Yates, Cull to return behind Crunch’s bench in 2008-09

syr_200.jpgThe Syracuse Crunch announced today that their NHL affiliate, the Columbus Blue Jackets, has re-signed Crunch head coach Ross Yates and assistant coach Trent Cull.

Yates, 48, will be returning in 2008-09 for his third season as head coach and ninth overall with the club. He served as assistant coach for six seasons under current Columbus Blue Jackets assistant coach Gary Agnew from 2000-01 to 2005-06. Under his guidance over the last two seasons, the Crunch have gone 80-60-6-14, including a 46-26-2-6 mark this past season, the second-best finish in the 14-year history of the franchise.

A native of Montreal, Quebec, Yates appeared in seven NHL games with the Hartford Whalers in 1983-84, collecting two points (1g, 1a) and four penalty minutes. Yates also appeared in 261 AHL games as a player, amassing 106 goals, 189 assists and 171 penalty minutes with Binghamton (Whalers) and Rochester. He was awarded the Les Cunningham Award in 1982-83 as the AHL’s regular-season MVP.

Cull, 34, will be returning for his third season as assistant coach. Before joining the Crunch, he served as an assistant coach for Guelph (OHL) from 2004-06.

A native of Georgetown, Ontario, the former defenseman appeared in 614 professional games for various teams in the AHL and the now-defunct International Hockey League (IHL), collecting 28 goals, 79 assists and 1,615 penalty minutes.

Originally signed as a free agent by Toronto on June 4, 1994, Cull’s best professional season was in 2000-01 as a member of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, when he netted 11 goals, 15 assists and 166 penalty minutes and reached the Calder Cup Finals.

Cull played his last two seasons in a Crunch uniform in 2002-03 and 2003-04, appearing in 98 games and notching two goals, 15 assists and 261 penalty minutes.