CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are proud to announce that IceRays assistant coach Brad Flynn has been hired by the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). Flynn will join the Canadian Major Junior organization in June.
“Today is a bittersweet day for the IceRays organization as we are losing a good coach but more importantly a great person,” said IceRays general manager Pat Dunn. “It was a matter of time for him to move on as he is a very talented young coach with a bright future ahead of him. He grew up around coaching with his father, Danny. Apples don’t fall far from the tree. On behalf of the IceRays organization, we want to wish Brad and his family all the best in his future coaching career. We don’t only promote players to the next level but also broadcasters and now coaches. That’s what our business is all about, and we as an organization are proud of all the people that we move up.”
The New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, native departs the IceRays after spending one season with the team and his third of his coaching career. He was hired by the IceRays organization in April 2014 as head coach John Becanic’s first coaching hire following two seasons as an assistant coach with the Swan Valley Stampeders of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL). Throughout the IceRays’ historic season, Flynn was instrumental in helping the team achieve its best record in franchise history at 31-24-5 while running a power play unit that finished eighth in the NAHL at the end of the regular season and peaked atop the league midway through the season, the best position ever recorded by an IceRays junior squad.
His largest contributions came away from the games as a strong developmental guide focused on improving hockey skills and developing the IceRays as people away from the ice. Flynn routinely stayed after practices to help players continue to work on and improve specific hockey techniques and additional game preparation. Over the season, he became a strong resource for players off the ice for guidance both in hockey and lives away from the sport.
The hiring of Flynn comes as no surprise to Becanic.
“This is something I expected to happen when we brought Brad on to work with us,” said Becanic. “His passion is in coaching, and he is committed to bettering himself everyday. We are a developmental league, and we are proud of Brad and his opportunity. Personally, it is tough to see someone that made our organization better leave, but I am grateful for his loyalty and desire to make the IceRays better every day. He will be missed by our entire organization, and we wish him all the success.”
Flynn joins an Acadie-Bathurst organization rich in player and team success, including winning the QMJHL’s President’s Cup five times and developing a number of current and former NHL players including Patrice Bergeron, Roberto Luongo, and Mario Lemieux. He joins head coach Mario Pouliot along with newly hired goaltending coach Nathan Dunnett on Titan’s 2015-16 coaching staff. The front office is run by former Los Angeles Kings left-winger Sylvain Couturier, who is also the father of Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier. Titan finished sixth in the Maritime Division, and Brad will coach directly against his father Danny Flynn, who was recently hired as head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs in the same division.
Brad Flynn had this message to send to the IceRays community:
“First of all, I’d like to thank [owner] Tim Lange, Pat Dunn, and John Becanic for the opportunity to come to Corpus Christi. I would not have been able to get this position if it wasn’t for them along with our players. I’d like to thank the entire IceRays staff as well as our loyal fans for making both myself and [Director of Community Relations] Christine Lanari feel welcome in the community and in the workplace. They are the best fans in all of junior hockey. Corpus Christi does a great job of developing talent both on and off the ice. The NAHL is not only an exceptional league for players but also for coaches. If I didn’t come to Corpus Christi, I wouldn’t be in the position I am in now. I’m very excited to go to Acadie-Bathurst. It’s been a dream of mine since growing up and watching my father in major juniors to coach in the league. It’s one of the best development leagues for players and coaches. It’s going to be a new challenge but one I’m really looking forward to. Acadie-Bathurst is a great hockey community.”
The IceRays will be conducting a search for his replacement. There is no timetable for a replacement to be named.
The 2015 IceRays Pre-Draft Camp begins Friday, May 29 from the Taylor Sportsplex in Taylor, Mich. to prepare for the 2015-16 season. Get more information on camp details and stay current with the latest team news by visiting www.goicerays.com. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), and Vine (@goicerays).