Like father, like son.
33-year old Chris Hartsburg is following in the coaching footsteps of his 54-year old dad, Craig Hartsburg.
And as the old man is in his 25th season in the coaching ranks — and second as the associate bench boss of the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League — the kid is also doing alright for himself.
Chris is in his first season as a full-time assistant coach with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League after having worked in a similar capacity with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League.
Interestingly, the Otters — who went from 47 points and 19th place to 106 points and second place in the OHL’s overall standings from last season to this — are currently in a second-round playoff series with the Soo Greyhounds.
The elder Hartsburg played his entire three-year OHL career in the Soo as an outstanding defencemen and after a 10-year gig in the NHL as a bluechip blueliner, later served two separate terms behind the Greyhound bench as head coach.
Sault Ste. Marie has long served as home for multiple members of the Hartsburg family.
Of further note, the younger Hartsburg is part of a significant Soo link to the OHL Otters.
Otters owner-general manager Sherry Bassin spent four seasons as head of the Greyhound hockey department, steering the Soo to three straight Memorial Cup appearances and the 1993 championship.
And Sault Ste. Marie resident Scott Halpenny is Erie’s northern Ontario scout.
Meanwhile, as Erie’s assistant coach, young Hartsburg got to spend a couple of victorious nights in his adopted home town last week as the Otters stole a pair of games from the Greyhounds to take a 2-0 lead in their second-round, best-of-seven OHL playoff.
PHOTO: Erie assistant coach Chris Hartsburg back of the bench at the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie last week. (Photo by Ali Pearson.)