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Cull to lead Canucks’ coaching staff in Abbotsford

Photo: Scott Thomas

The Vancouver Canucks have announced that Trent Cull will return as their AHL head coach when the Abbotsford Canucks begin play this fall.

Cull will work with associate coach Gary Agnew, assistant coach Jeff Ulmer, goaltending coach Curtis Sanford, and video coach Ian Beckenstein.

Additionally, Roman Kaszczij will continue in his role as head athletic trainer and Nathan Williams as head strength and conditioning coach. Ramandeep ‘Chico’ Dhanjal will join the team as head equipment manager along with Shingo Sasaki as assistant equipment manager.

“We’re excited to have finalized the majority of our coaching and training staff decisions that will help provide the foundation for a strong, competitive team,” said Abbotsford Canucks general manager Ryan Johnson. “We were able to retain staff that have been instrumental in the development of our players in recent years while also bringing in some new perspectives to lead us to success this season.”

In four seasons as head coach of the Utica Comets, Cull posted a record of 122-93-17-9, good for a .560 points percentage. He previously served as an assistant coach with the Syracuse Crunch from 2006 to 2010 and again from 2013 to 2017, a stint that culminated in a trip to the Calder Cup Finals.

Cull, 47, played 10 professional seasons as a defenseman from 1994-2004, including 435 AHL games with the St. John’s Maple Leafs, Houston Aeros, Springfield Falcons, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Syracuse Crunch.

Agnew joined Cull’s staff as an associate coach in 2017. He was an assistant coach in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins (2014-16), St. Louis Blues (2012-14) and Columbus Blue Jackets (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.

Ulmer joins the Canucks organization from the Arizona Coyotes, where he served two seasons as coordinator of skill development and assistant director of special projects. He played 19 seasons of professional hockey, including 258 games in the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack (2000-01), Grand Rapids Griffins (2001-02), Binghamton Senators (2002-03) and Hershey Bears (2004-05).

Sanford enters his fifth season with the team, assisting with the development of goaltending prospects both at the AHL and junior levels. Sanford spent most of his 15-year pro career in the AHL, appearing in 253 games with the Rochester Americans, Worcester IceCats, Peoria Rivermen, Manitoba Moose and Hamilton Bulldogs. He was a Second Team AHL All-Star in 2010-11 and shared the Harry (Hap) Holmes Memorial Award with Cedrick Desjardins in 2009-10.

Beckenstein joins the Abbotsford Canucks from the AHL’s Laval Rocket, where he spent the past four seasons as a hockey operations assistant.