Old Centennial back in the O

Randy Russon
May 31, 2019

Lee Jinman, who scored 134 points during his rookie season with the erstwhile North Bay Centennials, is back in the Ontario Hockey League.

The former star center has been hired by the Flint Firebirds in a newly-created role as player development consultant.

Flint general manager Barclay Branch said the 43-year old Jinman will help oversee and monitor the progress of Firebirds prospects and assist in their skill development.

“We are excited to welcome Lee to the Firebirds as a leader throughout the league in prospect player development,” relayed Branch. “Lee will help improve our prospect pipeline and skill development.”

After a stellar three-year OHL playing career with the Centennials and the Plymouth Whalers (who, ironically, became the Flint Firebirds in 2015) Jinman played 18 years of professional hockey, notably in top leagues in Sweden and Switzerland.

As a rookie in North Bay during the 1993-1994 campaign, Jinman led the Centennials in scoring with — regular season and playoffs included — 49 goals, 85 assists, 134 points in 84 games. Coached by the late Bert Templeton, North Bay won the OHL championship that season.

Jinman said he is beyond thrilled to be returning to the OHL in what will be a rather unique role.

“This position means a lot to me now that I’ve had the chance to come to orientation camp and see first-hand what Flint is about and who’s involved in the organization,” Jinman began.

“I’m thrilled to be able to help in the development of the Firebirds’ draft picks and prospects,” Jinman added. “It’s something that is unique in the OHL and shows how much Flint cares about its players. It’s a win-win for both the players and the organization.”

What you think about “Old Centennial back in the O”

  1. ‘Thanks a million’ for this great article Randy. How well we remember Lee’s rookie year with the Centennials. He was the catalyst, with Vitali Yachmenev (also in his rookie season) coming within a single goal of equaling Nick Kypreos’ record of 62. Vitali’s 61 was just equaled this past season by Justin Brazeau (with the Battalion), but Nick’s record still stands.

    We could fill a book with the many great memories we have of our times with the Cents. In particular, we treasure the years with Bert and Sandi Templeton and the consistently-contending teams Bert crafted.

    We wish Lee the best of luck in his new career, and hopefully we’ll see big improvements in the Firebirds’ coming campaign.

    Thanks again, Randy. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *