Daniels named new head coach, GM in Albany

Albany River Rats head coach and general manager Tom Rowe will serve as an assistant coach for the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes beginning with the 2008-09 season, it was announced on Monday. In addition, current Hurricanes assistant Jeff Daniels has been named the new head coach and general manager for Albany, Carolina’s top development affiliate.

"This is a great opportunity for Jeff’s career at this point, to be a head coach and run his own team," said Jim Rutherford, president and general manager of the Hurricanes. "The addition of Tom Rowe brings some new ideas to our coaching staff on the NHL level."

Daniels completed his 11th year with the franchise and fourth as a Hurricanes assistant coach in 2007-08. Prior to joining the coaching staff, he served in a player-development capacity in the team’s front office. Born in Oshawa, Ont., Daniels retired as a player on Nov. 17, 2003, after totaling 17 goals and 26 assists (43 points) in 425 career NHL games with Pittsburgh, Florida, Nashville and Carolina. He has his name on the Stanley Cup as a player on the 1992 Pittsburgh Penguins and a coach for the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes.

Daniels, who turns 40 later this month, also played three seasons in the AHL with Springfield and New Haven.

Rowe recently completed his fourth season as the head coach and general manager of the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate and his second year with the Albany River Rats. In 2007-08, he led the River Rats to a record of 43-30-3-4 and their second consecutive playoff berth, and his career AHL coaching record stands at 156-144-20 in 320 total games behind the bench.

A native of Lynn, Mass., Rowe began his coaching career with Lowell (AHL) in 2004-05, helping the Lock Monsters earn their best finish in franchise history with a record of 47-27-1-5. Prior to being promoted to head coach, Rowe spent three seasons as an assistant coach for Lowell. He also has experience has a U.S. scout and served as the assistant general manager of the Hartford Whalers from 1990-1992.

Originally drafted by the Washington Capitals in the third round of the 1976 NHL Entry Draft, Rowe played eight seasons of professional hockey in the NHL and AHL, totaling 85 goals and 185 points in 357 NHL contests with Washington, Hartford and Detroit. In the 1978-79 season, he became the first American player to score at least 30 goals in a season, finishing tied with Dennis Maruk for the Capitals’ team lead with 31 goals.

Former Albany defenseman and captain Geordie Kinnear will continue as Albany’s assistant coach for the 2008-09 season. Kinnear, a two-time AHL All-Star, just completed his first full season with the Hurricanes organization. The Simcoe, Ont., native was a member of the River Rats’ 1995 Calder Cup championship squad and played parts of seven seasons for the River Rats between 1993 and 2001.

2008-09 Albany River Rats season ticket packages are on sale now for the River Rats 16th season of operations in the American Hockey League. For more information please contact the Albany River Rats at (518) 487-2244 or online at www.albanyriverrats.com.