KENT, June 28, 2017 — Seattle Thunderbirds general manager Russ Farwell today announced head coach Steve Konowalchuk has accepted the position of assistant coach with the Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League.
“We are sorry to see him go, but this is a great opportunity for Steve and we wish him the best,” said Farwell. “He did a very good job with our team in all areas and is deserving of this opportunity. We will begin our search immediately for a new head coach.”
“It’s been an amazing six years coaching the T-Birds and being a part of the T-Bird organization,” said Konowalchuk. “I’ll always be grateful to Russ Farwell and Colin Campbell for giving me the opportunity to coach the team. I am also very appreciative of the best fans in the WHL and the unbelievable support they have given me and the team. It was a hard decision to move on as my family loves Seattle and it will always be home.
I am excited and thankful for the great opportunity Bob Murray and Randy Carlyle have given me to join a world class organization and compete for a Stanley Cup.”
This past season Konowalchuk guided the T-Birds to the WHL Championship, the first in franchise history. The T-Birds won back-to-back Western Conference Championships under Konowalchuk’s guidance with series victories over the Kelowna Rockets in 2016 and 2017.
In six seasons at the T-Birds helm Konowalchuk had a 219-176-22-15 record. This record and winning percentage of .549% is the second best coaching record and winning percentage in team history.
Konowalchuk was named the 16th head coach in franchise history on June 16, 2011. He was an assistant coach with the Avalanche for two seasons prior to joining the T-Birds. Konowalchuk was a member of the Avalanche player development department during the 2007-08 NHL season.
Konowalchuk appeared in 790 games over 14 NHL seasons with the Washington Capitals and Avalanche, recording 171 goals and 225 assists for 396 points. Konowalchuk was selected by the Washington Capitals in the third round, 58th overall, in the 1991 NHL Draft.
Konowalchuk played two seasons in the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks. He had 94 goals and 102 assists for 196 points in 136 games with the Winterhawks.
The WHL Champion T-Birds start the 2017-18 Western Hockey League regular season against the Tri-City Americans on Saturday, September 23 at 7:05pm at the ShoWare Center.
T-Birds single game tickets for the 2017-18 regular season will go on sale August 23 at 10am online on the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office.
T-Birds season tickets for the 2017-18 season are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.