On Tuesday morning, the Red Deer Rebels announced the hiring of a new head coach, the team’s sixth in franchise history. The new addition to the team is familiar in the Western Hockey League, as Steve Konowalchuk joins his second team.
“I would like to thank Brent Sutter and the Red Deer Rebels for the opportunity to coach in the WHL again. The organization has established itself as a top franchise in the league, and I look forward to working with the staff and players on reaching the organization’s high expectations. I would also like to express my gratitude to the New York Rangers for the opportunity given to me over the past 3 seasons,” Konowalchuk told RedDeerRebels.com
Konowalchuk has most recently been a professional scout for the New York Rangers and will stay with the team until August when his duties have been completed.
Konowalchuk also played two WHL seasons with the Portland Winterhawks from 1990 until 1992 earning 196 points in 136 games.
In 1991, the Washington Capitals selected Konowalchuk in the third round. Through 790 NHL games, Konowalchuk scored 171 goals and added 225 assists, playing for the Capitals and Colorado Avalanche.
As the head coach of the Seattle Thunderbirds over six seasons, Konowalchuk led the Thunderbirds to a 219-176-22-15 record and back-to-back WHL finals appearances. In the team’s second trip to the final, the Thunderbirds punched their ticket to the Memorial Cup with a 4-2 series win over the Regina Pats.
“Steve is the right coach at the right time for our hockey club. He is a person of high character, whose intensity and work ethic match that of our organization and community. With Steve’s winning pedigree, we have the right leadership to become a championship calibre team. We welcome Steve and his family to Central Alberta,” added general manager Brent Sutter.