The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Monday that Al Coates has been named the hockey club’s director of player personnel. Coates spent the previous six seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, and had been the team’s senior advisor to the general manager since the summer of 2005.
“We look forward to Al becoming a valuable part of the Maple Leafs management team,” said General Manager Cliff Fletcher. “He brings a wealth of managerial and scouting expertise to our hockey club, which will be important as we look to strengthen the organization’s depth in the coming seasons.”
Coates has worked in professional hockey for the past 37 years. He was a part of two Stanley Cup championship teams, including in 2007 with Anaheim and in 1989 when he was the assistant to the president with the Calgary Flames.
The native of Listowel, Ontario began his professional hockey management career with the Detroit Red Wings organization from 1971-80. The following season (1980-81) he joined Cliff Fletcher and the Calgary Flames inaugural staff (after moving from Atlanta) as the team’s director of public relations. Coates spent 20 years in the Flames organization, working in numerous capacities including assistant to the president (1982-89), director of hockey administration (1989-91), and assistant to the general manager (1991-95), before becoming the Flames’ executive vice president, general manager and alternate governor from 1995-2000. As executive vice president & general manager with the Calgary Flames, he acquired many top NHL players including Jarome Iginla, Robyn Regehr, Martin St. Louis, Derek Morris and J.S. Giguere.
Coates spent three seasons, from 2000 to 2003, with the New York Rangers and Madison Square Garden, overseeing the team and business operation of the Rangers’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate in Hartford.
In 2005-06, Coates was awarded the Thomas Ebright award for his outstanding contributions to the AHL. Coates has been credited with spearheading many of the AHL’s strategic initiatives. Coates has also been integral part of the communities in which he has lived in. He co-founded the Calgary Flames Charity Golf Classic in 1981 that has raised over $2.8 million over two decades for local charities and he developed “Flames Jr. Locker Room” for underprivileged children. He also founded the Celebrity Charity Golf Tournament in Listowel and took the Stanley Cup back to his Southwestern Ontario hometown in 2007 after the Ducks won the Stanley Cup.