Spirit Fire Gilbert, Name Mantha as Replacement

Posted: February 16, 2016 by OHLInsiders in News, Saginaw Spirit News, Uncategorized
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The 17th place Saginaw Spirit have fired long time head coach, Greg Gilbert, who had been with the Spirit ever since his hiring back in the midst of the 2011-2012. For at least the remainder of the current OHL season, long time hockey personality Moe Mantha will take over on an interim basis behind the Spirit bench.

Gilbert was named the OHL’s Coach of the Year by his peers back in April of 2012 following being on the bench since his hiring halfway through that season. Gilbert was victorious over then Kitchener Rangers bench boss and now San Jose Shark assistant coach Steve Spott as well as North Bay’s head coach, Stan Butler.

Since that 2011-2012 OHL season, which boasted a roster which included the likes of Nick Moutrey, John McFarland, Brandon Saad and Vincent Trochek, the Spirit have not been able to pull out a position better than 6th in the Western Conference.

While it was time for Gilbert and the Spirit to part ways, it was also time for Moe Mantha to get another shot on an OHL bench.

Mantha enjoyed a lengthy NHL playing career, landing in the uniforms of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota North Stars and Philadelphia Flyers. Following his playing career, Mantha immediately jumped into coaching in the American Hockey League.

Since his days coaching in the AHL he has made many stops coaching in the AHL, OHL, ECHL, and NAHL with the Michigan Warriors who were ousted of Flint following the 2014-2015 season to make room for the OHL’s Flint Firebirds. Mantha then went North to Noelville, Ontario to jump in as Head Coach & Director of Hockey Operations of the NOJHL’s French River Rapids.

It’s not the first time Mantha will be behind the Saginaw Spirit bench as he stood in the same spot on the same interim basis back in 2003-2004 OHL season. Mantha was replaced by Doug Lidster for the following 2004-2005 OHL season, the same season Moe Mantha joined the Windsor Spitfires as GM/Head Coach.

You would be in a tough spot to find someone with more hockey experience than the Saginaw Spirit did in Moe Mantha. Playing, coaching, managing, scouting, networking, personnel, Moe Mantha has experience doing it all.






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