Roadrunners announce new coaching staff

Photo: Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Arizona Coyotes president of hockey operations and general manager John Chayka announced today that the Coyotes have named Mike Van Ryn as the head coach of the Coyotes’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Tucson Roadrunners.

In addition, John Slaney and Steve Potvin have been named assistant coaches for the Roadrunners. Mark Lamb and Mark Hardy will not be returning next season.

“I’m very pleased to name Mike as our new head coach for the Tucson Roadrunners,” said Chayka. “Mike has great knowledge of the game and is an excellent communicator. He did a great job working with and developing our top prospects in Tucson last season and together with John and Steve, will form a very good coaching staff for us.”

Van Ryn joined the Coyotes on August 24, 2016 as the team’s development coach and was responsible for working with the Coyotes’ top prospects in Tucson last season.

Prior to that, the 38-year-old native of London, Ont., served as the head coach of the Kitchener Rangers (OHL) in 2015-16. Van Ryn led the Rangers to a 44-17-5-2 record and the fourth-most points in the OHL (95). Van Ryn was previously an associate coach with Kitchener from 2013-15.

A former defenseman, Van Ryn collected 129 points in 353 NHL games with St. Louis, Florida and Toronto. He also skated in 105 games in the AHL with the Worcester IceCats and San Antonio Rampage, and served as an assistant coach with the Houston Aeros from 2011-13.

Slaney, a member of the American Hockey League Hall of Fame, joined the Coyotes as an assistant coach on July 8, 2015 and served in this role the past two seasons. Prior to that, he spent the previous four seasons as an assistant coach with the Portland Pirates, the Coyotes’ former AHL affiliate.

The 45-year-old native of St. John’s, N.L., was one of the most decorated defensemen in AHL history. A two-time winner of the Eddie Shore Award and a Calder Cup champion with the Philadelphia Phantoms in 2005, Slaney is the AHL’s all-time leader in goals by a blueliner (166) and ranks second in points (519).

Slaney played 631 games in the AHL with Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Cornwall, Portland and Baltimore, and participated in five AHL All-Star Classics. He also collected 91 points in 268 NHL games with Washington, Colorado, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Nashville, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Potvin also joined the Coyotes organization on August 24, 2016 as the club’s skills coach. Potvin’s main focus was player assessment and individual skill improvement. The 42-year-old native of Montreal, Que., joined the Coyotes after a professional career that included 158 American Hockey League games with Portland, Baltimore, Albany and Hamilton.