Jun 20, 2010 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
A fighter not a finesser
Mark Holick is more of a fighter than a finesser.
A quick glance at his stats from four seasons as a minor-league right winger paint a vivid picture of a pugnacious hockey player:
In parts of four campaigns with Adirondack, Louisville and Dallas, Holick skated in 142 games netting 30 goals, making 43 assists. He also earned a whopping 635 penalty minutes.
That scrappy player has since emerged as an award-winning coach over 16 hard-fought seasons.
Last week, the Syracuse Crunch introduced Holick as the team’s new head coach. He replaces Ross Yates, who helmed the home team from 2006 through 2010.
Holick’s hiring was engineered by Bob Murray, general manager of the Anaheim Ducks which takes over this year as the Crunch’s NHL parent club.
Anaheim is the local American Hockey League club’s third affiliate in 16 years. In its first six seasons, the Crunch was overseen by the Vancouver Canucks, while the Columbus Blue Jackets hung on for the last ten years.
Murray and Crunch President Howard Dolgon also welcomed a new assistant coach at a June 15 press conference at downtown’s War Memorial.
Mike Stapleton replaces former assistant coach Trent Cull, recently hired as head coach of the Sudbury Wolves in the Ontario Hockey League. Yates is apparently still seeking work for 2010-11.
Holick, 41, was named the Western Hockey League’s Coach of the Year after leading the Kootenay Ice to a 43-24-3-2 record (W-L-OTL-SOL) during the 2009-10 season in British Columbia.
Over the last three seasons the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native compiled a 120-75-10-11 record while leading Kootenay to the WHL playoffs all three years.
Before being hired by Kootaney, Holick spent 13 seasons coaching in both the British Columbia Hockey League and Alberta Junior Hockey League. Prior to coaching, he played in 165 WHL games and then spent parts 1989-94 with Adirondack (AHL), Louisville (ECHL) and Dallas (CHL), appearing in 142 games.
Stapleton, 44, spent the last four years coaching in the Ontario Hockey League with Sault Ste. Marie and Erie. The native of Sarnia, Ontario is a veteran of 697 NHL games and the son of longtime NHL and World Hockey Association star Pat Stapleton.
While most of the Crunch roster will be filled with unfamiliar faces this fall, one fan favorite has been signed to an AHL contract by the Ducks. On June 16 enforcer Jon “Nasty” Mirasty inked a one-year deal to return to the Crunch.
“I’m pumped,” Mirasty said. “The Crunch have the best fans in the AHL.”
The 28-year-old left winger will return to the War Memorial this fall for his fourth season. Since 2007, Mirasty appeared in 166 Crunch games compiling one goal, six assists, but he’s proudest of his 677 penalty minutes.
The Crunch will open 2010-11 with a home-and-home series against the Lake Erie Monsters on Oct. 8 at Lake Erie and Oct. 9 vs. Lake Erie at the War Memorial.
For season ticket info, call 473-4444, or visit the Crunch’s War Memorial office, at 800 South State St.; syracusecrunch.com.
Crunch coach No. 5
Mark Holick is the fifth head coach in Crunch history. He follows in the footsteps of Jack McIlhargey (1994-99), Stan Smyl (1999-00), Gary Agnew (2000-06) and Ross Yates (2006-10).