The Detroit Red Wings on Monday announced the hiring of Todd Krygier (KREE-ger) as an assistant coach for the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Krygier joins fellow assistants Matt Macdonald and Mike Knuble, goaltending development coach Brian Mahoney-Wilson, and video coach Bill LeRoy on second-year head coach Ben Simon’s staff.
“Combining his playing and coaching experiences, Todd understands what it takes to develop players to the next level,” Simon said. “He is extremely genuine and passionate about his work and is a great communicator and teacher. He has a creative mind for offense and has had a lot of success running the power play on the teams he has coached.
“I look forward to working with Todd as he will bring new ideas to challenge and support our staff. I believe his personality and work ethic will be a great addition not only to our staff, but also the great prospects we have in Grand Rapids,” he added.
Krygier, 53, spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for Western Michigan University (NCHC), helping the Broncos total a 58-47-8 record (0.549), finish in the top four of the conference standings twice, and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in program history in 2017. During the 2018-19 campaign, WMU posted a 21-15-1 record overall, tied for fourth in the NCAA with a 3.47 goals per game average - which ranked as one of the highest in team history - and boasted its third consecutive year with a power play operating above 18 percent. The Broncos’ 129 total goals in 2018-19 were the third most in team history since the 2000-01 season while the 133 tallies in 2016-17 were second most.
Prior to joining the college ranks, Krygier served as head coach of the United States Hockey League’s Muskegon Lumberjacks from 2013-16. He amassed a 92-72-8-8 record (0.556), including a winning mark during each of his three seasons, and guided Muskegon to the 2015 Clark Cup Finals before falling in three games to Sioux Falls. Between the 2014, 2015 and 2016 NHL Entry Drafts combined, seven Lumberjacks were selected.
Born in Chicago Heights, Ill., Krygier spent seven seasons (2006-13) as head coach at Novi (Mich.) High School. He tallied a 102-51-15 mark (0.652) and was named MHSHCA Division I Coach of the Year in 2011 after leading Novi to the school’s first hockey state championship.
“Todd has valuable coaching experience at different levels of hockey,” Simon said. “He has had success as a head coach in the USHL and as an assistant coach at the collegiate level, proven both through his teams' successes and through the individual growth of the players he has coached both on and off the ice. Todd also enjoyed a 12-year playing career, including 543 NHL games, 107 AHL games, and 93 IHL games.”
A forward, Krygier was selected in the 1988 NHL Supplemental Draft by the Hartford Whalers and skated 12 years professionally from 1987-2000. He logged 543 NHL contests between Hartford (1989-91), the Washington Capitals (1991-94; 95-98) and Anaheim Mighty Ducks (1994-96), racking up 243 points (100-143—243) and 533 penalty minutes. He showed 17 points (10-7—17) in 48 Stanley Cup Playoff games and was a member of the Capitals’ first-ever team to advance to the Stanley Cup Final in 1998 before being swept by the Detroit Red Wings. Krygier accumulated 81 points (30-51—81) in 107 AHL games between the New Haven Nighthawks (1987-88), Binghamton Whalers (1988-90) and Portland Pirates (1997-98), and 79 points (26-53—79) in 93 appearances with the International Hockey League’s Orlando Solar Bears from 1998-2000.
Krygier played college hockey at the University of Connecticut from 1984-88 and holds a business administration degree with a focus on finance.
Krygier and his wife, Kim, have three sons, Brock, Cole and Christian, and two daughters, Natalie and Grace.
The Griffins will open the home portion of the 2019-20 season on Friday, Oct. 11 with Opening Night presented by Huntington Bank.