Former Capitals forward Steve Konowalchuk is back in the NHL.
Weeks after winning his first career championship as head coach of the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds, Konowalchuk has been hired as an assistant coach by the Anaheim Ducks. The move comes after the Ducks and assistant coach Paul MacLean agreed to mutually part ways on June 1.
Konowalchuk has history with Carlyle as both were a member of the Washington Capitals during the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. Konowalchuk was near the end of his playing career when Carlyle was hired as an assistant coach by the Caps to work with rookie head coach Bruce Cassidy.
This is the second time Konowalchuk has served as an assistant coach in the NHL. He previously served as an assistant for two years with the Colorado Avalanche.
The Ducks today named Steve Konowalchuk and Mark Morrison as assistant coaches. Konowalchuk and Morrison join Head Coach Randy Carlyle, Assistant Coaches Trent Yawney and Rich Preston, and Goaltending Coach Sudarshan Maharaj on the Ducks coaching staff.
A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, Konowalchuk previously was head coach of the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League (2011-17) and an assistant coach for the Colorado Avalanche (2009-11). This past season, Konowalchuk led the Thunderbirds to the first WHL Championship in franchise history. In his six seasons as head coach of Seattle, Konowalchuk posted a 219-176-22-15 record, tallying the second-most wins by a coach in the club’s history. After his retirement from the NHL, Konowalchuk remained within the Colorado Avalanche organization and served as an assistant coach to Joe Sacco during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons as well as serving in the player development department during 2007-08.
Konowalchuk was selected by the Washington Capitals in the third round of the 1991 NHL Draft (58th overall). Konowalchuk appeared in 790 games over 14 NHL seasons with Washington and Colorado, recording 171-225=396 points. In 2002-03, he was announced as the 10th full-time captain in Capitals history, holding the position until he was traded to Colorado. Konowalchuk was the first player born and raised in Utah to reach the NHL.
A native of Prince George, British Columbia, Morrison was previously with the Winnipeg Jets organization as an assistant coach for the American Hockey Leagues’ (AHL) Manitoba Moose (2015-17) and St. John’s IceCaps (2011-15). The former New York Rangers draft pick spent four seasons with St. John’s before joining Manitoba. Prior to the IceCaps, Morrison served as head coach and general manager of the Victoria Salmon Kings of the ECHL, where he spent four years. Morrison also coached and played with the Fife Flyers of the British National League, winning Coach of the Year honors three times.
As a player, Morrison won the Adams Cup with the Central Hockey League’s Tulsa Oilers and was named Most Sportsmanlike Player in the 1980-81 Memorial Cup. Morrison played 10 games in the NHL with the Rangers from 1981-84, collecting 1-1=2 points.
Headline photo via Anaheim Ducks
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