Canucks appoint GM, associate coach for Utica

Photo: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The Vancouver Canucks today announced that director of player development Ryan Johnson has added the role of general manager of the AHL’s Utica Comets, and Gary Agnew has been named Comets associate coach.

In his expanded role, Johnson will continue to work closely with prospects in the system and lead the day-to-day function of Comets hockey operations. Johnson originally joined the Canucks as a player development consultant in 2013 and became director of player development in 2016.

Johnson played 210 games in a Canucks uniform over a 701-game NHL career, and also skated in the AHL with Carolina, New Haven and Rockford.

Agnew joins Trent Cull’s staff in Utica as associate coach. He returns to coaching after most recently serving as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2014-16. He was also an assistant with St. Louis (2012-14) and Columbus (2006-10), and also had a brief stint as interim head coach of the Blue Jackets in 2006-07.

A native of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Agnew was the head coach of Columbus’s AHL affiliate in Syracuse for six seasons from 2000 to 2006, winning 220 games and capturing a division title in 2002.

Agnew also has 14 years of coaching experience in the Ontario Hockey League, most recently as head coach of Oshawa in 2011-12. He was the OHL’s coach of the year in 1993 and 1998 with London.