Elite League Ice Hockey Club the Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning have announced the appointment of vastly experienced Canadian Doug McKay as Head Coach and General Manager, ahead of the 2018-19 season.
McKay will take the reins from current Head Coach Pete Russell, who will leave the club at the end of the current campaign, having led the organisation to League and play-off trophies and second place in the EPL in 2016-17.
A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Doug McKay will bring to the Lightning vast experience gained in North America, having worked previously for two years as Assistant Coach at both the NHL New Jersey Devils the Toronto Maple Leafs. He also has valuable Head Coach experience in the AHL and ECHL and more than two decades of coaching in several European leagues including Italy and Switzerland.
Off-ice operations at the Lightning will also benefit from Doug’s considerable experience, after four years with the NHL Buffalo Sabres handling marketing, sales, promotion and media relations.
Announcing the appointment, MK Lightning owner Monica Moody spoke of how the organisation arrived at their decision, saying:
“Our inaugural season was a challenge in many ways, which reinforced our continuing belief to move forward bringing a strong foundation in the community.
“Doug McKay has worked this game from every angle – from grass roots level to the NHL – and we are confident that with his help we will take our brand forward.
“We thank the entire MKL organisation on and off the ice for their effort, enthusiasm, commitments and their belief in our promising future.”
Doug McKay added:
“I’m looking forward to working with Monica and Graham and the Milton Keynes Lightning organisation and would like to thank them for this opportunity. I am excited to take on this new challenge and confident we will put a competitive product on the ice for all the MKL sponsors and fan base.”