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Hockey DB

BC Icemen

1997 - 2002

United Hockey League (UHL)

Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena

Icemen Offer Coaching Reins To Jones

July 2, 1998

Charlie Jaworski, Executive Sports Editor

Brad Jones will be given first crack at the BC Icemen head coaching job.

Jones is general manager Patrick Snyder’s choice to replace Al Hill, who on Wednesday took a pro scouting job with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Jones was an assistant coach and left wing/center under Hill last season in the Icemen’s inaugural year in the United Hockey League.

Why Jones?

“Intelligence,” Snyder said.  “He knows the game very well.  He’ll have the respect of the players on the team.  When he did get behind the bench (last season), he showed poise, he didn’t get rattled.”

Though not the team’s leading scorer, Jones was the best player for the Icemen.  He was and aggressive forechecker was one of the league’s best defensive forwards and was the only Icemen player picked for the UHL all-star game.

Jones, who turned 33 last week, averaged more than a point a game—37 goals and 28 assists in 55 games.  He led the UHL with seven shorthanded goals.  He missed 19 games due to various injuries.

Jones and wife Mary have two youngsters and live in Hubbard Lake, Mich.  Jones was a t a golf outing and unavailable for comment.

Snyder thinks Jones will take the job.  Hill thinks Jones is the right choice.

“He’s a pretty headsy player,” Hill said.  “He played through a lot of difficult injuries.  I think it showed a lot to the team what it takes to be a success.  You need to persevere a lot, quit whining.”

The Icemen were 25-40-9 under Hill and were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by Flint.  Hill also coached the Binghamton Rangers for two seasons in the American Hockey League, and leaves with a composite regular season record of 101-108-25.

A spot for Hill opened in Philadelphia when scout Terry Murray took the head coach job with the Florida Panthers.  Murray was head coach, but was demoted by the Flyers after they were swept in the Stanley Cup finals by the Detroit Red Wings a year ago.

Hill played 221 games in scattered appearances with the Flyers in the late 1970s through the 1980s.  He’s the Flyers’ only pro scout and reports to player personnel director Paul Holmgren.

In another UHL move, Keith Gretzky, Wayne’s brother, was named coach of the Asheville, N.C. team.  Asheville is the franchise that last season was in Brantford, Ontario, Gretzky’s hometown.


At A Glance

Jones Stats

-Age: 33

-Ht./wt.: 6 foot, 195

-College: University of Michigan

-Drafted: Eighth pick of Winnipeg, 156th overall, in 1984.

-NHL: Played 148 games with Winnipeg, Los Angels and Philadelphia.

-Other Pro: Played parts of five season in the minors, including 1995-96 with Binghamton Rangers (25 goals, 27 assists, 62 games).  Has also played in Switzerland, Finland and Germany.

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