SAINT JOHN, July 9, 2012 – The Saint John Sea Dogs have announced the appointment of veteran coach Ross Yates as its new assistant bench boss.

Yates, 53, is a former head coach of the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League.  He joined the Columbus Blue Jackets’ primary farm team in 2000-2001and remained with the Crunch for ten years, including four as head coach.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to add Ross to our staff from an outstanding group of candidates,” said Sea Dogs General Manager and Head Coach Mike Kelly.

“The development of our players is the number one priority in Saint John and we feel Ross will definitely add to that cause.”                                    

A native of Montreal, Yates spent more than a decade as a player and coach in Europe before joining the Syracuse coaching staff.  

As a player, Yates established strong roots in the Maritimes, spending five years with Mount Allison University of then AUAA.  In his final year at Mount Allison, he recorded 72 points (16 goals and 56 assists) in just 21 regular season games.  His 56 assists in a single season remains an Atlantic University Sport (AUS) record.

Following the 1981 AUAA season, Yates joined the Binghamton Whalers of the AHL.  In his second full year with the Whalers in 1982-1983, Yates enjoyed a career season, capturing the league’s top scorer award (41 goals and 84 assists for 125 total points).  He was also named the league’s most valuable player, earned the AHL’s top sportsmanship award and was named The Hockey News minor league player of the year.

Yates made his NHL debut with the Hartford Whalers in 1983-1984 and collected one goal and one assist in seven games before heading overseas to continue his playing career.

The Sea Dogs will open their 2012-13 regular season at Harbour Station on Thursday, Sept. 20, against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

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