The Oshawa Generals are looking to take the next step in the upcoming OHL season after bowing out in the Eastern Conference final this past spring to the Belleville Bulls.
A new face behind the bench for the Generals will be former St. Mike’s Buzzers coach Rich Ricci. He will be entrusted to guide the team along with old friend and current head coach Chris DiPiero.
Ricci joins the team as an associate coach and assistant GM. “I am very excited about the upcoming year. I have been afforded a tremendous opportunity along with tremendous responsibility,” says Ricci.
DiPiero and Ricci have a long history together that can be traced back to their days as teammates, playing at St. Michael’s College School Arena in Toronto. “Chris DiPiero and I have known each other since about the age of 9-10. We played hockey together at St Mike's, attended the high school together, went to U of T together, coached the Buzzers together for 7 yrs and have been the best of friends for 30 plus years.”
The Buzzers are coming off a year in which they lost only 4 games in regulation time in a 49 game regular season. The Buzzers were highly touted to make a long playoff run but fell short in the second round against their heated rivals, the Markham Waxers. The Waxers are coached by Rich Cornacchia, who led the Generals to a Memorial Cup title in 1990.
Although there may have been some banter between Ricci and the Generals in early spring, he indicates the talks did not begin in earnest until well after the Buzzers season ended and the ownership situation in Oshawa was shored up. “There were some casual talks over a period of time but they heated up quickly when the ownership changed in Oshawa recently.”
The ownership group, as it stands, consists of current Florida Panthers bench boss, Peter DeBoer, Rocco Tulio, and two time Stanley Cup Winner Adam Graves. “I am extremely excited about our 3 owners and what they bring to the table,” says Ricci.
Meanwhile back at SMCS arena, Ricci believes the Buzzers couldn’t be in more capable hands as former head of scouting
Carmen Cogliano takes over as GM.
“Carmen Cogliano was the only person I interviewed as I was confident that he was the right person, the only person. His contacts in hockey at all levels is an asset and being a parent here previously will undoubtedly assist him in his recruiting of players “ Cogliano is the father of Edmonton Oiler Andrew Cogliano, a Buzzers grad.
The Buzzers announced this past week that Greg Kelly will be their new coach.