On Friday, July 7, the Colorado Avalanche announced two new coaching hires: Ray Bennett and Jussi Parkkila.
Ray Bennett and Jussi Parkkila have been hired as the new assistant coach and goaltending coach, respectively, according to a press release statement by the Avalanche. The two men will join current assistant Nolan Pratt and head coach Jared Bednar.
We have hired two new coaches! https://t.co/pXT7P8BBAW
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) July 7, 2017
Avalanche Executive Vice President/General Manager Joe Sakic said,
Ray brings a tremendous amount of NHL experience and hockey knowledge to our team, and Jussi has a proven track record of working with goaltenders. They’re a great complement to our current coaching staff, and we’re excited to have them join our organization.”
For 10 seasons, Ray Bennett was the assistant coach for the St. Louis Blues and worked under four different coaches during that time period. Bennett was let go from the Blues in May of this year, along with three other members of the coaching staff, so the timing of his arrival in Colorado could not have been better. Before working with the Blues, he was an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings for seven seasons (1999-2006) and specialized in video analysis and statistical support.
Jussi Parkkila spent the last 12 seasons in Europe as a goaltending coach, with five of those years spent with Russia’s KHL and two seasons in Finland’s professional league, Liiga. Before that, he was the goaltending coach in the KHL with Omsk (2014-2015), St. Petersburg (2011-2014), and Mytischi (2010-2011).
It’s safe to say that Bennett and Parkkila are bringing a ton of experience and knowledge to the Colorado Avalanche. What are your thoughts on the new coaches? Are you looking forward to the upcoming season? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, and let’s get the conversation started.