Indiana team hires ex-NHL defenseman Jeff Brown as coach
Indianapolis, IN, United States (4E Sports) – The Indiana Ice have hired former NHL defenseman Jeff Brown as general manager and head coach, hoping he could turn the team around after a slow start in the United States Hockey League.
“You’ve got to play as a team, work hard and at the end of the day you’ve got to have fun,” said the 46-year-old Brown, who played 747 games in a 13-year NHL career with seven teams.
He scored 154 goals and 431 assists during his playing career with the Quebec Nordiques, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals.
Brown has a four-year coaching experience in the junior North American Hockey League under his belt. He had three finals berths and one championship.
“If they work hard,” Brown said, “I’m a players’ coach.”
With a 7-16-1 record, the Ice are seventh place out of eight teams in the USHL’s Eastern Conference.
Owner Paul Skjodt and fans have been disappointed about the Ice’s slow start. They are expecting the Ice to contend after making the playoffs in each of the franchise’s eight years and winning the Clark Cup in 2009.
Former first-year coach Ron Gay has been reassigned to a created position of operations director of Ice Sports & Entertainment.
“Ron has been an integral part over the last two years in the community with the Indiana Ice and the Indiana Junior Ice youth programs,” said Ice Executive Vice President and C.O.O. Justin Hart.
“We have multiple new projects in the pipeline and future long-term planning ahead of us. His experience at the arena programming level will be a huge long-term asset for the organization,” Hart added.