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 Cape Breton Eagles

Joseph, Culligan Join Eagles Staff for 2024-2025 Season

June 17, 2024 - Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)
Cape Breton Eagles News Release

On Monday during the Cape Breton Eagles Town Hall Draft Recap event, club general manager Sylvain Couturier announced the hiring of two new additions to team staff heading into the 2024-2025 season.

Beginning this off-season, Sydney's own Fabian Joseph and Chris Culligan will both begin scouting roles with the club under the direction of Couturier.

"Both Fabian and Chris are going to be huge additions to our staff next season," said club majority owner Irwin Simon. "Both men have long and successful careers in hockey and are well respected in Cape Breton and beyond. All the puzzle pieces seem to be falling into place with our organization, so we certainly have some exciting hockey ahead of us."

Fabian Joseph joins as hockey operations advisor

Joseph, 58, will act as hockey operations advisor to head coach Louis Robitaille and Couturier for next season where his duties will be to pre-scout the opposition and consult with coaching staff and management regarding trading and drafting.

"I have been approached by a couple other teams, but this opportunity was really attractive to me," Joseph said. "I have always had that passion for Cape Breton and I was hoping to get involved at different times with this first class organization, but this seems to be the right time and things happen for a reason."

A Nova Scotia hall off fame inductee and former two-time olympic silver medalist, Joseph is well-respected in the Nova Scotia hockey community, having been involved in the sport for over four decades.

Joseph was selected 109th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft and is a former captain of the American Hockey League's Cape Breton Oilers from 1989 to 1990. Joseph is a former AUS coach of the year with the Dalhousie mens hockey team where he coached for seven seasons.

He also coached at two Memorial Cup tournaments, with the Halifax Mooseheads in 2000 and the Moncton Wildcats in 2010, a season where he won the QMJHL's Presidents Cup.

Most recently, Joseph was an assistant coach for the Amherst Ramblers in the Maritime Junior Hockey League in the 2022-2023 season. He currently runs Fabian Joseph Hockey Development in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Fabian is the younger brother of long-time Eagles coach Blair "Bearcat" Joseph. Following Blair's passing in 2023, Fabian said he has gained a new found respect for the Eagles organization.

"I was very impressed by the organization, how they showed so much respect for my brother Blair when he was going through his battle with cancer. For me, that is first and foremost an organization that I want to be associated with. That held a lot of weight for me," he said. "It was so exciting to watch this city get turned around in terms of excitement and the electricity in the playoffs this year. I think it is an exciting time for the Eagles, so there is a plethora of things that attracted me to the organization. I know I don't have a huge role but if I can help in any capacity with pre-scouting the opposition and helping Sly with assessing players than I am excited about it."

Joseph is a former teammate of Couturier with the then International Hockey League's Milwaukee Admirals, and a childhood friend of team assistant general manager John Hanna.

"To win you need to build a foundation. I think (the Eagles) have the right people in place to do that now and it is exciting to be involved in any brother Blair would be very proud to see that the team is doing so well and that I am getting involved," he said."

Chris Culligan joins as regional scout

Another local name re-joining the Eagles staff for this coming season is Sydney's Chris Culligan. A former assistant coach with the Eagles from 2019 to 2022, Culligan is the current head coach for the Sydney Mitsubishi Rush in the Nova Scotia U18 league.

Next season, Culligan, 35, will take on the role as regional scout for the Eagles to assist Couturier and his scouting team with assessing prospects at the U18 level.

"I would have been happy to be involved in any way, I am just happy to contribute to the organizations success," he said. "I have always been interested in the hockey ops side of the game, so it is exciting to get involved."

Culligan said he has been in talks with Couturier about getting involved, but says now is the right time because of the direction the team is heading, both on the ice and off.

"It had a lot to do with Sly's reputation and feeling like it would be someone id like to work alongside with. It has been great to chat with him, he is so open to having conversations. Him having the trust to let me into that world has been really helpful for me. It's all about having the trust in the people you work with and answer to. The scouting part can be looked at as such a small part but in the long term, it's an integral part when you can get those picks right."

(Chris Culligan (right) as the Cape Breton Eagles assistant coach in 2022, photo by Saltwire)

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