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Kleinendorst joins U.S. National staff

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils – USA Hockey has announced that Kurt Kleinendorst of the Lowell Devils  has been named as one of the assistant coaches of the 2008 U.S. Men’s National Team that will compete in the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship, May 2-18, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Quebec City, Quebec.

Mike Sullivan, currently the assistant coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning was also named as an assistant.

Kleinendorst, who was a member of the 1981 U.S. Men’s National Team and also played for Team USA during its 1984 pre-Olympic tour, is making his first coaching appearance for the United States.

Kleinendorst played for Team USA during its 1984 pre-Olympic tour.
He is currently completing his second season as head coach of the Lowell Devils of the American Hockey League, the top development team of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.

Kleinendorst joined the Devils organization on August 22, 2000, and was an assistant to Larry Robinson in New Jersey for the 2000-01 season. He then served for five seasons as a member of the club’s scouting staff until being named the first-ever head coach of the Lowell Devils with the start of the 2006-07 campaign.

Prior to joining the Devils, he spent three seasons (1997-2000) as general manager/coach of the Manchester (U.K.) Storm, leading the team to the Super League Championship, while also receiving coach of the year honors during his second season. Kleinendorst served two terms spanning five seasons as head coach/director of hockey operations for the Raleigh Ice Caps (ECHL) -- 1991-94 and 1995-97 -- and was named the league’s top coach in 1992-93. He spent the 1994-95 campaign as assistant coach/assistant general manager of the IHL’s San Diego Gulls.

Kleinendorst began his coaching career in 1989 as president/founder of the Salt Lake City, Utah-based North American Sports, Inc., where he was responsible for teams of select college and professional players that participated in a series of tours throughout Europe.

He played two seasons in Europe -- with the Rotterdam Pandas (Netherlands) in 1987-88 and Iserlohn (Germany) and Peliitat (Finland) in 1986-87. Kleinendorst played professional hockey in North America for parts of five seasons between 1983-1990 in the Central Hockey League, American Hockey League and International Hockey League, including a nine-game stint in 1987-88 with the AHL’s Utica Devils.

Kleinendorst played four seasons (1979-83) at Providence College, and was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997. As a senior, he earned All-America honors, was named ECAC Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.

Sullivan is making his third USA coaching appearance. Last year, he served as the head coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2007 IIHF World Championship in Moscow and Mytischi, Russia, while in 2006 he was an assistant coach under Peter Laviolette for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team at the Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

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