Plymouth Whalers coach Vellucci leaves for NHL job


DETROIT – Longtime Plymouth Whalers head coach and general manager Mike Vellucci is headed to the NHL.

Vellucci will serve as assistant general manager and director of hockey operations for the Carolina Hurricanes.

The 47-year-old Farmington, Mich. native has been with the Whalers for 14 seasons. His overall record as Whalers coach was 468-322-36. He was the first American to win the Ontario Hockey League's Matt Leyden Trophy for coach of the year when he led the team to a championship in 2006-07.

He was named the OHL's Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year in 2012-13.

Vellucci's move to the NHL comes as the Hurricanes name Ron Francis as their new executive vice president. Brian Tatum also will serve as an assistant general manager for the Hurricanes.

Peter Karmanos owns both the Plymouth Whalers and Carolina Hurricanes.

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