UPDATE: Firebirds on Strike; Coaches Fired & Players Walking Out

Posted: November 9, 2015 by OHLInsiders in Flint Firebirds News, Flint Firebirds Rumours, News, Rumours
Tags: , , ,

One league source and one source out of Flint, MI tell OHLInsiders that the Flint Firebirds have gone on strike, all coaches have been fired and players have begun walking out.

While the reasoning behind this groundbreaking news remains behind closed doors, one theory is that the owner, assumed to be Rolf Nilson, is/was upset about the amount of playing time his boy Hakon has been receiving, coaching stood their ground and were all fired. The players who stand behind their coaching staff have also begun walking out the door.

I have not been told if anybody remains or where Firebirds management specifically GM Terry Christensen stand. All I have been told is “staff fired and players walking out.”

The Firebirds currently fighting through their third month of OHL regular season competition sit with a record of 7-9-0-1 which is good enough for second last in the western conference.
Regardless of the reasoning behind it, the future does not look bright for OHL hockey in Flint.
The Firebirds owner Rolf Nilsen called his coaching staff to his office while the team was skating with fans shortly after their comeback victory over the reigning OHL champions, Oshawa Generals. It is then that Head Coach, John Gruden and Asst. Coach Dave Karpa were both fired. GM Terry Christensen will be staying with the club.
The selective firing of both Gruden and Karpa were fired as a result of owner Rolf Nilsen’s son Hakon, not receiving enough ice time in the eyes of ownership. There was more than one occasion where GM and owner Rolf Nilsen were coming down pleading with coaches to play him more. They were even asking for PP/PK time.
Following today’s post game skate, the coaches told the players of their news. It is then that all players walked up stairs and handed in their jerseys went to the equipment room and packed their bags.
Keep in mind this could all change at Monday morning’s 8am meeting, but:
Unconfirmed reports have Assistant Coach Petr Jonak among the few staying on board. He billets Rolf Nilsen’s son Hakon. Jonak and Rolf are close friends. Petr was upstairs with GM & Ownership during the game, left very abruptly afterwords as to avoid the mess.
Unconfirmed reports have Equipment Manager, Matt Nareski, also relieved of his duties.
Can this all be fixed with one 8am meeting on Monday morning? Well we’ll see I suppose, but if not I expect GM Terry Christensen to take over the head coaching duties of whatever team he has assembled. Terry had been shooting for the head coaching job since day one and has often overstepped his boundaries as General Manager of the club.
  1. […] has been suggested around several reports, including one from OHLInsiders.com, that a coaches were let go in partial due to a ice time, or miss thereof, a owner’s son was […]


  2. […] OHL Insider has floated the theory that they were fired because the owner, Rolf Nilsen, felt his son, Hakon, wasn’t getting enough ice time. Interestingly, Hakon Nilsen was among the players who walked out. Team officials have denied that Hakon’s ice time had anything to do with the firing. […]


  3. […] the walkout included defenceman Hakon Nilsen, the son of Firebirds owner Rolf Nilsen. According to OHL Insiders, head coach John Gruden and at least one assistant were fired because ownership was unhappy with […]


  4. […] has been suggested via various reports, including one from OHLInsiders.com, that the coaches were let go in part due to the ice time, or lack thereof, the owner’s son […]


  5. […] all the coaches were believed to be fired, while more recent reports suggest head coach John Gruden and assistant coach Dave Karpa were fired and assistant coach Petr Jonak, […]


Join in the discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s