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Charlotte Checkers hire Hurricanes executive as fourth coach in their AHL history

Carolina Hurricanes assistant general manager Mike Vellucci was named Thursday as the fourth head coach for the Charlotte Checkers since they joined the American Hockey League in 2010.
Carolina Hurricanes assistant general manager Mike Vellucci was named Thursday as the fourth head coach for the Charlotte Checkers since they joined the American Hockey League in 2010. Carolina Hurricanes

After four years away from coaching, Mike Vellucci will become the fourth coach in the Charlotte Checkers’ AHL history.

Vellucci replaces Ulf Samuelsson, who spent one season with the Checkers before taking an assistant coaching job with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. Vellucci will remain with the Hurricanes as an assistant general manager, a position he’s held for the past four seasons.

Vellucci last coached in 2012-13, when he won Coach of the Year with the Plymouth Whalers in the Ontario Hockey League. He also took home Executive of the Year honors that season as a general manager, becoming the first to receive both awards in the same year. Vellucci took home a championship in 2006-07 when he earned his first Coach of the Year honors – an award no American had won before him. He ended his 14-year tenure with the Whalers ranked first in franchise history in wins and playoff wins.

Before his stint with the Whalers, Vellucci coached the Detroit Compuware of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) from 1994-99, winning national championships in his first and final seasons. He also played professionally from 1986-89.

Vellucci will be the fourth Checkers coach since they joined the American Hockey League in 2010. He follows Jeff Daniels, Mark Morris and Samuelsson – who led Charlotte last season to its first Calder Cup Playoffs appearance since 2013.

C Jackson Cowart: @CJacksonCowart

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