Blades part ways with Molleken, Struch
A new head coach and a new general manager will be joining the Saskatoon Blades next season.
The team announced Tuesday that coach Dave Struch and long-serving general manager Lorne Molleken will not be returning for the 2014-15 season.
“The Saskatoon Blades are embarking on a course that will change the face of the franchise,” a statement from the team said. “Lorne Molleken and the team have agreed to part ways and the contract for head coach Dave Struch is not being renewed.”
Struch took over the Blades’ head coaching job this season after Molleken, who was previously both general manager and coach, gave up his coaching duties.
The Blades finished third-last in the Western Hockey League with a 16-51-2-3 record this season under Struch.
Struch, a former player with the Blades and former pro in Europe, was the squad’s assistant coach under Molleken for seven years before he earned the top spot this summer.
Molleken coached the Blades for four seasons between 1991 and 1995 before pursuing short coaching stints with various American Hockey League and NHL teams, including the Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins.
He rejoined the Blades as coach and general manager in the 2004-05 season.
Molleken still had two years remaining on a three-year contract with the Blades.
The Blades parted ways with assistant general manager Jarrod Brodsky earlier this season and assistant coach Curtis Leschyshyn announced a few weeks ago he’d be leaving the team to coach the Saskatoon Blazers, a Midget AAA squad.
The team will host a press conference Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.