By Scott Linesburgh
The Stockton Record
STOCKTON, Calif. – Chris Cichocki never has had an assistant in his seven seasons as a head coach in the ECHL. But now that the Stockton Thunder is hiring one, he knows exactly what he wants.
“I want someone who played professional hockey, and a key would be for him to be a former defenseman, if possible,” Cichocki said. “Since I was a forward, it would be a good fit. He’ll have certain responsibilities, but at the end of the day we would work on all aspects of the team together.”
Thunder president Dan Chapman announced over the weekend the team would add an assistant coach next season. Cichocki has been a head coach in Stockton, Arkansas and Cincinnati without ever having an assistant, but he served in that role in Cincinnati and with Grand Rapids, Mich. of the American Hockey League.
“It will definitely be an adjustment, but I welcome an assistant,” Cichocki said.
The search has started, and Stockton’s NHL parent club, the Edmonton Oilers, will have a say in the decision. Cichocki confirmed Thunder defenseman and alternate captain Tim O’Connell has inquired about the position and is a candidate. O’Connell said after the season he was leaning toward retiring as a player.
Cichocki said he hoped to have an assistant coach in place by early June.