By Tony Saxon, Guelph Mercury
It was finally a good news day for the Guelph Storm on Saturday.
The team announced the hiring of Jarrod Skalde as its new coach and also snapped a 15-game losing streak with a 4-3 shootout win over the Mississauga Steelheads before 4,442 at the Sleeman Centre.
Skalde, 44, becomes the 16th coach in team history.
“When this came about I made sure I got hold of Mike because this was something I wanted to pursue,” Skalde said. “When I got the word I was the next head coach I was ecstatic.”
The Niagara Falls native who lives with his wife and two children in Toronto, Skalde has never coached at the junior level, but has coached professionally for seven years.
“I’ve always looked at the OHL as something I wanted to get involved with. I’ve always looked at different opportunities in the OHL but nothing’s really come up for me and I had the opportunity to coach in pro,” Skalde said.
A former coach of the year in the East Coast Hockey League, most recently he was the head coach of the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League in the 2014-15 season. He was let go at the end of that season.
A one-time second round draft pick of the New Jersey Devils, he had a 17-year professional career that included 115 games in the National Hockey League. He also played in the Ontario Hockey League with the Oshawa Generals and Belleville Bulls, winning a Memorial Cup with the Generals in 1990.
Skalde said he doesn’t think he has to change his approach too much at the junior level.
“I think X’s and O’s, execution and details are the same. Patience is another thing. You’ve got to be patient with this group,” he said.
The key is to see gradual improvement, Skalde said.
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