The Iowa Wild, proud American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, announced on Tuesday that assistant coach David Cunniff and video coach Brooks Bertsch have agreed to terms for the 2015-16 season.
Cunniff, 44, brings a wealth of coaching experience to the Iowa Wild with over 13 years behind the bench. He recently helped guide the Albany Devils through the 2014-15 season as an assistant coach. The Devils posted a 37-28-5-6 record last year, missing the Calder Cup playoffs by two points.
He joined the Devils after spending the previous 12 years in the San Jose Sharks organization. The Milton, MA native was promoted to associate coach of the American Hockey League’s Worcester Sharks in 2012-13 after serving the previous ten seasons as an assistant coach with both Cleveland (2002-06) and Worcester (2006-12).
Cunniff was a forward and played five seasons professionally, including three-plus seasons in the Devils organization with Raleigh (ECHL) and Albany (AHL). Between 1997-2000, he appeared in 120 AHL games, posting 25 points (5g-20a) and 219 penalty minutes. The former left wing began his pro career in 1996-97 with Jacksonville (ECHL), before joining Raleigh later that season. Cunniff, who played 148 career ECHL games, spent his last season in 2001-02 between Louisiana (ECHL) and Richmond (ECHL).
Additionally, Cunniff created and operates Cunniff Hockey, which offers hockey camps, private lessons and video analysis for all age groups and all levels of expertise. David is the son of former Albany Devils Head Coach John Cunniff.
Brooks Bertsch, 25, becomes the first Iowan to join the Iowa Wild hockey operations department. The Dubuque native played the last four years at St. Cloud St. University. The former forward suited up 142 times from 2011-15, scoring 13 goals and adding 15 assists for 28 points. Bertsch graduated from St. Cloud with a degree in Finance in the spring of 2015. The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder played in the USHL for the Dubuque Fighting Saints in 2010-11. He scored seven goals and totaled 16 points, to go along with 75 penalty minutes in 36 games.
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