Today, the Sudbury Wolves' twitter account announced that associate coach and former Maple Leaf Drake Berehowsky has accepted a head coach position with the Orlando Solar Bears -- as head coach for the second time. Berehowsky was coach of the Solar Bears in their innaugural season in the ECHL, 2013 - 2014.
The Sudbury Wolves website issued the following statement:
The Sudbury Wolves organization announce that Drake Berehowsky has accepted the position of head coach in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) with the Orlando Solar Bears. The organization wish to thank Drake for his commitment to developing the young players and establishing himself in the community over the past year and a half.
"Drake has done a good job with developing our players early this season," said GM Barclay Branch, "Our intention is to find an associate coach who will continue to work closely with the development program we are implementing. At present we are currently engaged in numerous discussions to replace Drake."
Current head coach Anthony Noreen was hired to replace Vince Williams last season, but failed to take the Solar Bears to the playoffs in his first season coaching professional hockey. This season, his record is 5-5-1-0 in eleven games played, and the team sits at forth place in the South division.
The Solar Bears have posted a press release about the position change on their website:
The Orlando Solar Bears announced today that Anthony Noreen has been relieved of his duties as the team’s head coach. The team has named former head coach Drake Berehowsky as his replacement. Assistant coach John Snowden will remain with the Solar Bears in the same capacity.
"It is always an extremely difficult decision to part ways with a head coach. We want to thank Anthony for his service to the team, which he always approached with energy and passion, and we wish him success in his future endeavors," Solar Bears Chairman & CEO Joe Haleski said. "At the same time, we are extremely excited to welcome Drake back as the new head coach of the Solar Bears."
Berehowsky, 44, returns to the Solar Bears for his second stint as the team’s head coach. Berehowsky guided Orlando during its Out of Hibernation season in 2012-13, highlighted by a 20-11-1-4 record on home ice. The native of Toronto, Ontario had been the associate coach of the Ontario Hockey League’s Sudbury Wolves since 2015 and from 2013-15 he had been the head coach of the Western Hockey League’s Lethbridge Hurricanes.
"I’m excited to be returning to Orlando," Berehowsky said. "The season is still very young, and I see a lot of potential with the roster that has been assembled."
Prior to his first stint with Orlando, Berehowsky was the assistant coach of the American Hockey League’s Peoria Rivermen from 2009-12.
Berehowsky enjoyed a 549-game career in the NHL from 1990-2004 with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators, Vancouver Canucks and Phoenix Coyotes. Known for his rugged play as a defenseman, Berehowsky amassed 149 points (37g-112a) and 848 penalty minutes in the NHL. Berehowsky was a first-round selection of the Maple Leafs (#10 overall) in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.