After a week full of rumors and Twitter congratulations, the Wolves have made it official, announcing captain Nolan Baumgartner‘s retirement–and new position as the Wolves’ assistant coach!
Alberta native Baumgartner celebrated his 1000th professional game on February 24th of this year, and was profiled by the Wolves’ magazine this past season. After a 16-year playing career, the defenseman has hung the gloves and found a way to remain close to the sport (and the team) that he loves. Baumgartner has had three separate stints with the Canucks, earning the captaincy twice with the Moose and carrying it over to the Wolves when the Canucks switched affiliates. He was named to the AHL All-Star Team three times (in 2005, 2007, and 2010) and was a starter in 2007 as well as captain of the Canadian team in 2010. Best of luck to Baumgartner in his new role!
The announcement is one of the few made recently that indicate major changes happening behind the bench. Former head coach Craig MacTavish has returned to the Oilers organization as their Senior Vice-President of Hockey Operations, leading to former Columbus Blue Jackets’ head coach Scott Arniel’s selection as head coach for the Wolves. With the coaching staff bringing fresh perspectives and different sets of experiences, it’s going to be an exciting year to watch the Wolves.