Blades Head To The Woods To Bring NHL Coach Home

The Saskatoon Blades are thrilled to introduce Bob Woods as the team’s 6th general manager and 20th head coach. The native of LeRoy, Saskatchewan comes to us from the Anaheim Ducks, where he was an assistant coach, and, previous to that, the Washington Capitals, where he held the same position. Prior to those 5 seasons in the National Hockey League, Woods enjoyed unprecedented success in the American Hockey League, winning AHL Calder Cups as a player, assistant coach and head coach, and in the East Coast Hockey League, where he is enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

“I’m really excited to be given this opportunity to come home and lead the Blades into a great, new era,” says Woods. “This is a wonderful time to come into this organization – there’s a solid foundation in place and the new leadership team is committed to the development of young men and the winning of championships.”

“Bob is the ideal fit for the criteria we laid out for the successful candidate at the start of this process,” says the Blades managing partner Colin Priestner. “He is a fantastic person with a demonstrated history of success in the game, both winning in the playoffs and developing young hockey talent.”

“Bob was a leading candidate early on in this process but that’s not to say it was an easy choice. He beat out an outstanding field of hockey men with impressive resumes. That speaks to how highly we think of Bob,” adds Blades President Steve Hogle.

“I am very excited to have a man of Bob’s stature leading our club,” says owner Mike Priestner. “A five year contract shows our commitment to him, our players and our fans. We also included incentives for both performance and education, which symbolizes the emphasis we place on developing our players into well-rounded citizens.”

The 46 year old former member of the Brandon Wheat Kings has an extensive resume in the game. His 5 years as an assistant coach with Anaheim and Washington is just a portion of his 13 seasons behind the bench in various leagues. Before making the jump to the NHL, Woods spent two seasons as head coach of the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears, where he compiled a record of 83-47-15 in the regular season, going 17-10 in the playoffs, including a Calder Cup Championship in 2008-09. Woods also won the Calder in 2006 as an assistant on Bruce Boudreau’s staff in Hershey. With Woods winning the ‘97 Cup with Hershey as a player, he became the only person in the 71-year history of that organization to win the title as a player, assistant coach and head coach. He also spent 4 seasons as the general manager and head coach of the ECHL’s Mississippi Sea Wolves from 2001 through 2005, making the postseason every season.

On the ice, Woods had a 13-year professional hockey career which included time in the IHL, ECHL, AHL and Europe following his time with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings where he posted seasons of 77 and 76 points as a defenseman. On January 28th, 2012, Woods was inducted into the ECHL’s Hall Of Fame for his achievements as both a coach and player. He still holds the ECHL record for most career goals by a defenceman with 159. Woods was a 10th round selection of the New Jersey Devils in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft.

Bob and his wife Mary Sue have already purchased a home in Saskatoon and are in the process of moving to the prairie city from Anaheim. Their two adult children are busy chasing their own dreams. Brendan, who was a fifth round selection by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, has since signed a professional entry-level contract. Younger brother Colin also plays hockey, having spent this past season with the Philadelphia Little Flyers of the Eastern Hockey League.

One Response to Blades Head To The Woods To Bring NHL Coach Home

  1. Doug w. says:

    Well Blades fans, looks like we got ourselve a new GM/Coach for our Blades.That’s what we’ve all wanted for the past few years, right. So congratulations are in order now, new owners, new GM Coach , so it is up to us fans to fill CUC this season and support GM / Coach Bob Woods and welcome him to Sasaktoon. Fill the upper level and make the owners open up that upper deck again too, eh !!

    Doug

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