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73’s making changes during the off-season 



by Garrett Fodor

On-ice switches are not the only changes the Essex 73’s hockey organization is making during the off-season period, it is also mixing it up behind the bench.

  The Essex 73’s finished its latest season at the end of March, losing to the Lakeshore Canadiens in the Stobbs Division finals. Soon after, former Head Coach, Gil Langlois’s, contract expired, so Essex began interviewing candidates for the recently vacant position. 

  The winning candidate, through the interview process, was Woodslee native, Danny Anger. The 31-year-old brings over 130 games of OHL experience along with three seasons of University hockey in Windsor. 

  His coaching history includes winning an all Ontario Championship coaching the Sun County Panthers PeeWee team, along with running the Cadotte Hockey Academy. 

Anger said he remembers coming to Essex on Tuesday nights with his dad when he was growing up. Because of those experiences, he knows how important the local team is to the community. Anger added that looking out of his office and seeing the history, pride, and tradition, he knows what’s expected of him and the high standards that come with the orange, black, and white. 

  Former pro-hockey player, Mike James, and former 73’s Captain, Dallas Periera, will join Anger behind the bench this season. And, so will returning Defense Coach, Chad Wolters.

  Riley Jones, who is in charge of player personnel, will help Anger along the way. Jones joined Essex this year after having worked with the Leamington Flyers as its Assistant General Manager. Anger said Jones has been helping him a lot and has been vital during the recruiting process. 

  Anger said he chose the coaching staff on the bench very carefully. He adds that James’s experience and playing history will help develop the team. He will also be able to pick-up things he’ll miss out on. In addition, Wolters will be able to offer insight from last year. Anger also believes having Periera behind the bench will serve as someone relatable to the team.

  Anger added he hopes he and his coaching staff will be able to carry on the championship pedigree in Essex that was instilled by former coaches, Tony Pirorski and Langlois. 

  Anger and his staff hope to develop the team on and off the ice this season. Anger also hopes his background in skills development will contribute to helping players grow and achieve their goals.

  When envisioning the 73’s team next season, Anger hopes to have an honest, young, fast, and hard-working team. He added that he likes to play a structured game and to focus on neutral zone play.

  “I want to make sure the 73’s put their best foot forward. There’s not only pressure to succeed on the ice, but pressure to succeed off the ice as well,” Anger said. “I think as a team, we need to be good mentors and role models to the youth in the community.”

The 73’s will be back on the ice in August as main training camp begins. The regular season will begin in September. 

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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