MacLean leaving Stingrays for AHL's Abbotsford Heat

Published: Jul. 20, 2011 at 11:59 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2011 at 11:48 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina Stingrays release

The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League, announced today that Head Coach/Director of Hockey Operations Cail MacLean has accepted the assistant coaching position with the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League (AHL).

"On behalf of the Stingrays organization, we are proud to announce that Cail has accepted an assistant coaching position in the AHL with Abbotsford," said Stingrays President Rob Concannon. "We will all miss Cail, but we could not be happier for him. Cail has spent six great years with this organization as a player, an assistant coach and head coach and this is a well deserved opportunity. It is the goal of almost every player and coach in the ECHL to get the opportunity to move up. The AHL is one step closer to the National Hockey League. We thank him for all his hard work and dedication to the organization. We wish him the very best in Abbotsford."

In two years behind the bench for the Stingrays, MacLean led the team to a 78-48-9-9 record, was selected to the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game in Ontario, California and reached the Kelly Cup Playoffs both seasons.

"I would like to extend my utmost gratitude to the Stingrays organization," said MacLean. "So many of the staff and players I have worked with over the years have not only been good at what they do, they have been great people as well. The Zucker and Greenwald families originally provided me with an opportunity to pursue a career in coaching and I cannot thank them enough for that. I would also like to thank the fans for their support and for helping to make South Carolina a premier ECHL organization."

The Middleton, Nova Scotia, native was named the fifth head coach in Stingrays history on July 1, 2009 after serving the 2008-09 season as an assistant coach for the Stingrays under former head coach Jared Bednar. As an assistant, MacLean helped guide the Stingrays to a 42-23-6 record and the 2009 Kelly Cup championship. Coincidentally, after serving two seasons as the Stingrays head coach (2007-09), Bednar also accepted the assistant coaching position with Abbotsford for the 2009-10 season before becoming the head coach of the Peoria Rivermen of the AHL prior to the 2010-11 campaign.

MacLean spent six years with the Stingrays organization beginning as a player during the 2005-06 season. He served as team captain for both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons after serving as assistant captain in his first year with the Stingrays in 2005. He currently ranks in the Stingrays' all-time top-20 in goals (63), assists (74), and points (137) in three seasons.

MacLean joins Abbotsford Head Coach Troy Ward, who coached MacLean during the 2000-2001 season with the Trenton Titans of the ECHL and led them to the Kelly Cup Finals before falling to the Stingrays.

Abbotsford Heat release

The Calgary Flames announced today that Cail MacLean has been named Assistant Coach for the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League.

"I'm both pleased and excited to welcome Cail MacLean to our Abbotsford coaching staff," said Heat Head Coach Troy Ward.  "Cail has been a head coach for the last two years and now brings that experience to Abbotsford. He is a quality person with strong communication skills and is someone who is very familiar with the teaching methods of our developmental system."

MacLean, a native of Middleton, Nova Scotia joins Troy Ward's staff after spending the last two seasons as the Head Coach and General Manager of the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL. In 144 games, Cail earned a record of 78 wins and 48 losses with 18 overtime losses and was runner-up for the John Brophy Coaching Award in 2009-10 and was an assistant coach with the Stingrays when they won the 2009 Kelly Cup Championship.

"I am honored to join the Calgary Flames and Abbotsford Heat organizations," said Cail MacLean. "I have great respect for Troy Ward's leadership abilities and I am very excited to work with him. This is an excellent opportunity to work with first class organizations and quality people."

After a four year junior career with the Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) MacLean signed his first professional contract with the Jacksonville Lizard Kings (ECHL) in 1997. He played two partial seasons with Jacksonville, while also playing games in the AHL and the IHL. After signing with the Trenton Titans (ECHL) in 1999, MacLean spent most of the remainder of his career with the ECHL and signed with the Reading Royals in 2004. He signed with the South Carolina Stingrays in 2005, and was named team captain a year later. MacLean's professional playing career spanned 11 seasons and finished up his final three seasons playing for the Stingrays before joining the coaching ranks.