The Saginaw Spirit announced today that former Detroit Red Wing coach Dave Lewis will be joining the team as a defensive consultant for the remainder of the season.
“As an organization we are thrilled to add someone with the experience and expertise that Dave Lewis can bring to the Saginaw Spirit,” team GM Dave Drinkill said in an email this afternoon. “As the team's new defensive consultant, he will work closely with our coaching staff for the rest of the season, ensuring that our players will maximize the skills they have and help take their game to another level.”
Lewis -a 62 year old native of Kindersley, Saskatoon- spent 15 seasons in the NHL playing for four different teams (New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, and Detroit Red Wings).
He retired, ending his playing career with the Red Wings following the 1987-88 season, and was immediately added as an assistant coach for the beginning of the 1988-89 season in Detroit.
Lewis spent 13 seasons as an assistant coach in Detroit (winning Stanley Cups in 1997, 1998, and 2002) before being named head coach in 2002 following the retirement of Scotty Bowman.
He spent 2 seasons as head coach in Detroit and one season as head coach of the Boston Bruins. He would go on to spend 3 seasons as an assistant with the Carolina Hurricanes before being named head coach of the Belarusian National Team in 2014.
Lewis indicated he is ready to get to work using his vast NHL experience to help develop the next NHL superstar right here in Saginaw.
“I would like to thank Craig Goslin and Dave Drinkill for this opportunity to mold the hockey minds of these young defensemen,” Lewis said. “Now that the timing is right for everyone, it's a great opportunity to come in and help out. The Spirit could have the next Nicklas Lidstrom on their roster right now. That is what I am here to find out.”
Lewis and the Spirit will head to Erie, PA and Hamilton, ON for a two-game road trip Friday and Saturday before returning to the Dow Event Center for a home game Wednesday against the Flint Firebirds.