Reports: Firebirds coaching staff fired after Sunday night win, team walks out


By @MichaelCaples –

According to multiple reports, the Flint Firebirds fired their coaching staff after their Sunday night home game.

Per both ESPN’s John Buccigross and Yahoo Sports’ Sunaya Sapurji, the Firebirds’ team has walked out on the club after ownership fired the entire coaching staff.

This all comes after the Firebirds won their Sunday night game over Oshawa 4-3 in a shootout. The club, purchased by IMS Hockey Corp. (owned by Rolf Nilsen) last season from longtime Plymouth Whalers owner Peter Karmanos, Jr., is in their first year of operation in Flint.

Nilsen also has a son, 17-year-old defenseman Hakon Nilsen, on the Firebirds’ roster.

The Firebirds’ hockey operations roster, prior to these reports:

General Manager – Terry Christensen
Assistant General Manager – Joe Stefan
Head Coach – John Gruden
Assistant Coach – Dave Karpa
Assistant Coach – Petr Jonak

The Firebirds’ next game is Friday, Nov. 13, at home against Sarnia. Flint is currently 7-9-0-1 on the season.

UPDATE (Monday, Nov. 9 at 12:50 p.m.): The Firebirds have asked for a previous comment to be retracted from this story, as they have no comment at this time.

It also appears as though the Firebirds have deactivated their official Facebook account.

The original tweets that broke the story: