Archive for the ‘Flint Firebirds Rumours’ Category

The story surrounding the Flint Firebirds inaugural season playing in the Ontario Hockey  League has been well documented by international media. Since the second go around firing both John Gruden and Dave Karpa, the OHL now runs the Firebirds day to day operations. (more…)

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Halfway through the Firebirds inaugural OHL season, the Firebirds have announced the firing of General Manager Terry Christensen. Head Coach John Gruden, who had been fired from that role and then rehired within 24 hours takes over the responsibilities of General Manager. Ever since the player’s walkout, Terry’s intentions have been questioned publicly and internally, they’ve been questioned since long before then. (more…)

Following a series of meetings which took place on Monday and included commissioner David Branch, Firebirds owner Rolf Nilsen as well as staff, coaches and players resulted in brand new three year contracts for both John Gruden and Dave Karpa.
This can only be seen as a win for the players. Certainly their organization is not the most stable right now but I do not ever remember a situation where players have come together like this, stood behind their coaches, rebelled against ownership AND came out on top.
Equipment manager Matt Nareski will also be returning to the Firebirds, as will GM Terry Christensen.
As for Hakon Nilsen, a trade in the works has been speculated and brought up to me by many of my sources which I’ve used throughout this developing story.
Carolina Hurricanes prospect, Alex Nedeljkovic, who’s name has been brought up in trade speculation all season reportedly went home last night. There’s no word if he was in today’s meetings or not.

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.
UPDATE
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.

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 Plymouth Whalers currently have ten defenders on their roster. With injuries to Alex Peters, Gianluca Curcuruto and Yannick Rathgeb the Whalers are relying on guys like Matthew Watson, Mitch Jones, Mathieu Henderson, and newly acquired Sean Callaghan.

But what happens when these players whom apart from Peters are presumed to return to the lineup within the next couple of weeks, actually do return to the lineup? You start working the phones. This will be the case with multiple players but specifically with Rochester, MI native Mitch Jones.  (more…)

PlymouthThe Whalers future in Plymouth was bleak to say the least at the start of this year when Whalers owner Peter Karmanos stated attendance would need to improve greatly in order for his Whalers to stick around. (more…)