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Amerks name Ted Nolan VP of hockey operations

The Rochester Americans announced today the hiring of former Amerk Ted Nolan as the team’s vice president of hockey operations for the 2009-10 American Hockey League season.

“Today I’m filled with great pride and honor to be working for the first First Nation-owned professional hockey organization,” said Nolan. “I’m looking forward to the challenges of helping put Rochester back on top. Working for one of the most storied franchises in the American Hockey League is an honor.”

Nolan, 51, returns to Rochester for the first time since the 1984-85 season. Since his days in the Flower City, he has enjoyed success as a player, coach and humanitarian. His resume includes four seasons as a head coach in the National Hockey League, the 1996-97 Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year, a Calder Cup championship, a Memorial Cup title and numerous honors for his philanthropic efforts.

“Ted Nolan has been an inspiration for First Nations/Native American youth for many years. His drive and determination to be a professional hockey player and play in the NHL was realized through plenty of hard work more than natural ability. He continued to use that drive to succeed in hockey at both the GM and coaching level in the OHL, QMJHL and at the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres and most recently the New York Islanders. Ted is known as a ‘player’s coach/GM’ and we are excited about having him join the Rochester Americans organization as our Vice President, Hockey Operations. We will work together to continue to re-build the championship tradition that we all know as Amerks hockey here in Rochester,” said Amerks owner and CEO Curt Styres.

“We are excited to have Ted Nolan join the Amerks and head up our hockey operations. Ted is a proven winner at everything he has been involved in, both on and off the ice, and we are confident that his leadership and management skills will be an asset to our entire organization,” added Amerks president Lewis Staats. “As many of you know Ted has worn the Amerks crest on his jersey during his playing days so he knows what it means to be an Amerk and what it takes to be a winner in both the AHL and NHL. We look forward to him working closely with our hockey department personnel and also with the Florida Panthers to make the Amerks an improved and competitive team in the very near future.”

Nolan was born on the Garden River First Nation just outside Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and played for the Soo Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League. The left winger was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the fifth round (78th overall) in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft. His pro career spanned eight seasons, most of them in the American Hockey League (1978-85). He played in 374 AHL games and won a Calder Cup championship with the 1981 Adirondack Red Wings. Nolan also appeared in 78 NHL games between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Nolan has been an NHL head coach with the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders, winning the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in 1996-97.

Nolan is an active member in the Aboriginal community and in 2003 established the Ted Nolan Foundation in honor of his late mother, Rose. The Ted Nolan Foundation mission statement is “through our philosophy of healthy lifestyle, the Ted Nolan Foundation is committed to the healing process to renew and revitalize the mind, body and spirit of our young people. We will explore to help us train a new cadre of Aboriginal leaders today, to take their rightful place in Canadian society tomorrow. We will help develop programs at the community level for First Nations youth in communities no matter how isolated or poverty stricken. We will raise scholarship funds for First Nation women wishing to complete their education.”

Ted and his wife Sandra reside in Garden River First Nation and are the proud parents of Brandon, a former player with the Carolina Hurricanes organization; and Jordan, a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the Ontario Hockey League.