The Columbus Blue Jackets have named director of player personnel Chris Clark general manager of the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters, and signed Mike Eaves to a multi-year contract to become the sixth head coach in Monsters franchise history.
Eaves, 63, joins the Monsters with 34 seasons of experience coaching in the professional and collegiate ranks, including the last 17 years at St. Olaf College (2016-19) and the University of Wisconsin (2002-16). At Wisconsin, Eaves led his alma mater to seven NCAA tournament appearances and the 2006 national championship.
At the pro level, Eaves spent three seasons as head coach of the AHL’s Hershey Bears from 1990-93, in addition to stints as an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames (1985-86), Philadelphia Flyers (1988-90, 93-94) and Pittsburgh Penguins (1997-2000).
A native of Denver, Colo., Eaves has also coached at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; St. Cloud State University; Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minn.; and HIFK Helsinki in the Finnish elite league. He also spent two seasons as head coach of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program from 2000-02, and coached the U.S. national junior team to a gold medal at the 2004 IIHF U-20 World Junior Championship.
Eaves played parts of eight seasons in the NHL with the Minnesota North Stars and Calgary Flames after four years at Wisconsin, where he led the Badgers to the 1977 national championship and remains the highest-scoring player in program history.
Clark, 43, has been with the Blue Jackets front office since retiring as a player in 2011. The native of South Windsor, Conn., played 607 games in the NHL with Calgary, Washington and Columbus, and won a Calder Cup championship with the AHL’s Saint John Flames in 2001.