HURRICANES HIRE STRAND AS YOUTH HOCKEY COORDINATOR
RALEIGH, NC – Matt West, Vice President of Business Operations for the Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the Hurricanes have hired former Raleigh Icecap Paul Strand as the team’s Youth and Amateur Hockey Coordinator. Strand, who retired from professional hockey after seven years in 2002, will assist the existing youth and amateur hockey base in North Carolina in continuing to grow the game.
“Paul is a well-known figure among fans who followed hockey in Raleigh before the Hurricanes arrived in town,” said West. “His experience and enthusiasm for our sport will help our market’s thriving youth hockey programs to flourish.”
Strand, 33, began his hockey career in northern Alberta, culminating in a five-year playing career at perennial Canadian collegiate power, the University of Alberta. The Sudbury, Alb., native led the Golden Bears in scoring his final three seasons and was named team Most Valuable Player twice, totaling 241 points (86g, 155a) in 192 games. His success in college earned him a free-agent tryout with the Edmonton Oilers following graduation, where he had the opportunity to play on a line with Oilers star Ryan Smyth during training camp. Strand then embarked on a seven-year professional career that included five seasons in the ECHL, one year in the Central Hockey League (CHL) and one season with the Hamburg Crocodiles of the German Bundesliga.
Strand’s playing career brought him to North Carolina twice, including the final year of the Raleigh Icecaps in 1997-98, his rookie season in the ECHL. He was voted “Fan Favorite” by the Icecaps Booster Club that season after scoring 51 points (25g, 26a) in 54 games for Raleigh, including an Icecaps-record five goals in a single game. He returned to the Tar Heel State in 2001 when he was traded to the Greensboro Generals. Strand skated in his final professional game in Greensboro in 2004, completing an ECHL career in which he tallied 132 points (59g, 73a) in 197 games.
It was in Greensboro that Strand became involved with youth and amateur hockey in the North Carolina, starting as an assistant coach in the Greensboro Youth Hockey Association in 2002. Strand also volunteered to become a USA Hockey coaching education instructor, assisting in the training and development of youth hockey coaches. He has served on the Carolina Amateur Hockey Association’s Board of Directors since 2003 as the Youth Committee Chairperson and liaison to the Carolina’s Hockey League (CHL). Strand is also involved in the Southeast District U13 Festival held annually in Nashville, a development camp that brings in the top coaches to work with the most talented 13-year-old players in USA Hockey’s Southeast District.
As the Hurricanes’ Youth and Amateur Hockey Coordinator, Strand will be in charge of all of the team’s youth camps and clinics, as well as the Junior Hurricanes, the annual team-sponsored entrant into the Quebec International Hockey Pee Wee Tournament. He will also lead the Hurricanes’ Street Stormers program and direct the In-School Initiative, a program in which the team led clinics in gym classes in 17 Wake County schools this past school year.