The Ducks have named Mike Stapleton assistant coach of the Syracuse Crunch, Anaheim’s primary development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). Stapleton joins the AHL staff of head coach Mark Holick, who was named to his position on May 21, 2010.
Stapleton, 44 (5/5/66), spent four seasons as an assistant and associate coach in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with Sault Ste. Marie (2008-10) and Erie (2006-08). In his final OHL season in 2009-10, Stapleton helped guide the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to a 36-27-5 record (77 points) in the OHL’s Western Conference. A native of Strathroy, Ontario, Stapleton began his professional coaching career as an assistant coach for Traverse City of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) in 2005-06.
Originally selected by Chicago in the seventh round (132nd overall) of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, Stapleton played 14 NHL seasons from 1986-2001 with seven different teams (Chicago, Pittsburgh, Edmonton, Winnipeg/Phoenix, Atlanta, NY Islanders and Vancouver). He appeared in 697 career NHL games, collecting 71-111=182 points with 342 penalty minutes (PIM). The center also skated in 34 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, recording 1-0=1 point and 39 PIM.
Prior to joining the Chicago Blackhawks in 1986-87, Stapleton played three seasons with Cornwall (OHL) from 1983-86, earning 104-154=258 points and 236 PIM in 182 games. He has also represented Canada as a player and coach, skating as a member of the 1986 silver medal-winning Canadian World Junior team and serving as an assistant coach on Team Canada’s 2006-07 Under-18 squad.
On Mar. 25, 2010, Anaheim signed a multi-year affiliation with Syracuse beginning in 2010-11. The Crunch is currently in its 16th year of operation in the AHL and tied for the sixth-longest tenure of any AHL team. Anaheim is the third primary NHL affiliate in Syracuse team history.