Holick leaves Ice for AHL

BRANDON - And now there are three . . .

Three WHL teams looking for head coaches, that is.

Sources at the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup told The Daily News on Monday that the Kootenay Ice is losing head coach Mark Holick to the NHL's Anaheim Ducks.

Holick will be the head coach of the Ducks' new AHL affiliate, the Syracuse, N.Y., Crunch.

When contacted by The Daily News, Holick chose not to comment. Jeff Chynoweth, the Ice's owner and general manager, said he would prefer that an announcement come from Anaheim general manager Bob Murray.

Holick told Chynoweth of the move on Sunday.

The Syracuse franchise had been affiliated with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the last 10 seasons. Columbus surrendered that agreement after this season and the Ducks, who didn't have an AHL affiliate this season after working with the now-defunct Iowa Chops last season, took over.

Holick, who signed with the Ice in the summer of 2007, was under contract to the Ice through 2010-11.

Holick replaced Cory Clouston, who left to take over as head coach of the AHL's Binghamton Senators and now is head coach of the NHL's Ottawa Senators. Former Ice assistant coach Brad Lauer is on Clouston's staff in Ottawa, while Ryan McGill, a former Ice head coach, is an assistant with the Calgary Flames.

In what turned into Holick's last season, the Ice finished 43-24-3-2, good for fourth-place in the 12-team Eastern Conference. The Ice, which has 19 players eligible to return, lost a first-round playoff series to the Medicine Hat Tigers in six games.

The Ice is the third WHL team to be looking for a head coach.

The Edmonton Oil Kings have yet to replace the fired Steve Pleau, while the Spokane Chiefs are looking to replace Hardy Sauter, who also was dumped.



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