RALEIGH, NC—Jason Karmanos, Vice President and Assistant General Manager for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the team has signed Tom Rowe to a multi-year contract to remain the head coach and general manager for the team’s top minor-league affiliate. Karmanos also announced that the team has signed Geordie Kinnear to a multi-year contract to serve as assistant coach for the top affiliate, which will again be the Albany River Rats of the American Hockey League in 2007-08.
“Tom has done an excellent job of helping our players develop at the American Hockey League level,” said Karmanos. “His leadership and experience as a player and coach are assets for Albany and the Hurricanes organization. Geordie’s history with the River Rats and his knowledge of the defensive side of the game make him a good fit to join our organization on a full-time basis.”
Rowe, 51, enters his fourth season as the head coach and general manager of the Hurricanes’ top minor-league affiliate and his second year as head coach and general manager of the Albany River Rats. In 2006-07, he led Albany to a record of 37-36-4-3, guiding the River Rats to their first playoff berth in seven years. In their first year as a Hurricanes affiliate, Albany posted the second-largest improvement in the AHL, by 24 points more than the previous season. A native of Lynn, Mass., Rowe began his head coaching career with Lowell in 2004-05, helping Lowell earn its best finish in franchise history with a record of 47-27-1-5. Prior to being promoted to head coach, Rowe spent three seasons as an assistant coach for Lowell.
As a player, Rowe was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the third round of the 1976 NHL Entry Draft. He played eight professional seasons in the NHL and AHL, scoring 85 goals and 185 points in 357 career NHL games with Washington, Hartford and Detroit. In the 1978-79 season, he became the first American to score 30 goals in a single season. Prior to joining the Lock Monsters as an assistant coach, Rowe also gained experience as the Assistant General Manager of the Hartford Whalers from 1990-92 and as a U.S. scout.
Kinnear, 33, served as a volunteer assistant for Albany in 2006-07 after spending four seasons as an assistant coach for the River Rats when they were still affiliated with the New Jersey Devils. Kinnear originally joined the Albany coaching staff on Aug. 3, 2001, after retiring as a player in December 2000 due to medical reasons. An original River Rat, Kinnear ranks second on the club’s all-time list in games played (406) and penalty minutes (1,094). He was a member of Albany’s 1995 Calder Cup championship team, was selected to four AHL All-Star Classics (1995-1999) and served as team captain for three seasons (1995-1999). New Jersey’s eighth-round selection (162nd overall) in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft, Kinnear played in four NHL games with the Atlanta Thrashers during the 1999-2000 season after signing with the Thrashers as a free agent prior to the season.