The Erie Otters have hired Chris Hartsburg and Vince Laise as the new assistant coaches on coach Kris Knoblauch‘s staff. They were introduced, along with first-round pick Dylan Strome, to the media and a group of season-ticket holders and fans during a welcome reception Thursday at Erie Insurance Arena.
Hartsburg, 33, whose father, Craig Hartsburg, was a defenseman in the NHL and now is associate coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets, spent the past four seasons as an assistant with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips. Hartsburg, a native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, will focus on the defense and penalty kill.
Laise, 30, a native of Bramalea, Ontario, will handle off-ice training, video breakdown and assist Knoblauch with the power-play units. He has worked with many professional athletes at the Athletic Training Center, a hockey training facility in Mississauga, Ontario. He also has worked with Strome.
He was an assistant coach this season with the Brampton Bombers, a Junior B club in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. He spent the 2011-12 season, his first in coaching, with the Oakville Blades of the Ontario Junior A Hockey League.
Knoblauch said he has someone in mind for the club’s part-time goaltending coach. But he planned to wait until the OHL releases the schedule for the 2013-14 season before making a decision. Knoblauch said the team’s schedule would need to fit into that undisclosed candidate’s plans.
- Victor Fernandes