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Head Coach Neil Graham Appointed as Texas Stars Assistant Coach

July 8, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Idaho Steelheads News Release

BOISE, Idaho - Dallas Stars Assistant General Manager and Texas Stars General Manager Scott White announced today that the club has appointed Idaho Steelheads Head Coach & Director of Hockey Operations Neil Graham as Assistant Coach of the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

"I am excited for the opportunity to join the Texas Stars coaching staff," said Graham. "I have worked closely with Scott White and [head coach] Derek Laxdal over the last several seasons. We share the same values in terms of the development model and look forward to working even closer with them in this new capacity."

Graham, 34, spent the last seven seasons with the Steelheads including four seasons as the team's Head Coach, amassing a 166-91-31 record in 288 regular season games while leading the team to three-straight 40-win seasons and extending the team's historic playoff streak to 22 seasons, the longest active streak in professional hockey. The Calgary, Alb. native guided the Steelheads to the Kelly Cup Playoffs in all four seasons as Head Coach, moving to the Division Final in each of the last two seasons while appearing in 34 total playoff games, including the second reverse-sweep of a seven-game series in ECHL history during the 2018 postseason and the league's first four-straight overtime victories in a series during the 2019 postseason.

"Neil has proven himself as a capable coach during his tenure in Idaho," White said. "His experience as a coach and player will be a tremendous asset to head coach Derek Laxdal and the entire Texas Stars coaching staff. Neil's work in Boise and addition to the Stars both continues and enhances the development path between Texas and Idaho."

The 34-year-old Graham was named Head Coach on Aug. 7, 2015 and became the youngest Head Coach in team history while also sitting as the league's second-youngest coach. Prior to being appointed, Graham was Idaho's full-time assistant coach during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons after serving as a player/coach for the 2012-13 campaign.

"We are very excited for Neil and his opportunity with the Texas Stars and the Dallas Stars organization," said Steelheads President Eric Trapp. "It's a chance well-earned. We were very fortunate to have Neil over the last seven years, including the last four seasons as our Head Coach. Neil and his family are part of the Steelheads family forever. We wish him all the best in Texas and hope he continues to reach his personal goals."

"I will always be grateful to Eric Trapp and the Idaho Steelheads organization," said Graham. "The culture is excellent and encourages growth. My wife Meg, son Rylan, and I have loved our time in Boise.

"We cannot thank enough the city, the fans, and the friends we have made over the last seven years in Boise. We're elated for this next chapter and are looking forward to building relationships in Cedar Park, Texas."

The search for the eighth head coach in Steelheads history is currently underway.

The Steelheads return to CenturyLink Arena on Friday, Oct. 18 for the 2019-20 Home Opener against the Wichita Thunder. Season tickets and flex plans for the 2019-20 season are now available! Call the Steelheads Front Office at 208-383-0080 to plan your seats for next season. Stay connected to the Steelheads throughout the summer on idahosteelheads.com or by following the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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