Ice Flyers name new head coach

Photo source: Pensacola Ice Flyers

The Pensacola Ice Flyers have announced that Kevin Hassleberg will be the team's newest head coach.

The organization said in a press release Hassleberg is the fourth head coach in the franchise's history.

Below is their statement:

The Pensacola Ice Flyers, the 2016 Southern Professional Hockey League President’s Cup Champions, are excited to announce that Kevin Hasselberg has been named the fourth head coach in franchise history.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with such a respected and successful organization,” Hasselberg said. “The Ice Flyers have earned a culture of excellence and it is a privilege to be entrusted to carry on that tradition. I look forward to getting into Pensacola and getting right to work!”

Hasselberg is a native of Brooks, Alberta, and comes to the Ice Flyers after spending the past five seasons as the Head Coach/General Manager of the Battlefords North Stars in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. With Hasselberg behind the bench, the North Stars amassed a record of 174-84-24 while winning two division championships and a SJHL regular season championship in 2015-16.

“I’m very excited about the new chapter we’re about to begin with Kevin leading our team,” Ice Flyers owner Greg Harris commented. “Everyone I talked to about him said the he’s a true pro, and after spending a lot of time with him on the phone and in person, it was clear to see how well he fits into our culture here in Pensacola.”

Following the 2015-16 season, Hasselberg was named the SJHL’s Coach of the Year after leading the North Stars to the organization’s best winning percentage in franchise history (0.776) with a record of 43-11-4. He was also a finalist for the Canadian Junior Hockey League Coach of the Year award.

Hasselberg has graduated countless players to NCAA Division I and III programs, as well as sending players to play in the Canadian university ranks. This includes sending six graduating players to college programs and one to an NHL camp this past season. “Kevin has a lot of key connections with college programs all across North America,” Harris added. “The combination of his college and pro connections with our existing contacts will benefit him greatly in the recruiting process to build a championship team,” Harris added.

“I take great pride in developing players to be successful at the next level, and this will continue in Pensacola.” Hasselberg stated. “My focus is to win, to get good people here representing the Ice Flyers organization and the city of Pensacola, and to develop and promote our players.”

Hasselberg began his coaching career in 1999-00 as an assistant coach for the Olds Grizzlys of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, and then was named the Head Coach of the Grizzlys in 2004-05 where he spent six seasons. In the 2010-11 season he served as an Assistant GM and Assistant Coach with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the British Columbia Hockey League before joining the North Stars.

In addition to Hasselberg’s work with Olds, Alberni Valley, and Battlefords; he has twice coached at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. In 2010 he served as an assistant coach for the Canada Pacific team and in 2014 he was an assistant for the Canada West team.

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