Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Winterhawks get their man

The Portland Winterhawks have had their eyes on Jamie Kompon.
(Chicago Blackhawks photo)
Jamie Kompon is expected to be introduced Wednesday (July 9) as the new general manager and head coach of the Portland Winterhawks.
Kompon will take over from Mike Johnston, who had been the Winterhawks’ GM/head coach since October 2008. Under Johnston’s guidance, the Winterhawks reached the last four WHL championship finals, winning it all in 2012-13. Johnston left the Winterhawks last month to sign on as head coach of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.
News of Portland’s interest in Kompon first surfaced in a Tuesday morning tweet from Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province: “Hearing longtime NHL assistant Jamie Kompon as a possibility for the Winterhawks coach/gm gig. Has Stanley Cup rings from Chicago + LA.”
A source familiar with the Winterhawks’ situation has confirmed to me that Kompon is their man.
Kompon, 47, is a native of Thunder Bay, Ont., who is the proud owner of two Stanley Cup rings. He was an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings in 2011-12 and with the Chicago Blackhawks the following season. In fact, he was the first NHL coach in 78 years to win the Stanley Cup in consecutive seasons with different teams. (Tommy Gorman was the head coach of the Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks in 1933-34 and Montreal Maroons in 1934-35.)
Kompon’s NHL coaching career began in 1997-98 when he started as the St. Louis Blues’ video coach under head coach Joel Quenneville. Kompon was there through the 2005-06 season.
Kompon then joined Los Angeles, where he spent the next six seasons. While with the Kings, he also spent some time as their director of amateur development. His contract wasn’t renewed after the Kings won the 2012 Stanley Cup championship. Johnston also was on the Kings’ coaching staff for the first two of Kompon’s seasons there.
After the Kings cut him loose, Kompon reunited with Quenneville, who by now was the head coach of the Blackhawks. Kompon spent the last two seasons in Chicago.
Kompon also has a history with Hockey Canada, having worked as Team Canada’s video coach under head coach Marc Habscheid at the 2006 world championship in Latvia. Canada finished fourth in that tournament.
Kompon spent four seasons (1985-89) at McGill University in Montreal, where he played defence with the Redmen. After a brief pro career in the ECHL and Germany, he worked for three seasons as a McGill assistant coach and two as co-head coach of the Redmen.
In 1996-97, he was an assistant coach with the AHL’s Baltimore Bandits.


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