all three members of the Greyhounds coaching staff have received two-year extensions.
SAULT STE MARIE, ONTARIO ~~~~~ June 28, 2021 (LSN) Soo Greyhounds General Manager Kyle Raftis is pleased to announce that all three members of the team’s coaching staff have received two-year extensions.
The extensions solidify Head Coach, John Dean; Associate Coach, Jordan Smith; and Assistant Coach, Jamie Tardif, through the 2022/23 OHL season.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back into the rink with John, Jamie, and Jordan. I have a lot of respect for each of them and feel really good about the leadership they bring to our players,” Raftis said.
Dean, Smith, and Tardif were all hired in succession in July of 2018, which marks the upcoming 2021/22 OHL season as their fourth with the organization.
Over the course of two playing seasons (2018/19, and 2019/20), the coaching trio has led the Hounds to a combined record of 73-47-10-2 in 132 games played. During their first season behind the bench, they guided the club to a statistical tie with the Saginaw Spirit for first place in the West Division.
“I think I can say on behalf of the group that we feel more motivated than ever and can’t wait to help each player reach their potential and continue to push this program to heights,” Raftis said.
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Dean was originally hired by the Greyhounds on July 12th, 2018.
"Coaching the storied Soo Greyhounds has been a privilege. I am both grateful and excited for the opportunity to continue behind the bench, but to do it alongside Jordan Smith and Jamie Tardif, two invaluable coaches that I respect, that makes it special,” Dean said.
The 40-year-old Don Mills, Ont. native joined the organization from the OJHL’s Toronto Patriots organization, where he previously served as the team’s Head Coach and Assistant General Manager, while also being named the league’s Coach of the Year.
“I would like to thank the Board of Directors, Tim Lukenda, and Kyle Raftis, for entrusting me with this responsibility and continuously providing the resources and support needed for team success. We have a strong and motivated player leadership group returning, and along with our new young talent, I’m excited to watch this team play in front of the Soo faithful,” Dean said.
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Smith, who previously played his entire OHL career in the red and white, was originally hired by the Hounds on July 19, 2018 after holding the same position with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves.
The 35-year old works primarily with the Greyhounds’ defensemen, and along with skill development oversight, is responsible for the team’s penalty-killing units.
“It’s an honour to have been given the opportunity to continue in my role as Associate Coach of the Soo Greyhounds in the organization’s 50th season. I’m excited to work with Kyle, John, and Jamie, as well as both the new and returning players as we anxiously await the start of the 2021/22 OHL season,” Smith said.
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Tardif was originally hired by the Greyhounds on July 26, 2018 after concluding a professional career that saw him finish as a player and assistant coach with the ECHL’s Quad City Mallards.
“I want to thank Tim Lukenda, the Board of Directors, and Kyle Raftis, for allowing me to continue this opportunity to be a part of such a great organization and city. I look forward to the opportunity to help development this next wave of players on and off the ice, and help the players achieve their development goals,” Tardif said.
With the Hounds, the 36-year-old Tardif has been responsible for working with the team’s forwards, their skill development, as well as the club’s powerplay units.
“I feel incredibly lucky to work with such a great staff here that has helped me so much both personally, and professionally to become a better coach. I really look forward to working with John and Jordan for the next couple of years, and my family and I are excited and grateful that we’ve got an opportunity to stay here and be part of such a great City, and organization,” Tardif said.
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The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds are a major junior ice hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League. The Greyhounds play home games at the GFL Memorial Gardens. The present team was founded in 1962 as a team in the Northern Ontario Hockey Association.