Meet the Falcons: Coaching Staff

Doug Pensinger - Getty Images

The Columbus Blue Jackets decisively made the first move for the upcoming AHL season on April 16th when they relieved Falcons head coach Rob Riley of his duties.

Despite Columbus assistant general manager Chris MacFarland's assertion that "...a new voice is needed...", in the end, all he and Falcons general manager Bruce Landon needed to do was look down to the far end of the bench.

The Falcons new head coach for the 2012-2013 season is former two season assistant to Riley, Brad Larsen. In his previous two seasons on the Falcons bench, Larsen has continued the qualities that highlighted his thirteen year playing career. MacFarland said:

"He has a tremendous amount of passion for coaching and the game of hockey and will bring great energy to the rink every day."

Back for a second season as a Falcons assistant coach is Nolan Pratt. Pratt, a veteran of 592 NHL games, has his name engraved on the Stanley Cup twice - with the 2000-01 Colorado Avalanche and the 2003-04 Tampa Bay Lightning. His dedication and experience were important to his role as a defensive coach last season. Combine that with the Falcons best record since 1997-98, and it became a solid choice to bring Pratt back for another season with the Falcons.

Possibly the surprise hiring of the summer was when the Jackets secured the services of former Peoria Rivermen head coach Jared Bednar to be an assistant to Coach Larsen. Bednar, a former defensman, has brought success with him throughout a ten year coaching career. His South Carolina Stingrays won the ECHL Kelly Cup in 2009. The following season, his first in the "A", Bednar was an assistant coach for the Abbotsford Heat as they reached the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs.

When the first players hit the ice at the MassMutual Center on Friday morning, the camp will have a different feel than previous Columbus affiliated camps. The past two seasons, Falcons camp has differentiated itself by being a collection of new pro's and walk on free agents, looking to land a job in the "A".

This time, as the Birds start camp with 37 players, many with recent NHL experience, the team will be divided into two groups; an "A" team and a "B" team.

Falcons training camp schedule shapes up this way:

Friday, Sept. 28

10:00 - 11:30 a.m. - Team A, On-Ice Practice
2:00 - 3:30 p.m. - Team B, On-Ice Practice

Saturday, Sept. 29

10:00 - 11:30 a.m. - Team B, On-Ice Practice
12:30 - 2:00 p.m. - Team A, On-Ice Practice

Sunday, Sept. 30

10:00 - 11:30 a.m. - Team A, On-Ice Practice
12:30 - 2:00 p.m. - Team B, On-Ice Practice

Monday, Oct. 1

10:00 - 10:45 a.m. - Team B, On-Ice Practice
11:05 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Team A vs. Team B
12:20 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Team A, On-Ice Practice

Tuesday, Oct. 2

12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Team A vs. Team B

Wednesday, Oct. 3

10:00 - 10:45 a.m. - Pregame Skate
7:05 p.m. - Springfield at Providence (New England Sports Center, Marlborough, Mass.)

Thursday, Oct. 4

10:00 - 11:30 a.m. - Team A, On-Ice Practice
12:30 - 2:00 p.m. - Team B, On-Ice Practice

Friday, Oct. 5

10:00 - 10:45 a.m. - Pregame Skate
7:00 p.m. - Springfield vs. Worcester (MassMutual Center)

Saturday, Oct. 6

10:00 - 10:45 a.m. - Pregame Skate
7:00 p.m. - Springfield vs. Providence (MassMutual Center)

After the October 6th tilt, the Birds will get down to their regular season roster, in preparation for their October 13th season opener against the St. John's IceCaps.

In This Article

Teams
Players
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