Ducks hire Greg Cronin as head coach
The Anaheim Ducks have hired Greg Cronin as head coach, the team announced Monday.
Cronin has never been a head coach at the NHL level. He spent the past five seasons as the bench boss of the AHL's Colorado Eagles and has 12 years of experience as an NHL assistant.
"I'm excited and honored to be named head coach of the Anaheim Ducks," Cronin said in a statement. "This team has a fantastic future ahead, and I'm very grateful to the Samueli family and (general manager) Pat Verbeek for entrusting me with this amazing opportunity."
Cronin has been an assistant coach with the New York Islanders for two separate stints as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2011-14. The 60-year-old has also worked at the NCAA level with Colby, Maine, and Northeastern and was a co-founder of the United States National Team Development Program.
His penchant for developing young players was a key factor in his hiring in Anaheim.
"While we did cast a wide net in searching for the next head coach, it became clear to me that Greg would be the ideal fit for the position," Verbeek said. "Being a young team, I felt we needed a teacher of the finer points of the game and someone who has worked extensively over time with talented young players, helping them develop into successful NHL players."
The Ducks have missed the playoffs five consecutive seasons but boast a promising young core in Trevor Zegras, Mason McTavish, and Jamie Drysdale. Anaheim also possesses a strong prospect pipeline, with CHL Defenseman of the Year Olen Zellweger, Memorial Cup champion Nathan Gaucher, and the second overall pick in this month's NHL draft.
Anaheim parted ways with former head coach Dallas Eakins in April after four seasons at the helm.