Ducks make changes on the bench and in the front office – Orange County Register

The Ducks were already set to undergo one of the most stark transformations in the NHL this offseason, beginning Tuesday with changes behind the bench and in the front office.

It was announced by the club that assistant coaches Newell Brown and Craig Johnson would not have their contracts renewed, opening the door for new faces to join head coach Greg Cronin and assistant Brent Thompson. Cronin could also have a multitude of new players in his group as the Ducks will be one of the most financially flexible teams in the league this summer.

Brown and Johnson were holdovers from the administration of Dallas Eakins, whom Cronin replaced last June, when he brought Thompson aboard.

Brown had been with the team since 2021, when he arrived from the Vancouver Canucks organization, and ran a Ducks power play that struggled to find consistency. Johnson joined the club a year later in a broader supporting role. He and Thompson have sons who play for the Buffalo Sabres.

Additionally, Rob DiMaio left the organization for personal reasons, vacating his roles as Ducks assistant general manager and San Diego Gulls (American Hockey League) general manager. Mike Stapleton was promoted to the assistant GM role with the parent club, while Rick Paterson was promoted to the GM position in the minors. The Gulls had a down year last season, something Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek said he hoped to improve next season, along with a main roster that he has nearly $34 million in cap space to renovate, the third most in the NHL presently.

“The San Diego Gulls have a bright future with many outstanding skilled players returning or joining the team next season,” Paterson said. “We look forward to getting back to our winning ways in short order and bringing the Calder Cup to the great city of San Diego.”

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