It was announced yesterday that former NHL winger Shane Willis would return to the Carolina Hurricanes to serve as the club's youth and amateur hockey coordinator. Willis was a promising rookie for the team back in the 2000-01 season as he scored 20 goals and chipped in with 24 assists in 73 games. He made the NHL's All Rookie team later that year.
The fast skating forward was injured during the 2001 playoffs when Scott Stevens lined him up and took him out with a devastating hit that most attending fans will never forget. Shane was then traded to Tampa Bay the following season as part of a deal that brought Kevin Weekes to Carolina.
Willis will be taking over for Paul Strand, who formerly held the position.
In case you missed it from a couple of weeks earlier, another Paul has moved on as well. Paul Branecky, former web guy for the Hurricanes, will undertake a similar role for the Charlotte Checkers. Michael Smith has been hired to take his spot.
Good luck to all four gentlemen in their future endeavors!
HURRICANES HIRE SHANE WILLIS AS YOUTH AND AMATEUR HOCKEY COORDINATOR
Former Carolina winger to lead team’s youth and amateur hockey initiatives
RALEIGH, NC – Jon Chase, Director of Community Relations and Promotions for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has hired former Hurricanes forward Shane Willis as its youth and amateur hockey coordinator. In this role, Willis will spearhead the Hurricanes’ initiatives through Carolina Youth & Amateur Hockey (CYAH), including the team’s summer camps and the Junior Hurricanes’ annual trip to the Quebec International Pee-Wee Tournament.
"Shane brings a wealth of hockey experience to this important role for the Hurricanes organization," said Chase. "The team is committed to the continued growth of youth and amateur hockey in our community, and Shane, as a former Hurricanes player and longtime Triangle-area resident, is a great fit for this position."
Willis, 34, played parts of six NHL seasons with the Hurricanes and the Tampa Bay Lightning, scoring 31 goals and earning 43 assists (74 points) in 174 career regular-season games. The Edmonton, Alb., native had his best season in 2000-01, when he scored 20 goals and earned 24 assists with Carolina, and was named to the NHL’s end-of-season All-Rookie Team. Willis also notched 152 goals and earned 161 assists (313 points) in 399 career regular-season games with top-level minor-league teams in the American Hockey League and the International Hockey League. He retired from his playing career following the 2008-09 season.
The Carolina Hurricanes will open their 2011 exhibition schedule on Sept. 19 at Buffalo. For information on 2011-12 Carolina Hurricanes ticket packages, please visit www.CarolinaHurricanes.com, or call 1-866-NHL-CANES.