Spirit extends GM and coach

September 26, 2023

Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League has extended the contracts of general manager Dave Drinkill and head coach Chris Lazary through the 2026-2027 season.

“With the excitement of hosting the 2024 Memorial Cup, this three year contract extension secures both Drinks and Laz well into the future to lead our franchise. Together, they have built a culture for development that is second to none,” Saginaw president and managing partner Craig Goslin said of Drinkill and Lazary.

Drinkill has been the GM in Saginaw since 2015. His Spirit teams have won a franchise-best 226 games during the regular season and claimed a pair of West Division titles — 2019 and 2020.

“I am very proud of this organization and how far we have come since I was named general manager here in 2015, and with everyone’s hard work we have become an elite franchise,” said Drinkill. “We have a big year ahead of us and more exciting years to come. I will work as hard as I possibly can to reach the ultimate goal of bringing a championship to this great city and its fans.”

As for Lazary, he has been Saginaw’s head coach since his promotion in November of 2018. The Spirit won 34 games down the stretch that year, winning its first West Division title and first trip to the Western Conference final in franchise history. Lazary is the second winningest head coach in Spirit history, trailing only Todd Watson.

Drinkill, to be sure, works well with Lazary.

“He and I have worked very closely the past five seasons and I look forward to building on what we have done here in Saginaw. He is an extremely talented, hardworking, and detailed coach who puts everything he has into the Spirit program and our players,” Drinkill said of Lazary.

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