The Saginaw Spirit announced this past week that they’ve extended both Head Coach Chris Lazary as well as General Manager Dave Drinkill with contracts through the 2020-21 season.
Spirit extend Head Coach Chris Lazary through 2020-21
Saginaw, MI – Saginaw Spirit General Manager Dave Drinkill announced Tuesday the hockey club has extended the contract of Head Coach Chris Lazary through the 2020-21 season.
“I am very pleased to have signed our Head Coach Chris Lazary to a contract extension today,” said Drinkill. “Chris has done everything we have asked of him and more since joining our organization three seasons ago as our Associate Coach, and now has taken our team to a new level since taking over as our Head Coach in November. He is the hardest working person I have come across in my time in the OHL and is always looking at ways to improve not only the team, but also himself. Chris is a progressive thinker in terms of how the game is being played and how he believes it is headed and it is important to have someone that can change with the game and stay ahead of the curve. It is a very well deserved extension and I look forward to continuing to build the Spirit organization with Chris as our Head Coach moving forward.”
Lazary took over as Head Coach of the Spirit on November 18, 2018. Since his promotion, the Spirit have a record of 25-6-1-2, including a 14-game home winning streak from Dec. 14 through Feb. 16.
“I want to thank Dave Drinkill and ownership for the opportunity to continue with the Saginaw Spirit,” said Lazary. “My wife, Jackie, and young daughter, Josephine, hold Saginaw very close to our hearts. This is where I had my first child and my first head coaching job in the OHL. I am very proud of what we have accomplished to this point, and look forward to working closely with Hockey Operations, to bring a championship to the city of Saginaw.”
The 36-year old from Whitby, Ontario was hired by the Spirit prior to the 2016-17 season as an Associate Coach after two seasons with the Sarnia Sting as an Assistant Coach. Previous to his experience in the OHL, Lazary was the Head Coach of the Waterloo Siskins of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League during the 2013-14 season. He spent one season as an assistant at York University (CIS), and two seasons (2010-12) as Assistant Coach of the St. Michaels Buzzers in the Ontario Junior Hockey League.
Spirit extend contract of General Manager Dave Drinkill through 2020-21
Saginaw, MI – The Saginaw Spirit announced Thursday Owner Dick Garber has extended the contract of General Manager Dave Drinkill through the 2020-21 season.
“On behalf of owner Dick Garber, partners Brandon Bordeaux, Chris Osgood and Jim Devellano, we recognize the strong effort that Dave Drinkill demonstrates every day as our General Manager,” said Team President Craig Goslin. “Dave, his coaching staff, and his scouting staff have built a championship-caliber roster and a culture for development of our players that mirrors our mission statement of developing young talented athletes, into successful people, on and off the ice.”
Drinkill is in his fourth season as General Manager of the Spirit after spending a total of nine seasons with the Barrie Colts in multiple roles. Drinkill was promoted to Assistant General Manager prior to the 2011-12 season and was part of the 2013 Eastern Conference Champion Colts that featured future NHL talent Aaron Ekblad, Andreas Athanasiou, Mark Scheifele, Brendan Lemieux, and Mackenzie Blackwood.
“I would like to thank Messrs. Garber, Goslin, Devellano, Bordeaux, and Osgood for the opportunity to continue to build this franchise and head towards our ultimate goals,” said Drinkill. “I would also like to thank the Hockey Operations and Business Staff for supporting me and working tirelessly for this organization, as we all continue to row in the same direction here in Saginaw.”
“I am very excited to be part of the Spirit family,” continued Drinkill. “I have always said that Saginaw is a hidden gem in the OHL and is a great place for young players to play junior hockey and grow on and off the ice, as individuals. It is my job to make sure we have a product on the ice that the fans and community can support each year, and ultimately contend for the championship. I will continue to do everything I can to make this happen. I want to thank everyone for their support and I look forward to what the future has in store here in the Great Lakes Bay Region.”
Drinkill has 115 wins to date as General Manager of the Spirit, with 35 coming during the 2018-19 season, the most for any Spirit team since the 2010-11 West Division Championship season (40).
For more details visit saginawspirit.com.