The Ottawa Senators announced today the appointment of Steve Stirling as assistant coach with its American Hockey League affiliate, the Binghamton Senators. Stirling will join head coach Kurt Kleinendorst behind the B-Sens bench for the first season of a two-year agreement that begins in 2010-11.
Stirling, 60, returns to the AHL after coaching the Iserlohn Roosters of the German elite hockey league (DEL) in 2008-09. He spent the 2007-08 season as head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, following one year with the Springfield Falcons (the Lightning’s former affiliate) in 2006-07.
A native of Clarkson, Ont., Stirling spent more than three seasons in the New York Islanders’ organization from 2001-02 to 2005-06, including a season and a half as head coach of the NHL club, where he registered 56 wins in 124 games and a post-season berth in his first year with the team in 2003-04. Stirling had been promoted from the Islanders’ AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, after two seasons that included a Calder Cup final appearance in the team’s inaugural campaign of 2001-02. Prior to his arrival in Bridgeport, Stirling spent three seasons as assistant coach with the AHL’s Lowell Lock Monsters, where he worked the final two years for current Washington Capitals’ coach Bruce Boudreau.
Undrafted, Stirling played professionally for six seasons after a collegiate career at Boston University. He spent the majority of the 1975-76 season with the North American Hockey League’s Binghamton Dusters, where he ranked second in team scoring with 66 points (24 goals, 32 assists). Stirling played in the AHL with Boston (1971-72 to 1973-74) and Rochester (1974-75 to 1976-77) before concluding his career with one season in Austria. He began his coaching career in 1978-79 with the NCAA’s Babson College, where he spent 11 of the next 13 seasons. Stirling’s two-year hiatus from Babson occurred in the 1983-84 and 1984-85 seasons, when he served as head coach at Providence College.