The Hershey Bears have added another new face to their coaching staff.
The team announced Monday morning that they have hired Mike Eastwood as an assistant coach. Eastwood previously spent time coaching in the Ontario Hockey League, where he spent three seasons with his hometown Ottawa 67’s as an assistant coach, and later an associate coach.
Prior to his coaching career, Eastwood spent 13 seasons in the NHL with Toronto, Winnipeg, Phoenix, the New York Rangers, St. Louis, Chicago, and Pittsburgh over a span of 783 games.
Hershey’s coaching staff has undergone major changes this offseason. The team hired a new head coach, Spencer Carbery, who replaced previous coach Troy Mann. In addition to Eastwood, former Bear Patrick Wellar was also hired as an assistant coach.
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The Hershey Bears announced today the hiring of Mike Eastwood as assistant coach. The announcement was made by Hershey’s vice president of hockey operations Bryan Helmer, and Brian MacLellan, senior vice president and general manager of Hershey’s National Hockey League affiliate, the Washington Capitals.
“We’re excited to welcome Mike Eastwood to Hershey,” said Helmer. “As we finalize our new coaching staff, Mike provides an element that we feel will be a great asset to our young players. He did a great job in his coaching stint in the Ontario Hockey League, and he can draw from his vast playing experience in the NHL to help grow and develop our team as we chase a championship”
Eastwood, 51, spent three seasons with the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League, serving as an assistant coach in 2014-15 before being promoted to associate coach. In each of Eastwood’s three years in Ottawa, the club qualified for the playoffs. With the 67’s, Eastwood played a pivotal role in developing prospects, including current Philadelphia Flyers forward Travis Konecny, and Kody Clark, a 2018 second round draft selection of Washington.
The Ottawa, Ontario native played 13 seasons in the NHL from 1991-2004, scoring 236 points (87 goals, 149 assists) in 783 career games with Toronto, Winnipeg, Phoenix, the New York Rangers, St. Louis, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. He also skated in 97 career playoff games, scoring 19 points.
The responsible, two-way center was known for his craft on faceoffs, and enjoyed his best season in 1999-2000 with St. Louis, a year in which he helped the Blues win the President’s Trophy as the team that finished with the most regular season points in the NHL. That season, Eastwood collected a career-high 34 points (19 goals, 15 assists) in 79 games, on a Blues team that also featured both Helmer, as well as Todd Reirden, the new head coach of the Capitals, on the blue line.
A star player at Western Michigan University, Eastwood was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 5th round in 1987. He spent two seasons with Toronto’s American Hockey League affiliate, the St. John’s Maple Leafs, including the 1992-93 campaign that saw Eastwood finish with 59 points.
Season ticket packages for Hershey’s 2018-19 season are on sale now, featuring discounted costs and extra added benefits. Full Season, 22-game, 12-game, and Flex-10 plans are available with packages starting at just $195. The puck drops with the home opener on Saturday, Oct. 6 vs. the Syracuse Crunch. For more information on ticket plans or Hershey’s schedule, call 717-520-5796 or visit HersheyBears.com.
Headline photo: Ottawa 67’s
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