Cup-winning GM Harkness passes away at 89

(AP) — Ned Harkness, who helped bring the American Hockey League to Glens Falls and served as general manager of the Red Wings’ 1981 Calder Cup championship, has died. He was 89.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute said Harkness, who won NCAA championships in 1954 with RPI and in 1967 and 1970 with Cornell University, died in Rochester on Friday on his 89th birthday. He had recently suffered a stroke.

Harkness served as head coach for the Detroit Red Wings in 1970 and general manager from 1970-73, and in 1979 became the first general manager of the AHL’s Adirondack Red Wings. The longtime Glens Falls resident oversaw the first of the Wings’ four Calder Cup titles as Adirondack defeated Maine in the 1981 Finals.

Inside College Hockey lists Harkness fifth among the 16 best college hockey coaches of all time, noting he was one of two to win NCAA championships at different schools. Harkness coached at RPI from 1949-63, at Cornell from 1963-70, and at RPI rival Union College from 1975-77.