After two years of serving as the Red Deer Rebels’ head coach, Steve Konowalchuk has been hired as an associate head coach for a team in the American Hockey League.
On Tuesday, the Colorado Eagles announced the 50-year-old Konowalchuk will join head coach Aaron Schneekloth and assistant Tim Branham on the team’s coaching staff for the 2023-24 season.
The Eagles are the Colorado Avalanche’s AHL affiliate squad. Konowalchuk has history with the Avalanche organization – he played his final two NHL seasons with Colorado in 2003-04 and 2005-06 before retiring at the start of 2006 training camp due to a heart condition. He also served as an assistant coach with the Avalanche in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
“We’re excited to have ‘Kono’ back with the Avalanche organization,” Avalanche assistant general manager Kevin McDonald said in an article published on the Colorado Eagles’ website.
“His involvement in hockey spans over three decades as a player, coach and scout at the NHL level as well as a successful run as a head coach in the WHL.
“Not only does he bring an extensive hockey and coaching background but he is passionate, a great communicator and understands the development side of the game as well. We look forward to having him join Aaron and Tim behind the Eagles bench this season.”
Rebels owner, president and general manager Brent Sutter announced this past May that Konowalchuk resigned as the club’s head coach. Shortly after this announcement, Konowalchuk told The Advocate it was hard to leave the Rebels, but he wanted to be closer to family.
Last month, Derrick Walser was named as Konowalchuk’s replacement in Red Deer.
The Rebels were eliminated in the second round of the Western Hockey League playoffs in both of Konowalchuk’s seasons behind the bench in Red Deer.
Prior to coming to Red Deer, he was an assistant coach with the Anaheim Ducks in 2017-18NHL season. He was also head coach of the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds from 2011-2017. He won a WHL Championship in his final season as Seattle’s coach.