Pietrangelo officially Canucks' new owner
By Kris Dube / News Editor
June 6, 2014
NIAGARA FALLS - It's official – Frank Pietrangelo has taken over the Niagara Falls Jr. B Canucks.
In early May, Bullet News Niagara was the first local media outlet to report on the former Pittsburgh Penguin and Stanley Cup winner's takeover of the team.
He is taking over from the Masterson family, which has owned and operated the team for decades.
Pietrangelo has been assistant coach with the Canucks for the last three seasons and in 2013-14 was the team's general manager.
Starting the next season, Pietrangelo will hold the general manager title – while also becoming head coach and owner of the squad – that plays its home games at the Gale Centre in Niagara Falls.
He has formed the Pietrangelo Amateur Hockey Association, a non-profit organization that will run the Canucks.
At a press conference at the Gale Centre on Thursday, Pietrangelo, who played 15 seasons of professional hockey and won the Stanley Cup in 1991, said his time helping young players develop their skills is just as important as the time he spent in the NHL.
“That has been just as rewarding,” he said.
Pietrangelo said he was approached about five years ago to become involved in the team to get comfortable and eventually consider increasing his role with the organization.
“It has definitely been helpful – having been here for the last few years,” Pietrangelo said when meeting with Bullet News Niagara in May.
Pietrangelo has been instrumental in helping young athletes advance in the world of hockey – as more than 100 players he has coached over the years are currently playing at the NHL, Ontario Hockey League, Canadian Interuniversity Sport, National Collegiate Athletic Association levels – along with professional leagues in Europe.
“I take great pride in that and it's something I want to continue doing,” said Pietrangelo.
He said it is difficult to compare the amount of players who advance past Jr. B in this era to how many were called up to higher levels two and three decades ago – because the game is always changing – along with the establishment of new leagues that continue to grow and produce a lot of talent.
But he says the Golden Horseshoe Conference of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League is also a quality source of skilled athletes that will have careers that don't have to end when they turn 21 years old.
“There are a lot of good players who come up through this league – I think this league is underrated as far as that goes,” said Pietrangelo.
"The key is to build a team where the scouts will come see these kids play,” he added.
Before entering the NHL, Pietrangelo played at the University of Minnesota on a scholarship.
His cousin Alex Pietrangelo is a star with the St. Louis Blues who also won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
Pietrangelo is one of five members of his family to have played for the Jr. B Canucks, including his son Dylan.
The Canucks will hold a rookie skate June 15 at the Gale Centre from 5 to 9 p.m. Any players interested in registering can CLICK HERE.