The Springfield Falcons announced on Wednesday that head coach Geoff Ward has resigned to accept a position as an assistant coach with the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins.
"Geoff was a valuable member of our organization and contributed greatly in the development of our young players," said Kevin Lowe, general manager of the Falcons’ NHL affiliate, the Edmonton Oilers. "It is a credit and a compliment to the Oilers that other NHL teams look to members of our organization to fill positions in their coaching and management ranks. With Geoff leaving the Oilers for his first NHL coaching post, opportunity knocks for someone in our organization."
The move will see Ward reunited with Boston head coach Claude Julien. Ward began his tenure with the Oilers in January 2001 when he served as Julien’s assistant with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs. Ward and Julien served as coaching colleagues through two-and-a-half seasons with Hamilton before Julien was appointed head coach of the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 17, 2003.
Ward became Hamilton’s head coach following the departure of Julien to the NHL, and he guided the Bulldogs to the 2003 Calder Cup Finals, losing the AHL championship in seven games to the Houston Aeros. Ward and Julien were rewarded for their efforts that season as they shared the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach.
Ward made the move to Toronto in 2003-04 when the Oilers shifted their AHL affiliate from Hamilton serving as the head coach of the Toronto Roadrunners, and he was behind the bench in 2004-05 when Edmonton brought their top development affiliate to Rexall Place during the NHL lockout. Ward served as the Oilers’ development coach in 2005-06.