The Mississippi RiverKings of the Central Hockey League (CHL) today announced that Head Coach/Director of Hockey Operations Kevin Kaminski has been released from his position and has been replaced by Paul Gardner.
"We needed to move in a different direction," said RiverKings Director of Business Operations Ab Mattice, "and we think our fans deserve better than what has been produced the past two years."
The 54 year old Gardner brings playing and coaching experience at several levels of professional hockey to the Mid-South. Most recently, he has been coaching in the German Elite League (DEL) at Hamburg, and before that in the Russian Super League (KHL) at Yaroslavl.
From 2008 to this past April at Hamburg, Gardner had been head coach and assistant sports director, taking a 14th place team the previous year to an eighth place finish, then leading the Freezers to the second round of the league playoffs.
Prior to that, Gardner was with the Nashville Predators for seven seasons from 1997-2004. He spent five seasons as an assistant coach for the Preds and two more as a professional scout for the NHL team. In his first year in Nashville, he scouted extensively in preparation for the team's inaugural season.