Ex-Red Wings coach to show Spirit

February 26, 2016

Former Detroit Red Wings coach Dave Lewis is joining the Saginaw Spirit as a defensive consultant for the remainder of the 2015-2016 Ontario Hockey League season.

During his playing days as a defenseman, the 62-year old Lewis spent 15 seasons in the National Hockey League with the New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils and the Red Wings, appearing in more than 1,000 games.

He then began his NHL coaching career as a Red Wings assistant in 1988 and later was part of three Stanley Cup-championship teams in Detroit as an associate coach under the legendary Scotty Bowman.

After Bowman retired in 2003, Lewis took over as head coach of the Red Wings for two seasons and then had stints as bench boss of the Boston Bruins and assistant coach with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Lewis then took his current position as head coach of the Belarusian National Team.

The veteran Lewis becomes the second former NHL defenseman to recently join the OHL Spirit.

Just over a week ago, Moe Mantha took over from the fired Greg Gilbert as interim head coach of the Spirit. The 55-year old Mantha played in more than 650 NHL games.

As for the addition of Lewis to the Spirit, Saginaw general manager Dave Drinkill noted the experience that the former NHL coach will bring.

“As an organization we are thrilled to add someone with the experience and expertise that Dave has,” Drinkill said of Lewis. “He will work closely with our coaching staff for the rest of the season, ensuring that our players will maximize the skills they have and help take their game to another level.”

With 10 games to play in the 2015-2016 OHL regular season, Saginaw is currently in possession of the eighth-and-final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

PHOTO: Dave Lewis, during his NHL coaching days with the Detroit Red Wings. (Photo by Associated Press.)

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