Comets add experience to hockey staff

Canucks Sports & Entertainment announced today the hiring of Pat Conacher to the role of Director, Hockey Operations and Paul Jerrard and Nolan Baumgartner as assistant coaches to head coach Travis Green on the Utica Comets staff.

Conacher has coached and played over three decades of professional hockey, including parts of three seasons as a player with the AHL’s Utica Devils (1987-88, 89-91). He also played in the AHL with the New Haven Nighthawks, Springfield Indians, Moncton Alpines, Nova Scotia Oilers and Maine Mariners, and skated in 521 NHL games with the N.Y. Rangers, Edmonton, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Calgary and the N.Y. Islanders.

Conacher spent three seasons as a head coach in the AHL with the Utah Grizzlies (2004-05) and San Antonio Rampage (2005-07). He was also an NHL assistant with Phoenix (2001-04) and served the last two seasons as head coach of the Regina Pats of the WHL.

Jerrard joins the Comets after spending seven of the last eight seasons with the Dallas Stars organization as an assistant coach for their AHL affiliates in Iowa (2005-08) and Texas (2009-11) before spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach in Dallas. In 2009-10, the Texas Stars reached the Calder Cup Finals in their first season of play.

Jerrard has also been an AHL assistant with the Lowell Lock Monsters (1998-99), Hershey Bears (2003-05) and Iowa Chops (2008-09). As a defenseman, Jerrard played three of his 10 professional seasons in the AHL with Hershey (1994-97) and was a member of the Bears’ 1997 Calder Cup championship team.

Baumgartner enjoyed a 16-year professional playing career before joining the Canucks organization as an assistant coach with the Chicago Wolves in 2012-13. Baumgartner played 878 career AHL games, good for 19th on the all-time list, in stints with the Portland Pirates, Norfolk Admirals, Manitoba Moose, Philadelphia Phantoms, Iowa Stars and Chicago Wolves.

Baumgartner also skated in 143 NHL games with Washington, Chicago, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Dallas.