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Paddock, Busniuk Returning to Wolf Pack in 2001-02

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that Hartford Wolf Pack Head Coach John Paddock and Assistant Coach Mike Busniuk have agreed to terms on new contracts. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Paddock, 46, is one of the most prolific head coaches in the history of the American Hockey League. In nine AHL seasons with Maine (1983-85), Hershey (1985-89), Binghamton (1990-91), and Hartford (1999- ), the native of Oak River, Manitoba, owns a record of 385-276-59 (.576), ranking fourth on the league's all-time victory list. Paddock has posted a 68-45 (.602) career playoff record, and is the only coach in AHL history to lead three different franchises to a Calder Cup championship, guiding the Maine Mariners in 1984 and the Hershey Bears in 1988 before leading the Wolf Pack to their first title in 2000.

In two seasons behind the Hartford bench, Paddock has led the Wolf Pack to a record of 89-56-15 (.603). He was the co-winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Award as the AHL's coach of the year in 1988, and is a two-time recipient of The Hockey News' Minor Pro Coach of the Year award ('86, '00). Paddock's teams have won four division titles, and in 2000-01, he became the first coach in league history to post seven 40-win seasons.

After a playing career that included two Calder Cup championships and 87 NHL games with Washington, Philadelphia, and Quebec, Paddock joined the AHL coaching ranks, and later spent the 1989-90 season as the assistant general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers. Paddock was named head coach of the Winnipeg Jets in 1991, and added GM duties in 1994. He assumed the role of full-time GM in 1995 and helped the franchise's transition to Phoenix in 1996. Paddock, who coached the Rangers' AHL affiliate in Binghamton in 1990-91, rejoined the organization in 1997 as director of professional scouting.

Busniuk, 49, will return in 2001-02 for his ninth season as assistant coach of the New York Rangers' AHL affiliate, having spent four seasons with the Binghamton Rangers (1993-97) before coming to Hartford. A native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Busniuk enjoyed a 10-year North American pro playing career that included 143 NHL games with Montreal and Philadelphia. He is one of two men in AHL history to win five Calder Cups as a player (Nova Scotia 1976-77; Maine 1978-79, '84), and the only one to win four consecutively. Busniuk was teammates with Paddock for parts of six seasons in the Flyers' organization, joining him in Maine on the '78 and '79 title teams and playing for him in '84. The two also played in the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals with Philadelphia.
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