Moe Mantha, who has coached in the Ontario Hockey League and Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League among other stops, is returning to the North American Hockey League.
The 56-year old Mantha, who grew up in Sturgeon Falls and maintains a business and residence in the small northern Ontario town, has signed on with the Brookings Blizzard of the NAHL as coach and general manager.
Brookings is a city of about 22,000 residents located in South Dakota.
Mantha heads to Brookings after coaching the fledgling French River Rapids of the NOJHL the past two seasons. He previously coached in the NAHL for four seasons with the erstwhile Michigan Warriors, leading them to a pair of divisional playoff championships.
Mantha has coached in the OHL with the Windsor Spitfires and Saginaw Spirit. As an OHL defenseman, he was a standout with the old Toronto Marlboros.
As a journeyman defenseman in the National Hockey League, Mantha toughed it out for 12 seasons, skating for a number of teams.
He also has coaching experience at the minor pro level.
Being that is familiar with the NAHL, Mantha is looking forward to returning to the high-end, junior level league.
“I have a great deal of respect for what the North American Hockey League does in terms of advancing careers for their players, coaches and staff members,” Mantha relayed. “In (going to) Brookings, I will do all I can for the players to make their dreams a reality and help them reach higher levels of hockey.”
As coach and general manager of the Blizzard, Mantha takes over from Dan Daikwawa, whose initial three-year contract with Brookings was not renewed following the 2016-2017 season.