SAN ANTONIO – The Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League announced that former ECHL player and coach Ray Edwards has been named assistant coach for San Antonio of the American Hockey League, joining former ECHL coach Greg Ireland, who is head coach of the Rampage.
The Phoenix RoadRunners are the ECHL affiliate of the Coyotes of the NHL and the Rampage of the AHL.
The ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League, marking the seventh season in a row that the ECHL has had affiliations with 20 or more teams, and there has been a former ECHL player on the Calder Cup champion each of the past 18 years.
Edwards becomes the 15th assistant coaches in the AHL who has ECHL experience joining Scott Allen of Quad City, Pat Bingham of Bridgeport, Dan Bylsma of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, David Cunniff of Worcester, J.J. Daigneault of Hartford, Kevin Dean of Lowell, Ted Dent of Rockford, Gord Dineen of Portland, Neil Little of Philadelphia, Moe Mantha of Rochester, Davis Payne of Peoria, Kjell Samuelsson of Philadelphia, Troy Ward of Houston and Bob Woods of Hershey.
There are 10 former ECHL coaches who are head coaches in the AHL with Dave Allison of Iowa, Dave Baseggio of Peoria, Bruce Boudreau of Hershey, Jack Capuano of Bridgeport, Kevin Dineen of Portland, Scott Gordon of Providence, Mike Haviland of Rockford, Greg Ireland of San Antonio, Kurt Kleinendorst of Lowell, and Roy Sommer of Worcester. Former ECHL player and coach Al MacIsaac is general manager of hockey operations for Rockford and former coach Scott White is director of hockey operations for Iowa.
Edwards became one of the youngest coaches in professional hockey in 1998-99 when at the age of 28 years old he was named head coach of Huntington in the ECHL. He was 66-61-16 in three seasons and in 1999-2000 Huntington had its most successful season finishing 35-25-10 in the regular season and reaching the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The 37 year old returned to the ECHL in 2001-02 and was 26-28-5 with Cincinnati.
Edwards played his entire career in the ECHL and had 174 points (83g-91a) and 1,253 penalty minutes in 309 regular season games and three assists and 37 penalty minutes in 11 postseason games with Birmingham, Dayton and Huntington from 1991-98. He is still the record holder for Huntington, which became the Texas Wildcatters in 2003-04, for penalty minutes in a season with 330 penalty minutes in 1995-96 and penalty minutes in a game with 37 penalty minutes on Nov. 4, 1995 against Columbus.