Stajan joins Hitmen as assistant coach; Otto steps down – Toronto Sun

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Calgary Flames Alumnus Matt Stajan speaks during the teamÕs 40th season luncheon at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday, March 9, 2020. Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia
Calgary Flames Alumnus Matt Stajan speaks during the teamÕs 40th season luncheon at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday, March 9, 2020. Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia Photo by Azin Ghaffari /Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia

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The Calgary Hitmen have brought in Matt Stajan as an assistant coach.

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Stajan, a longtime member of the Calgary Flames, joins head coach Steve Hamilton, assistant coach Trent Cassan and goaltending coach Brad Kirkwood to form the coaching staff of the Junior A club for the 2021-22 Western Hockey League season.

After 15 years with the Hitmen, assistant coach Joel Otto is relinquishing his role on the coaching staff due to a hip injury that will not allow him to continue providing on-ice instruction.

“We are so pleased to be able to add a well-respected former player such as Matt Stajan to our coaching staff,” said Hitmen GM Jeff Chynoweth. “His NHL playing experience is innumerable and will be a great asset to our club.

“At the same time, we want to thank Joel for his many years of service with the Hitmen.”

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When asked about moving from playing to coaching the game and being able to stay within the Calgary Sports & Entertainment group, Stajan expressed his excitement at being able to work with the Hitmen.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to help these young men grow and develop at this early stage of their careers,” Stajan said. “It will be great to learn the coaching and development side of the game, working alongside Steve, Trent and Brad.”

Prior to stepping behind the bench, the 37-year-old Ontario native was drafted n the second round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, with whom he played seven seasons before being traded to the Calgary Flames. He retired from the Flames and the NHL after the 2017-18 NHL campaign, racking up 1,003 games, 146 goals and 413 points.

Most recently, Stajan played with Munich EHC in the Deutsche Eishockey League (Germany) before announcing his retirement from professional hockey in 2019.

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