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CURT FRASER NAMED ASSISTANT COACH WITH DALLAS STARS

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The longest-tenured head coach in Grand Rapids Griffins history has become the club’s third bench boss to earn a promotion to the National Hockey League, as the Dallas Stars on Monday hired Curt Fraser as an assistant coach.

Fraser, 54, ends his four-year run in Grand Rapids with a cumulative 146-130-18-22 record (0.525), ranking first in franchise history in both regular season games coached (316) and wins (146). His most successful campaign was his debut season of 2008-09, when he led Grand Rapids to an impressive 43-25-6-6 regular season mark – a 28-point improvement in the standings from the prior season – and its first-ever playoff upset, a six-game toppling of Hamilton in the North Division Semifinals.

Additionally, Fraser played a major role in developing 20 players for the Red Wings since 2008, including current regulars such as Justin Abdelkader, Cory Emmerton, Jonathan Ericsson, Darren Helm, Jimmy Howard, Jakub Kindl and Jan Mursak, and budding stars like Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist, Brendan Smith and Tomas Tatar.

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Curt since the mid-‘90s, when he was with the Orlando Solar Bears,” said Dan DeVos, co-owner, president and CEO of the Griffins. “More than just a fine coach, he has been a great representative for the Griffins over these last four years, setting an example for both our players and our staff with his tremendous attitude and his desire to positively impact people’s lives. We’re thrilled to see him return to the NHL and wish him nothing but the best with the Stars.”

Fraser follows in the NHL footsteps of Guy Charron (1998-00) and Bruce Cassidy (2000-02), who each spent two seasons behind the Griffins’ bench before earning positions with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (assistant) and Washington Capitals (head), respectively.

“The Griffins are a first-class organization, and Dan DeVos and (co-owner and chairman) David Van Andel have been fantastic to work for,” said Fraser. “They trusted me with their team.

“Grand Rapids is a great place to live, the arena is second to none, and the fan support that the Griffins receive is excellent. It certainly makes it a lot of fun to have that much energy in the building. It’s just a great group in Grand Rapids, and I can’t thank everyone enough for the last four years,” he added.

A timetable for hiring Fraser’s replacement is being established. As part of the Griffins’ new five-year extension of their affiliation with the Red Wings, the parent club will be responsible for identifying candidates and selecting the Griffins’ ninth head coach in 17 seasons.

After compiling a tremendous head coaching resume in the International Hockey League during the ‘90s, Fraser was named the first head coach of the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers on July 14, 1999. He spent three seasons behind the expansion team’s bench and helped the Thrashers’ 2000-01 squad improve by 21 points over its debut season.

Fraser’s NHL resume also includes stints as an assistant coach with the New York Islanders in 2003-04 and St. Louis Blues in 2005-06. He joined the Griffins as their eighth head coach on July 23, 2008 after spending two years (2006-08) as the head coach of the Belarus national men’s team, posting a 23-12-5 record and qualifying for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“We feel that that the depth of Curt’s experience in the game speaks for itself, including a four-year run as an NHL head coach,” said Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk. “That experience will be an invaluable asset to our organization, and his dynamic personality will be a great complement to (head coach) Glen Gulutzan, (assistant coach) Paul Jerrard and the rest of our team.”

The Vancouver Canucks’ second pick (22nd overall) in the 1978 NHL Draft, Fraser spent his entire 12-year playing career (1978-90) as a left wing in the NHL, exhibiting a rare combination of scoring touch and toughness. He accumulated 433 points (193-240—433) and 1,306 penalty minutes in 704 contests with Vancouver, the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota North Stars, highlighted by a personal-best 29-goal, 68-point season with the Blackhawks in 1985-86 and a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals with the Canucks in 1982.


