New Bench Boss
Following their disappointing 2016-17 campaign, the Tucson Roadrunners have parted ways with former head coach Mark Lamb, and today announced Mike Van Ryn as the second coach in team history. Despite their hot start last year, the move was expected after Tucson’s weak finish that saw them fall from 1st in the Pacific at the All-Star break to 7th by the end of the season.
Previously, Van Ryn served as the Coyotes development coach and was responsible for working with many young players in Tucson, making him already familiar with much of the team. The 38-year-old Van Ryn also had a playing career that included 129 points in 353 NHL games with the St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs between 2000 and 2009. In the 2015-16 season, he was also the head coach of the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers where he coached them to fourth-overall finish with 94 points.
Van Ryn is a promising young coach that will bring a more modern, fast-paced style to Tucson. Hopefully, this style will be better suited to the young Tucson Roadrunners roster that often seemed out of place when operating under Mark Lamb’s system. Also, John Stanley and Steve Potvin will join Van Ryn as assistant coaches, replacing Mark Hardy. Before their hirings, Potvin was the Coyotes’ skills coach, and Stanley was an assistant coach for the Portland Pirates.