Veteran coach Corey Bricknell is returning to the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
French River Rapids of the NOJHL have hired the 43-year-old Bricknell as their new bench boss.
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Bricknell will take over coaching duties from Paul Frustaglio, who remains with the Rapids as president and general manager.
A former defencemen and later an assistant coach in the Ontario Hockey League, Bricknell has considerable NOJHL experience as the head guy.
He coached the erstwhile Iroquois Falls Eskimos for two seasons before moving to the Elliot Lake Wildcats for two more years and part of a third.
Bricknell left Elliot Lake for a pro coaching job in Hungary midway through the 2018-2019 season. But when Frustaglio recently decided to vacate the head coach post in French River and made the availability of the position known, Bricknell applied — and got the job.
Meanwhile, French River has also confirmed that Sherry Bassin will continue in his role as an ambassador and adviser for the Rapids while assisting with player development.
The venerable Bassin is a former long-time general manager in the OHL who produced championship teams for the Soo Greyhounds, Oshawa Generals and Erie Otters. He managed the Greyhounds to the franchise’s only Memorial Cup championship in 1993.
Back to Bricknell — who has made Northern Ontario his home for more than five years — he is looking forward to a return to the NOJHL with a new challenge.
“I’m very happy to have this opportunity to work with Paul and the French River Rapids organization,” Bricknell relayed.
“Over the last two seasons French River has made big strides in turning their program around and I look forward to the challenge of getting the Rapids to the playoffs.”
Frustaglio, meanwhile, is excited to have Bricknell on board and Bassin to be continuing his role in French River.
“With the addition of Corey and the continued support of Mr. Bassin, the Rapids organization continues to improve itself and these gentlemen will also provide credibility to our hockey program,” Frustaglio pointed out.
“These additions continue to provide the community of French River with stability for their beloved hockey team. We are very lucky to have both of these individuals with our hockey club,” Frustaglio added.