The Opening Day lineup for the Winnipeg ICE will not be fleshed out until next month. The team’s coaching staff, however, has been determined.
James Patrick will return as the team’s head coach while Jon Klemm will serve as associate coach. Patrick, along with president, general manager, and alternate governor Matt Cockell, has also added to the front office.
Former professional hockey player Josh Green has been added to the fold as the team’s assistant coach.
Josh began his coaching career last year with the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues. After helping that team make the playoffs, Green will make his Major Junior coaching debut next month.
“I’m extremely excited. I had my eye on this team. I was looking to make the jump up to the WHL, so it’s worked out very well,” said Green. “There is a wealth of knowledge behind the bench already. It’s going to be a great year for me learning-wise and just being a part of this organization.”
Green, who lives in Winnipeg, is looking forward to getting things going later this month.
“I’m excited to deal with the players and watch them grow every day,” he added. “I think my role will be similar to last year, so I’ll stay on the ice after practice and help whoever wants it. I was a forward as a player, so I’m looking forward to passing off what I learned to this year’s forwards.”
Prior to joining the Winnipeg Blues, Green played the better part of 20 seasons as a professional, most of which came in the American Hockey League. He played in 489 total games and had 295 points. Josh also played 358 NHL games where he put up 77 points.
Josh’s career as a pro ended at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season, after serving as captain of KooKoo in the Finnish Liiga.
His elite-level playing days also included five and a half years in the Western Hockey League, where he had 142 goals and 136 regular-season assists over 282 games. Josh also tossed in 26 points through 23 playoff games.
Josh’s break into pro hockey came in the 1997-98 season. After dominating with 44 points in just 26 games with Portland, he joined the AHL’s Fredericton Canadiens.
More than 25 years after he played in the Western Hockey League, the now 41-year-old is ready to pass off what yielded a ton of success for him.
“I’ve been through what these kids are going through and will go through. I know what it feels like to go through a long season, especially if it’s their first,” continued Green. “I want to show them what it means to be a pro, and I’ll help them manage the load.”
“There is a lot of pressure on these guys at times, and I see my role as sort of being like a big brother to them. If they need a shoulder to lean on, I’ll be there,” he added. “There is a lot of good, young players on this team.”
The ICE will also be the third different team from Winnipeg he’s been with. On top of Winnipeg last year, he played 126 games with the Manitoba Moose, where he added 81 points. Josh also spent time with Manitoba’s NHL affiliate, the Vancouver Canucks.
Josh and the rest of the ICE begin their preseason on Friday, September 6, in Brandon.