Geoff Ward has resigned as head coach of the Springfield Falcons, the Edmonton Oilers’ American Hockey League affiliate, to accept a position on the coaching staff of the Boston Bruins.
Oilers General Manager, Kevin Lowe says “We would like to congratulate Geoff on his appointment as an assistant coach with the Boston Bruins. Geoff was a valuable member of our organization and contributed greatly in the development of our young players. It is a credit and a compliment to the Oilers that other NHL teams look to members of our organization to fill positions in their coaching and management ranks. With Geoff leaving the Oilers for his first NHL coaching post, opportunity knocks for someone new in our organization.”
The move will see Ward reunited with Boston head coach Claude Julien. Ward, who returned to the Edmonton organization in May, following a season as the head coach of the Iserlohn Roosters of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, began his tenure with the Oilers in January of 2001 when he served as Julien’s assistant with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.
Ward and Julien served as coaching colleagues through two and a-half seasons with Hamilton, before Julien was appointed head coach of the Montreal Canadiens on January 17, 2003. Ward became Hamilton’s head coach following the departure of Julien to the NHL, and he guided the Bulldogs to the 2003 Calder Cup final, losing the AHL championship in seven games to the Houston Aeros.
Ward and Julien were rewarded for their efforts that season as they shared the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s Coach-of-the-Year.
Ward made the move to Toronto in 2003-04 when the Oilers shifted their AHL affiliate from Hamilton, serving as the head coach of the Toronto Roadrunners and he was behind the bench in 2004-05 when Edmonton brought their number one affiliate to Rexall Place during the NHL lockout. He then served as the Oilers’ development coach in 2005-06 before heading to Europe for the 2006-07 season.