Former Tri-City American player Stu Barnes is returning to the NHL coaching ranks, while former Tri-City coach Don Nachbaur is getting his first shot behind the bench in the NHL.
Barnes, now a co-owner of the Americans, will be an assistant for Dallas Stars, a job he previously held from 2008-11, under new head coach Ken Hitchcock.
Nachbaur, who had a long and successful coaching career in the Western Hockey League with Seattle, Tri-City and Spokane, will join L.A. Kings head coach John Stevens’ staff.
Stevens and Nachbaur were teammates in Philadelphia (NHL) and Hershey (the Flyers AHL affiliate) from 1986-90.
Barnes, 46, spent the 2016-17 season as the head coach of the Okanagan Hockey Academy Midget Prep White team, finishing with a record of 19-9-2.
As a player in Tri-City, Barnes was a first-round draft pick of the Winnipeg Jets (4th overall) in 1989. In two season with the Americans, he played 133 games, scoring 111 goals with 174 assists. He was named the WHL’s Four Broncos Award winner for the 1988-89 season.
Barnes went on to play 16 seasons in the NHL for Winnipeg, Florida, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Dallas, where he finished his career in 2008. In 1,136 games, he scored 261 goals with 336 assists (597 points).
Nachbaur, 58, coached the Americans from 2003-09, helping the team hang two U.S. Division banners and win a Scotty Munro trophy for having the best record in the WHL during the 2007-08 season.
Nachbaur also coached the Seattle Thunderbirds (1994-00) and the Spokane Chiefs (2010-17), and had a stint with the Binghamton Senators of the AHL (2009-10) thrown in the mix.
He parted ways with the Chiefs in March, leaving as the team’s winningest coach with a 261-190-30-18 record. He ranks third in WHL history with 692 career wins.
During his playing days, Nachbaur suited up for the Billings Bighorns before being drafted by the Hartford Whalers in the third round (60th overall) in 1979.
He played 223 NHL games with Hartford, Edmonton and Philadelphia over the course of 11 years. He scored 23 goals and had 46 assists while piling up 465 penalty minutes.
He also played several years in the AHL, where he had 174 goals, 186 assists and 1,452 penalty minutes in 469 games.
Barnes and Nachbaur bring the total number of former Tri-City players or coaches in the NHL to four.
Former player Scott Gomez (1997-99) was hired last month as an assistant coach for the New York Islanders, while former coach Jim Hiller (2009-14) is an assistant for the Toronto Maple Leafs.