CLEVELAND — The Columbus Blue Jackets have chosen a new head coach and general manager for their American Hockey League affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters.
The Blue Jackets’ front office announced Tuesday that the organization selected Chris Clark, Columbus’ Director of Player Personnel as the new general manager, and signed Mike Eaves to a multi-year contract to serve as the sixth head coach in Monsters franchise history.
Clark, 43, brings with him 12 years of playing experience with the Calgary Flames, Washington Capitals and Blue Jackets, as well as eight seasons in Columbus’ scouting and player personnel departments.
Clark was a four-time captain for the Capitals and in 2001, helped the St. John Flames win the Calder Cup Championship. A third-round pick of the Flames (No. 77 overall) in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, Clark scored 103 goals, handed out 111 assists and tallied 214 points with 700 penalty minutes over his 607 NHL games.
“Chris has spent a great deal of time over the past several years working with players throughout our organization, including those in the American Hockey League, and his thorough understanding of player personnel and the league make him the perfect choice to serve as the general manager of our AHL affiliate,” said Bill Zito, the Blue Jackets’ Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations/Associate General Manager/Alternate Governor.
“Chris’ familiarity with our organization, combined with Mike Eaves’ long and successful history of working with young players, will provide our organization with great leadership that will benefit our players in Cleveland.”
Eaves, 63, comes to Cleveland with 34 seasons of coaching experience at the professional and collegiate levels, most recently with his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin (2002-2016) and St. Olaf College in Minnesota (2016-2019).
Eaves led Wisconsin to seven NCAA Tournament berths, two national championship game appearances a and the 2006 NCAA Championship.
In addition to his collegiate success, Eaves coached parts of seven seasons in the professional ranks with Calgary (1985-1986), Philadelphia Flyers (1988-1990, 1993-1994) and Pittsburgh Penguins (1997-2000), as well as four years with the AHL’s Hershey Bears (1990-1993).
“Mike Eaves has won an NCAA championship, world junior championship gold medal and developed numerous players that have gone on to play in the National Hockey League over the course of his 30-year coaching career,” Clark said.
“He brings great passion and experience to our organization and I am looking forward to working closely with him to develop our players and bring the Calder Cup back to Cleveland.”