Monarchs assistant Pellerin moving on to Bridgeport
'To hold, lift and drink from the Stanley Cup was a moment I will never forget,' said Pellerin.
Little did he know at the time that he'd be celebrating another special moment.
Pellerin confirmed Tuesday night from his Windham home that this morning he will be formally named the head coach of the American Hockey League's Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Pellerin will replace Brent Thompson, who was named an assistant coach with the New York Islanders, the parent club of the Sound Tigers. 'This is an exciting moment for me and my family,' said Pellerin. 'I'm leaving a great organization to coach at another great organization.'
The 41-year-old Pellerin, who spent six seasons behind the bench in Manchester as an assistant, said he agreed to a two-year contract with an option to coach the Sound Tigers under General Manager and former University of Maine teammate Garth Snow.
Pellerin said everything happened quickly. He met with Snow last Thursday, again over dinner Friday and was offered the job over the weekend.
'It's a perfect fit for me,' said Pellerin. 'I mean I'm familiar with many people on the staff at Bridgeport. My coaching style is in line with what Garth was looking for to fill the post. My role is going to develop players on the minor league level, win as many games as we can and, to help our players reach their goals.'
As Pellerin turns a page to begin a new chapter in his life, he said he will always cherish the time he spent in Manchester within the Kings' organization.
'I owe so much to the entire Kings' organization,' he said. 'I mean they took me at a time I had little or no coaching experience and helped me grow into a coach. People like Ron Hextall (General Manager) Hubie McDonough (Director of Hockey Operations), Mark Morris (head coach), Mike Muir (trainer, conditioning coach), Mike Holden (equipment manager) gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. I thank them and many others who made my time in Manchester special for me and my family. The whole environment from inside the Verizon Wireless Arena to the fans and community was first-class.'
Pellerin said he will miss the current players coming back with the Monarchs.
'You know it's funny, but part of the assistant coaching job I'll miss is helping the young kids adjust to the life in the AHL,' said Pellerin. 'You see 20-year-old kids move into the Manchester area and they're living on their own for the first time. I had to make sure they had a place to live. I also told them things like what banks to deal with and what restaurants to dine at during their free time. To see them grow before your eyes and become young men was something I enjoyed about the job. When I was in Los Angeles to celebrate the Stanley Cup championship, it was gratifying to see many players in that locker room who started in Manchester. It was very gratifying.'
Pellerin said his family, wife Jennifer and three children, will continue to live in Windham.