Tag: George Gwozdecky


Gwozdecky leaves Lightning to pursue other opportunities


George Gwozdecky is leaving the Tampa Bay Lightning after spending two seasons as an assistant coach on Jon Cooper’s staff the club announced on Monday.

Gwozdecky joined the Lightning on Aug. 9, 2013 after serving as the head coach at the University of Denver for 19 seasons.

“Jon Cooper and I, along with the entire Lightning organization, would like to thank George and his family for giving us the past two years,” GM Steve Yzerman said in a statement. “He helped turn a young, unproven team into the Eastern Conference Champions and we appreciate his professionalism and dedication.”

The 61-year-old told the Tampa Bay Times that he’s been considering leaving the club for a while.

“I have nothing but great memories, great things to say about the team, about the organization,” Gwozdecky said. “It was a great learning experience.”

Gwozdecky will attend this week’s NHL Draft with the Lightning and be apart of the coaches association meetings before heading home to Denver.

Mike Chambers of The Denver Post reports that Gwozdecky could be an ideal candidate to replace Andre Tourigny in Colorado, but Gwozdecky says he has not heard from the Avs.

“Not leaning in any direction right now except to get some much-needed (rest and relaxation),” Gwozdecky told Chambers via text message. “I have not spoken with anybody in the Avs organization but I’m sure I would if they call.”

Tourigny announced his resignation last month.

Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning assistant Gwozdecky discusses sudden firing from college job

Garret Allen, Zac Larraza, George Gwozdecky

New Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach George Gwozdecky is getting his first taste of work in the NHL at age 60 and it’s not something he planned on doing.

This summer, Gwozdecky was suddenly fired as head coach at the University of Denver. After 19 seasons, two national championships, and numerous conference titles and NCAA tournament appearances he was out of work.

As Erik Erlendsson of The Tampa Tribune reports, it’s something he’s still smarting over.

“I don’t think you ever get over being jilted, whether it’s your first high school dance and the pretty girl in the corner says, ‘Get lost,'” Gwozdecky said. “That’s kind of tough to take the rejection. But certainly I’ve got a lot more positive feelings about our years and the people I worked with, the great players I worked with, than with one person’s decision.”

Sounds like his time in high school was eerily similar to mine.

With Gwozdecky now in Tampa, he’ll be reunited with one of his former players in Matt Carle. If that reunion works out for Carle, it’ll give a lift to Tampa’s defense and that’s something they could really use this season.

PHT Morning Skate: There’s panic in Winnipeg

Evander Kane

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

See what happens when you lose three in a row? People start to get nervous. Fortunately for the Winnipeg Jets, the Hurricanes and Capitals aren’t doing much to catch them in the Southeast. (Winnipeg Free Press)

Welcome back, Bobby Ryan. He snapped a six-game goalless streak against the Stars last night. (Orange County Register)

Former Devils like Ken Daneyko, Stephane Richer, Claude Lemieux, Slava Fetisov, and Sergei Brylin will play an alumni game for Sandy relief. Pretty cool. (Fire & Ice)

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff says they can be both buyers and sellers at the deadline. That’s not confusing at all. (Winnipeg Sun)

They’re ready for the rebuild in Buffalo after seeing Jordan Leopold and Robyn Regehr dealt the last two days. (Buffalo News)

Turns out Ryane Clowe’s impending trade wasn’t a distraction for the Sharks last night. Still, pretty crazy he’s getting the Jarome Iginla treatment. (CSNBayArea.com)

Big decisions await Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk at the trade deadline. (Dallas Morning News)

Speaking of Dallas, Brenden Morrow wanted to be a Star for life. D’oh… (DMN)

Finally, from the college ranks: The Denver Pioneers fired 19-year head coach George Gwozdecky. He’d only taken the team to 20 wins each of the last 12 years and has led them to two national championships. What a bum, right? Sheesh. (Denver Post)

Tonight on NBCSN: College doubleheader — The battle of Boston and a WCHA showdown

Wade Megan

It’ll be a night filled with college hockey action on NBCSN with a doubleheader that starts off with a classic rivalry out of Hockey East and winds up with a pair of classic programs in the WCHA facing off.

No. 1 Boston College (10-1-0) @ No. 9 Boston University (7-4-0) — 7:30 p.m. ET

One thing you can count on when these Commonwealth Avenue rivals face off is a game you won’t forget. With these two meeting each other in a home-and-home battle this weekend, it’s BU’s chance to defend home ice.

One other thing they’ll be trying to do is prevent BC coach Jerry York from breaking Ron Mason’s all-time wins record against them. York is two wins away from surpassing Mason’s record of 924 and BU’s Jack Parker would love to keep him from it. BC comes into tonight’s game winners of 10 straight.

Who to watch: There’s plenty in this game. BC brings a pair of highly-touted Calgary prospects in leading scorer Johnny Gaudreau and forward Bill Arnold. Also look out for forward Kevin Hayes (Chicago) and defenseman Patrick Wey (Washington). Undrafted seniors Pat Mullane and Steven Whitney will be factors as well. Goalie Parker Milner has been very good this season.

