Niagara, ON – The Niagara IceDogs announced today that Assistant Coach Kris Sparre has resigned from his position to return to Europe, to coach EC Red Bull Salzburg of the Austrian Hockey League.
“The OHL is a development league for not only players but coaches as well. Kris made great strides in his 3 seasons as Assistant Coach here and we wish him nothing but success in the future.” Said Head Coach Billy Burke.
In parting with the team, Sparre provided the letter below he wished to be passed along to the IceDogs community.
My Experience Coaching The Niagara IceDogs
One of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make was leaving one of the best
organizations I have ever been a part of…the Niagara IceDogs. That being said, I have
accepted a coaching position in Europe with RedBull Salzburg but before I go, I would
like the fans to truly know what it’s like to be a part of the IceDogs organization.
I came to St. Catharines fresh from my playing days not knowing what a coaching life
would look like. General Manager Joey Burke gave me an opportunity and believed in
me from day one and I cannot thank him enough for that. Thanks to Bill and Denise
Burke, I was welcomed like family and felt comfortable right from the start. My wife and
family were always treated very well and Bill and Denise would always go over and
above to make sure they were comfortable at the games. Whether it be the incredible
facilities, team events or travel accommodation, when you’re an IceDog, it’s first class
all the way.
I was fortunate enough to work with great coaches and management throughout my
three years in Niagara. My past two seasons working under Head Coach Billy Burke
has been a great learning experience for me and I would not have been given this
opportunity to move forward without having learned from him. He’s been a great
mentor for me and a major contributor in my development as a coach.
Whether you’re a player, coach, trainer or mascot, being an IceDog is a tremendous
honour and I feel privileged to have been a part of it for three years. I wish the IceDogs
family, including the great fans, all the success in the world. This is truly one of the
greatest organization in the Canadian Hockey League and I look forward to seeing
what is in store for the future!
GO DOGS GO!!!