There it is. The Dallas Stars have announced that inaugural Atlanta Thrashers coach Curt Fraser will be joining the staff of Glen Gulutzan next year. The last four years he has been the head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL. The Griffins are the AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings.
Fraser fits the mold of the veteran NHL coach the Stars were reportedly looking to add to the staff this off season perfectly. He comes with the added bonus of having worked in the exceptional Red Wings developmental system. The Stars have recently been working to form a more cohesive bond with the Texas Stars. Poaching the head coach of the AHL team in the most cohesive development system in the NHL will undoubtedly be beneficial regardless of where he is assigned.
The press release is after the jump.
Frisco, TX – Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk announced today that the club has named Curt Fraser as its assistant coach.
Fraser, 54, has spent the last four seasons as head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, the AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. While in Grand Rapids, he compiled a 146-130-40 record and is that franchise’s career coaching leader in regular season wins (146) and games behind the bench (316).
We feel that that the depth of Curt’s experience in the game speaks for itself, including a four-year run as an NHL head coach," said Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk. "That experience will be an invaluable asset to our organization, and his dynamic personality will be a great complement to Glen Gulutzan, Paul Jerrard and the rest of our team."
A native of Cincinnati, Fraser brings over two decades of coaching experience to the Stars, including as the first head coach in the history of the Atlanta Thrashers. He has also worked for the Milwaukee Admirals, Syracuse Crunch, Orlando Solar Bears, New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues. He also served as head coach of the Belarus national team for two seasons (2006-08), helping them qualify for the 2010 Winter Olympics and a ninth-place finish at the 2008 IIHF World Championships. In all, Fraser has coached over 1,000 games at various levels, including 279 NHL contests with the Atlanta Thrashers.
"You can tell that there is something special happening with the Dallas Stars, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of this franchise," said Fraser. "I’ve certainly experienced a lot in this game as both a player and a coach, and I am anxious to get to work with Joe Nieuwendyk, Glen Gulutzan, Paul Jerrard and the rest of the Stars organization."
Vancouver’s 22nd overall selection in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, Fraser played 12 years in the National Hockey League with the Vancouver Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota North Stars. In 704 career NHL games, he amassed 193 goals and 240 assists for 433 points with 1,306 penalty minutes. Having grown up with dual citizenship, Fraser played internationally for both Canada (1978 World Junior Championships) and the United States (1987 Canada Cup).
Fraser and his wife, Rhonda, are the parents of sons Casey, Jesse and Luke, and has been heavily involved with helping raise awareness and funds for diabetes research and education after being diagnosed with diabetes in 1983.