The Wenatchee Wild has announced that Craig Patrick, one of the team’s founders, will be behind the bench this weekend when the Wild takes on the Alaska Avalanche at the Town Toyota Center.
Patrick will call Wenatchee home for a couple weeks. During that time, he will help coach the team and assist Bill Stewart, the team’s president and managing partner, in the search for a new full-time head coach.
“Craig is a friend and one of the brightest hockey minds in the country,” Stewart said. “We are extremely lucky to have his expert assistance.”
Rod Collins remains the Wild’s interim head coach and general manager of hockey operations. Also the head coach of the Wild's 18U team, Collins is coaching the Midget club this weekend at the North American Prospects Hockey League event in Massachusetts.
Patrick, 64, brings a wealth of unmatched experience to the Wild. Born in Detroit, he is the famed assistant coach of the 1980 U.S. Olympic gold medal “Miracle on Ice” hockey team and celebrated long-time NHL general manager.
Patrick played eight seasons of NHL hockey with the California Golden Seals, St. Louis Blues, Kansas City Scouts and Washington Capitals. He registered 72 goals and 91 assists (163 points) in 401 NHL games.
After his playing career, Patrick served under head coach Herb Brooks during the storied 1980 U.S. Olympic team’s shocking upset over the Soviet Union en route to the gold medal.
Patrick went on to serve as general manager of the NHL’s New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins. He was the architect of the Penguins’ Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992, and drafted current Penguins stars Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury.