Owner Of OHL Flint Firebirds Rehires Coaching Staff After Player Revolt
It's the week of player revolts, we suppose. The owner of the Flint Firebirds (Ontario Hockey League) fired the head coach and his assistant immediately following a comeback win on Sunday, in part because the owner felt that his son wasn't getting enough playing time.
But less than 24 hours after owner Rolf Nilsen fired his coaching staff, he hired them back. That's because the entire team -- including his son, Håkon Nilsen, marched into the front office and left their jerseys on the floor, quitting the team.
In addition to re-hiring head coach John Gruden and assistant coach Dave Karpa, both have been given contract extensions.
Rolf Nilsen has just released a statement:
“Last night, after our emotional shoot-out game against the Oshawa Generals, I made a decision with regards to our coaching staff, which was an irresponsible mistake,” Nilsen said in the statement. “This morning, we took steps to immediately reinstate the coaches. Today, the team’s senior leadership met with the players to apologize and have a very frank discussion about next steps leading to a resolution.”
Detroit Free Press:
Also among the players who walked out in support of Gruden was 18-year-old defenseman Vili Saarijärvi, a third-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
Saarijärvi was scheduled to play for Karpat Oulu in his native Finland this season, after he played for the Green Bay Gamblers in the U.S. Hockey League last season. But the Wings preferred that he stay in North America to play.
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