Firebirds finalize coaching roster with retention of Matwijiw, return of MacDonald


By @MichaelCaples –

The Flint Firebirds’ coaching staff for the 2016-17 season has been finalized.

The OHL franchise has retained goaltending coach Stan Matwijiw and brought back Scott MacDonald, a longtime assistant coach with the Plymouth Whalers.

They join new head coach Ryan Oulahen and new assistant coach Eric Wellwood, along with new general manager George Burnett, to run the team currently being operated by the Ontario Hockey League.

Matwijiw returns for his second season with the Firebirds and ninth as goalie coach for the franchise – he has worked with the likes of Alex Nedeljkovic, Matt Hackett, Matt Mahalak and Scott Wedgewood.

Prior to his time with Plymouth, he served as a goalie consultant for the University of Michigan for seven seasons.

“I am happy to be back with the Flint Firebirds for a second season,” said Matwijiw in a release. “I look forward to an exciting year ahead.”

“Stan brings tremendous experience and knowledge with an excellent record for developing young goaltenders for the next level,” said Burnett. “He will be a valuable addition to our program.”

MacDonald returns to the franchise after working as assistant coach and video coordinator for the Whalers for four seasons from 2010-14.

“It’s a great feeling to have the opportunity to work with the Firebirds’ organization,” said MacDonald. “I’ve worked with many guys on the staff in the past and I’m looking forward to bringing a winning program to the City of Flint.”

“Scott has a skill set that is really going to help compliment Eric and myself on a daily basis,” Oulahen said. “Like Stan, he brings a lot of OHL experience to our club and we look forward to getting started this season.”