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Firebirds' Wellwood Won't Return for 2021-22

May 24, 2021 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Flint Firebirds News Release

The Flint Firebirds announced via Twitter (@FlintFirebirds) on Saturday that head coach Eric Wellwood won't return for the 2021-22 season. With no contract in place for the upcoming campaign, the 31-year-old issued a statement citing personal and family circumstances as the reason he won't be renewing with the club.

"I have enjoyed the time I spent with this organization," added Wellwood. "I wish the 'Birds all the best in their upcoming season."

A native of Windsor, Ont., Wellwood took over as head coach of a struggling Flint club on October 18, 2018. After finishing at the bottom of the Western Conference with a 16-46-6-0 mark in 2018-19, the Firebirds climbed to second in the West Division, going 40-21-1-1 under Wellwood in 2019-20 as he became the winningest coach in the five-year history of the franchise.

Wellwood had previously served as associate coach of the Firebirds during the 2016-17 season. A three-time Memorial Cup champion, he won back-to-back titles as a player with the Windsor Spitfires in 2009 and 2010 before joining former Spits coach D.J. Smith on the bench as an assistant with the Oshawa Generals as they won it all in 2015.

On the ice, Wellwood played 31 NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers from 2010-13 before retiring due to injury.

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