BU has firepower of their own in Panthers prospect Wade Megan (pictured) as well as defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (Boston). Undrafted sophomore Cason Hohmann has been a nice surprise. A pair of freshmen have been holding it down in goal with Matt O’Connor getting more work than Sean Maguire (Pittsburgh) and playing much stronger as well.

University of Wisconsin (1-7-2) @ No. 5 Denver University (9-3-0) — 10:05 p.m. ET

source: Getty ImagesThings haven’t exactly gone Wisconsin’s way this season. Winning just one out of your first 10 games isn’t the way any coach, much less Mike Eaves, wants to start a season. Injuries, NCAA distractions, and coaches taking a leave of absence have all contributed to their turmoil this year.

As for Denver, things were going smoothly until their hot run of five straight wins was interrupted last weekend getting swept by New Hampshire and Yale. They’ll have to put that behind them in their weekend battle with the Badgers lest they want to give a conference rival new life.

Who to watch: For Denver, the man to watch is Kings prospect Nick Shore. He’s the Pioneers’ leading point man with 17 (6g, 11a) and feeding undrafted senior Chris Knowlton, team goal leader with eight, seems to be his thing.

A lot of their production comes on defense with Joey LaLeggia (Edmonton), David Makowski, and Nolan Zajac leading the charge there. Goaltending has been curious for DU with Sam Brittain (Florida), Juho Olkinuora, and Adam Murray all seeing time in net.

Wisconsin will get freshman stud Nic Kerdiles (pictured) back from his NCAA suspension tonight. The Anaheim Ducks prospect comes in highly touted and should help spark a team that desperately needs a pick-me-up.

Kings prospect Michael Mersch will be worth watching as he has eight points this year, all goals. Sabres fans will want to keep their eyes on defenseman Jake McCabe and forward Brad Navin. Goalies Joel Rumpel and London Peterson have split time this year with Rumpel edging him out in play.

Back to Class: Denver’s bad weekend was a curious one

Chris Knowlton, Joey LaLeggia, David Makowski , Nick Shore

We’re taking you “Back To Class” for our roundup of the weekend’s action in college hockey. Look for more college hockey on NBCSN with a doubleheader this Friday night with No. 1 Boston College at Boston University (7:30 p.m. ET) and Denver vs. Wisconsin (10:00 p.m. ET)

Things were going so well for Denver University this season until they invited a pair of teams from New England to town this past weekend. The Pioneers were 9-1-0 and the No. 2 team in the country heading into action against Yale and New Hampshire.  But once things were over with on Saturday night, they’d lost 2-1 in overtime to the Bulldogs and blew a 4-1 second period lead to UNH before losing 6-4.

On their overtime loss to Yale, coach George Gwozdecky told Mike Chambers of The Denver Post, “Fortunately, we saw this coming. It was not a good week of practice. … Some of the plays we couldn’t make, whether it was the 5-on-3 power play or the other four power plays. It was awful. No other way to put it. If I had been sitting anywhere else, I would have been booing.”

And that was after their second loss of the season. If there’s a potential cure for Denver it comes in the form of this weekend’s visitors from the University of Wisconsin as the Badgers are just 1-7-2 to start the year and swept last weekend by Minnesota State.

While Denver will surely slip when polls come out later today, the question here for Gwozdecky’s team is if this is just a hiccup or a sign of problems on the way. With talent like Nick Shore (Los Angeles), Joey LaLeggia (Edmonton), Chris Knowlton, and David Makowski there’s plenty of balance in their attack.


Cornell dominates Frozen Apple: The Big Red took advantage of the big stage of Madison Square Garden handing a 5-1 beating to Michigan in front of a packed house. Without the Rangers to bring the roar to Broadway, Mike Schafer’s team helped keep hockey alive in NYC for at least one night. Here’s a great idea: How about a Frozen Four at MSG one of these years?

Best goalie you haven’t heard of: How about the play of Niagara junior Carsen Chubak? He’s 8-1-3 this season but tops in the country in goals against average (0.99) and save percentage (.970). That’s just 12 goals in 12 games played. Yes, he’s doing it against Atlantic Hockey competition but those numbers are astounding regardless, plus he’s doing it all coming off of knee surgery.

Hot freshman action: Staying in goal, how about Minnesota’s Adam Wilcox? Playing for the Golden Gophers is loaded with pressure as it is, but the first-year starter is pretending like it’s nothing by putting up numbers that make him the third best guy in the nation behind Chubak and Ohio State senior Brady Hjelle. If he keeps this up, they’ll build a statue for him by his junior year in the Twin Cities.

Scourge of Denver: The Pioneers’ loss to New Hampshire was almost single-handedly because of junior Kevin Goumas. While he assisted on the first two of teammate Grayson Downing’s three goals, he helped ice Denver scoring a natural hat trick of his own in the five point effort.

Reminder: There’s been plenty here about Denver, but Friday’s first game between No. 1 Boston College and No. 10 Boston University is about as good as it gets in the college ranks. Jerry York vs. Jack Parker. Johnny Gaudreau vs. Wade Megan. It’s must-see TV, even more so without the NHL to occupy our eyeballs.