MONTREAL -- Canadiens General Manager Bob Gainey announced that Don Lever will be joining the Canadiens coaching staff as an assistant coach.
A native of South Porcupine, Ontario, the 56-year old Lever has been Head Coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs since the 2005-06 season. A 17-season NHL player, Lever began his coaching career in the Buffalo Sabres organization back in 1987-88. After two seasons as an assistant to Sabres head coach Ted Sator, Lever was hired to coach the Sabres' farm team in Rochester. In his first season as Head Coach of the Rochester Americans in 1990-91, Lever led his team to the Calder Cup final and was voted AHL Coach-of-the-Year with a regular-season record of 45 wins, 26 losses and 9 ties.
Before taking on the head coaching job of the Hamilton Bulldogs, Lever had spent 14 seasons (1,154 games) as an assistant coach in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres and the St. Louis Blues. The longest serving coach in Bulldogs history (305 games) has a record of 235 wins, 184 losses, 21 ties and 25 overtime/shootout losses in 465 regular-season games in the AHL.
Since he first stepped behind the Bulldogs bench, Lever has coached 305 games winning 154, losing 127 in regulation and 25 in overtime/shootout. In 2006-07, his second season as head coach of the Bulldogs, he led the Canadiens’ main affiliate to the Calder Cup.
From 1972 to 1987, Lever played in the NHL after being selected third overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1972 NHL Entry Draft. Lever would end up playing for six teams with four NHL franchises and was the first-ever captain of the New Jersey Devils after filling the same leadership role with the Vancouver Canucks. In his 17 NHL seasons as a player, he skated in 1,020 games, recording 680 points, including 313 goals.Read also:Man on a mission The Habs this week - March 9, 2009