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 Flint Firebirds

Firebirds Bring Back Assistant Coaches Ruotsalainen and Posa, Hire Scott MacDonald as Video Coach

May 15, 2024 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
Flint Firebirds News Release

FLINT, Mich. - The Flint Firebirds announced on Wednesday that Assistant Coaches Reijo Ruotsalainen and Saverio Posa will return to the coaching staff for their second and third seasons respectively. Additionally, the Firebirds have hired Scott MacDonald as the team's Video Coach.

"I feel very fortunate to have been able to work with Reijo and Saverio last season and am excited to continue to build and grow together," Firebirds Head Coach Paul Flache said. "Adding Scott to the group provides another great resource for the staff and, more importantly, the players, to continue pushing their development. I am looking forward to working together with the entire group as we prepare for the upcoming season."

Ruotsalainen returns for his second season as an Assistant Coach. He enjoyed a decorated playing career that included a pair of Stanley Cup championships with the Edmonton Oilers in 1987 and 1990. Ruotsolainen played a combined 446 games in the NHL as a defenseman for the Oilers, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, during which time he scored 107 goals and had 237 assists. He also won a silver medal for his native Finland at the 1988 Winter Olympics. Ruotsalainen brings over 40 years of combined playing and coaching experience to the Firebirds roster.

Posa first joined the Firebirds as an Assistant/Video coach for the 2022-23 season and became the team's Assistant/Skill Development Coach ahead of the 2023-24 season. A native of Grand Blanc, Posa played four seasons in the OHL for both the Windsor Spitfires and the Guelph Storm. He won a Memorial Cup with Windsor in 2010 and was its captain in the 2012-13 season before being traded to Guelph. Posa went on to play seven professional seasons, featuring stops in the CHL, ECHL, SPHL, Italy and France.

MacDonald returns to the Firebirds where he had spent two seasons from 2016-18 as an assistant and video coach. Prior to that he had worked for the Plymouth Whalers, the franchise that became the Firebirds, as an assistant and video coach for four seasons from 2010-14. He has also worked as a video coach in the AHL for the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins and the U.S. National Development Team. MacDonald worked with Flache during his first stint with the team in the 2017-18 season, when Flache was the associate head coach.

"I'm so excited to be back with this great organization and working in Flint," MacDonald said. "It's a great group, from ownership to management. I'm thrilled to get the chance to work with Flacher again, along with the rest of this staff. I can't wait to get started developing players with a hard-working mentality and get to work on bringing a winning team to Flint."

"We are very happy with the coaching staff we've been able to assemble for the upcoming season," McParlan said. "Paul, Reijo and Saverio made great strides with our group last season and we are excited to have them back to continue the development. To be able to add another familiar and experienced piece, like Scott MacDonald, to that already talented staff, is a tribute to our ownership's commitment to winning. This is a staff that we believe will get the best out of our players every day, both on and off the ice."

Flint Firebirds 2024-25 season memberships are on sale now! Memberships start as low as $408 for the full season and fans can reserve their seats with a $50 deposit. For more information, stop by the Dort Financial Center box office or call them at (810) 744-0580.

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