Fraser's Coaching Record

        Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team League Position GP W L T OTL SOL PCT GP W L PCT
1990-91 Milwaukee IHL Asst. Coach 82 36 43 -- 3 -- 0.457 6 2 4 0.333
1991-92 Milwaukee IHL Asst. Coach 82 38 36 -- 8 -- 0.512 5 1 4 0.200
1992-93 Milwaukee IHL Head Coach 82 49 23 -- 10 -- 0.659 6 2 4 0.333
1993-94 Milwaukee IHL Head Coach 81 40 24 -- -- 17 0.599 4 0 4 0.000
1994-95 Syracuse AHL Assoc. Coach 80 29 42 9 -- -- 0.419 -- -- -- --
1995-96 Orlando IHL Head Coach 82 52 24 -- -- 6 0.671 23 11 12 0.478
1996-97 Orlando IHL Head Coach 82 53 24 -- -- 5 0.677 10 4 6 0.400
1997-98 Orlando IHL Head Coach 82 42 30 -- -- 10 0.573 17 9 8 0.529
1998-99 Orlando IHL Head Coach 82 45 33 -- -- 4 0.573 17 10 7 0.588
1999-00 Atlanta NHL Head Coach 82 14 57 7 4 -- 0.238 -- -- -- --
2000-01 Atlanta NHL Head Coach 82 23 45 12 2 -- 0.366 -- -- -- --
2001-02 Atlanta NHL Head Coach 82 19 47 11 5 -- 0.329 -- -- -- --
2002-03 Atlanta NHL Head Coach 33 8 20 1 4 -- 0.318 -- -- -- --
2003-04 NY Islanders NHL Asst. Coach 82 38 29 11 4 -- 0.555 5 1 4 0.200
2004-05 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
2005-06 St. Louis NHL Asst. Coach 82 21 46 -- 7 8 0.348 -- -- -- --
2006-07 Belarus National Team Head Coach 20 10 9 -- 1 -- 0.525 -- -- -- --
2007-08 Belarus National Team Head Coach 20 13 3 -- 4 -- 0.750 -- -- -- --
2008-09 Grand Rapids AHL Head Coach 80 43 25 -- 6 6 0.613 10 4 6 0.400
2009-10 Grand Rapids AHL Head Coach 80 34 39 -- 3 4 0.469 -- -- -- --
2010-11 Grand Rapids AHL Head Coach 80 36 34 -- 2 8 0.512 -- -- -- --
2011-12 Grand Rapids AHL Head Coach 76 33 32 -- 7 4 0.507 -- -- -- --
  HEAD COACHING TOTALS 1126 514 469 31 48 64 0.520 87 40 47 0.460
  NHL HEAD COACHING TOTALS 279 64 169 31 15 -- 0.312 -- -- -- --
  GRIFFINS/AHL HEAD COACHING TOTALS 316 146 130 -- 18 22 0.525 10 4 6 0.400
  IHL HEAD COACHING TOTALS 491 281 158 -- 10 42 0.625 77 36 41 0.468



Griffins Head Coaching Records
 
      Regular Season Playoffs
Head Coach Tenure GP W L T OTL SOL PTS PCT GP W L PCT
Dave Allison 6/27/96-3/3/98 144 70 55 -- -- 19 159 0.552 5 2 3 0.400
Bob McNamara 3/3/98-7/8/98 20 8 6 -- -- 6 22 0.550 3 0 3 0.000
Guy Charron 7/8/98-6/29/00 164 85 62 -- -- 17 187 0.570 17 10 7 0.588
Bruce Cassidy 7/17/00-6/25/02 162 95 49 11 4 3 208 0.642 15 8 7 0.533
Danton Cole 6/26/02-2/10/05 208 116 72 16 3 1 252 0.606 19 10 9 0.526
Greg Ireland 2/10/05-6/15/07 192 109 65 -- 8 10 236 0.615 23 11 12 0.478
Mike Stothers 7/18/07-6/18/08 80 31 41 -- 2 6 70 0.438 --  --  --  --
Curt Fraser 7/23/08-6/18/12 316 146 130 -- 18 22 332 0.525 10 4 6 0.400
 


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