Al Coates Named Vice President and General Manager of Hartford Sports
/ New York Rangers
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that Al Coates has been named Vice President and General Manager of Hartford Sports.
“Al will bring a solid sports management background with him to Hartford,” said Sather in making the announcement. “His lengthy experience at the NHL level has touched on virtually every aspect of running a professional sports franchise, including player development and evaluation, ticket sales, ad sales, public relations and marketing. I’m confident that Al will enhance the winning tradition that has evolved in Hartford over the last three years.”
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Glen and what he has accomplished,” commented Coates. “We competed hard against each other for a long time. It will be fun to work together and with the management team Glen is assembling in both cities. I look forward to being a part of what he is building for the Rangers franchise. Our main objective in Hartford will be to provide the community with a first-class and exciting family entertainment product.”
Coates joins the Rangers organization after serving the past 20 seasons as a member of the Calgary Flames management team, most recently as executive vice president, general manager and alternate governor. In his extensive tenure with the Flames, Coates served the team in several capacities, including assistant general manager, director of hockey administration, assistant to the president and director of public relations prior to ascending to his latest position. In his new role, Al will oversee all business and hockey operations aspects of New York’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, along with the business operations of the Arena Football League New England Sea Wolves.
After playing professionally in Europe, Coates embarked upon a business career, which has resulted in over 28 years of hockey management experience. Prior to joining the Flames front office, Coates spent nine seasons with the Detroit Red Wings working in various managerial positions. In the summer of 1980, he accepted a position with the Flames as the team’s director of public relations. After two years, he was named assistant to the president, working directly with then president and general manager Cliff Fletcher. Coates was promoted to director of hockey administration during the summer of 1989, before being appointed to the position of assistant general manager two seasons later. An original member of the Flames staff since the team’s arrival in Calgary, Coates was named the franchise’s third general manager on November 3, 1995.
During his tenure as General Manager of the Flames, Calgary was able to acquire such top-flight NHL players as league All-Star winger Valeri Bure and Calder Trophy finalist, Jarome Iginla, along with goaltender Fred Brathwaite. Under Coates’ administration, the Flames entry drafts have yielded top young defensemen, Derek Morris and Denis Gauthier, in addition to top prospects Oleg Saprykin, Rico Fata, Daniel Tkaczuk and Steve Begin. He was also a key member of the management team that composed the Flames 1989 Stanley Cup championship club.
Coates’ commitment to the Calgary community was quite significant, as he was active in a number of events. Through his civic efforts, Al has been responsible for generating over $1.5 million in charitable donations to a variety of causes. The Listowel, Ontario native and his wife, Jane, have three children: daughters, Katie and Carlee; and son, Jeffrey.