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EX-NHLER GOES ON THE ATTACK

Mike Stothers, a former first-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers who went on to become an assistant coach with the National Hockey League club, is the new bench boss of the Ontario Hockey League Owen Sound Attack.
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Mike Stothers, a former first-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers who went on to become an assistant coach with the National Hockey League club, is the new bench boss of the Ontario Hockey League Owen Sound Attack. The 40-year old Stothers replaces Frank Carnevale as head coach of the Attack. Carnevale parted ways with the Attack after one season on the job in which Owen Sound missed the playoffs. Stothers, who had spent three seasons as an assistant coach with Phildelphia, was the Flyers' first-round pick at the 1980 NHL draft from the Kingston Canadians (now Frontenacs) of the OHL. He played three OHL seasons as a defenceman with Kingston. Stothers then played pro for a decade but got into only 12 games with Philadelphia over parts of four NHL seasons. He later had an 18-game stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs. After retiring as a player, Stothers returned to the Flyers' organization and spent seven seasons as a minor-league assistant coach before moving up to the NHL. In taking the Owen Sound job, Stothers told the Canadian Press that he aspires to be a head coach in the NHL but realizes that it's a learning process. His 10 years as an assistant coach in the pros notwithstanding, Stothers has no head coaching experience. The hiring of Stothers by new Owen Sound general manager Mike Futa ends an exhaustive search for a head coach of the Attack. Shortly before Futa was hired as Owen Sound GM in May, Carnevale and the Attack ended their one-year fling. It was thought that Futa was leaning towards Geoff Ward to take over as coach of the Attack, particularly when the word out of Owen Sound was that the team was looking for someone with OHL experience. Ward had previously coached in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers, Guelph Storm and Mississauga IceDogs. But enter the availability of Stothers, who reportedly had interviewd with the Buffalo Sabres for an assistant coaching position. In taking the Owen Sound job, Stothers inherits a team that was being built for the future by former general manager Dan Halliburton. Some of the young talent on the Attack includes 18-year old centre Patrick Jarrett, a Sault native. In what has been a busy off-season in Owen Sound, Halliburton exited the Attack and is now director of player development and scouting for the Saginaw Spirit, formerly the North Bay Centennials. Futa, formerly an assistant with the Toronto St. Michael's Majors and Oshawa Generals, then replaced Halliburton as GM in Owen Sound . In turn, Futa has now hired Stothers to replace Carnevale.