OT: Flint OHL team fires coach twice in 3 months, owner suspended by league

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on February 19th, 2016 at 2:57 PM

What an utter disaster the Flint Firebirds are. They were originally the Plymouth Whalers and moved to Flint this past year.

They fired their coach earlier this year for not giving the owner's son enough ice time. The entire team threw their jerseys down and walked off, going on strike.

They hired him back.

Now they fired Billy Martin, er, John Gruden (NTJG) for the second time this season for reasons unknown.

The OHL has now suspended the owner and entire management team and has assumed control of the organization. 




February 19th, 2016 at 3:03 PM ^

I thought David Brandon went to Toys R Us?

Also to note that Rolf Nilsen signed a binding legal document in Nov. to not fire coaches or to be invloved in hockey Ops based on OHL commisioners findings. Might be moving out of Flint as soon as they moved in.

MGJS SuperKick Party

February 19th, 2016 at 3:04 PM ^

How is the team disaster? The owner has stepped over his power to make sure his son gets playing time.

As a person in the area, they aren't a disaster. They have been a positive in the community that doesn't have much to look forward to.


February 19th, 2016 at 3:19 PM ^

me, it is just crazy that hockey has lasted as long as it has in Flint, even if it has been on again-off again.  For the better part of 30 years, people have been able to hit up the ole IMA/Perani Event Center/Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center to catch a Spirit/Generals/Firebirds game.  (Being from the area, I am serious, it is pretty remarkable that even a semi-pro team is still currently semi-functioning around there.  I thought the entire enterprise ended with the Generals).


February 19th, 2016 at 4:08 PM ^

I don't think harsh commentary about the management of the team changes that. It's obvious that the ownership and front office is a total disaster. That doesn't speak poorly of the players or of the concept of OHL hockey in Flint, but these are two huge catastrophes in one season in the first season the team is owned by this guy.

So it's a mess.


February 19th, 2016 at 7:53 PM ^

The owner and the front office have been suspended. They are the "organization." The players and fans are fine, and not implicated here. I understand it might sound personal, but this really is industrial-grade organizational catastrophe.

Doesn't mean there won't be good things in the present and future, but right now it's a disaster that needs this process if there's any hope for the Firebirds to exist and succeed in Flint.


February 19th, 2016 at 3:14 PM ^

in juniors was absolutely unheard of.   we earned our ice time. 

so basically the owner bought a team so his son could play.  that takes it to a whole new level of wow.   good for the league in taking the team from him.


February 19th, 2016 at 5:00 PM ^

I hope they learn from this. Try (if you can) to never play for a team who has a parent in the front office. It rarely works out. Almost all parents think their kids are more talented than they are. I mean except for me my son is 2 and is the next Gretzgy. Honestly though the dad and or kid have to go or this will not get better imo.