GLENS FALLS, NY – In a press conference at Cool Insuring Arena Tuesday, the Adirondack Thunder announced the team’s player development affiliations and new head coach.
Just days after Cail MacLean took an assistant coach job with the Stockton Heat of the AHL, the Adirondack Thunder have a new bench boss.
Tuesday morning, Adirondack Hockey (owners of the Adirondack Thunder) introduced Brad Tapper as the new head coach of the Thunder. The 39-year-old native of Scarborough, Ontario is no stranger to the ECHL game, having served as an assistant coach for four seasons, from 2010-2014, with the Florida Everblades and Orlando Solar Bears. From there, he was the assistant for two years (2014-16) with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves before moving into the same position with the Rochester Americans last season.
Before becoming an assistant coach, Tapper played 71 games over parts of three seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers (2000-03) in the NHL. In those games, he scored 14 goals and collected 25 points. He also played 132 games in the AHL, where he tallied up 83 points (36G, 47A).
In the second announcement, the organization announced a new primary affiliation with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and an unofficial partner with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Formally for the Devils, this is their first soiree into the ECHL since they worked with the Elmira Jackals in the 2013-14 season. They have been working in an informal manner with the Thunder for the last two seasons. Players who are called up from the Thunder will go to the Devils’ AHL affiliate, the Binghamton Devils, located in Binghamton, N.Y.
Tampa Bay served as the primary affiliate for the Kalamazoo Wings last season and sent the Wings several players to southwest Michigan. Those include; Cameron Darcy, Brian Hart, Nick Riopel, Adam Comrie, and Stefan Fournier.
Adirondack opens the 2017-18 slate of games at home, when they take on the Brampton Beast on Saturday, October 14 at Cool Insuring Arena.
News of the coaching hire and affiliation was first reported by the Post-Star.