-75 in 158 career AHL games. Potvin collected 133 goals and 184 assists in 350 games over 10 seasons in Europe.

Slaney joined the Coyotes as an assistant coach on July 8, 2015 and served in this role the past two seasons. Prior to that, he spent the previous four seasons as an assistant coach with the Portland Pirates (AHL), the Coyotes former AHL affiliate. The 45-year-old native of St. John's, Newfoundland joined the organization in 2011-12 after finishing his playing career with Plzen HC (Czech) following the 2010-11 season.

Leaving his mark as one of the best defensemen in AHL history, Slaney joined the Pirates coaching staff with a wealth of accolades. He was a two-time recipient of the Eddie Shore Award (given annually to the AHL’s top defenseman) with the Philadelphia Phantoms in the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons, and also won a Calder Cup championship with the Phantoms in 2005. Slaney became the AHL's all-time leading scorer as a defenseman in 2005-06 until his mark (519 career points) was surpassed by Oklahoma City's Bryan Helmer. He also posted 14-13-27 in 29 games with Portland during its 1993-94 Calder Cup championship season.

Slaney collected 22-69-91 in 268 NHL games with the Washington Capitals (1993-95), Colorado Avalanche (1995-96), Los Angeles Kings (1995-97), Phoenix Coyotes (1997-98), Nashville Predators (1998-99), Pittsburgh Penguins (1999-00) and Philadelphia Flyers (2001-02; 2003-04). He also played in 14 games for the Capitals (1993-94), Penguins (1999-00), and Flyers (2001-02) during the Stanley Cup Playoffs where he recorded two goals and registered an assist.

Tucson will open the season at home against the San Diego Gulls on Saturday, October 7 at 7:05 p.m. 

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