(DETROIT FREE PRESS) - Grand Rapids Griffins coach Curt Fraser has left the team to become an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars.
Fraser, 54, ends his four-year run in Grand Rapids, the Detroit Red Wings' top minor league affiliate, with a record of 146-130-18-22 in the American Hockey League. He ranks first in franchise history in regular-season games coached (316) and wins.
"I've had the pleasure of knowing Curt since the mid-'90s, when he was with the Orlando Solar Bears," Dan DeVos, co-owner of the Griffins, said in a released statement. "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."
"The Griffins are a first-class organization, and Dan DeVos and (co-owner) David Van Andel have been fantastic to work for," Fraser said in the statement. "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."
A timetable for hiring Fraser's replacement is being established. The Red Wings will select the Griffins' next coach.
Fraser previously was the head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers and has been an assistant coach with the New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues in 2005-06.
"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," Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said in a statement. "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."
BY JAMES JAHNKE/DETROIT FREE PRESS