OHL’s Flint Firebirds Re-hire coaches after Player Walkout

Terry Wilson/OHL Images
Terry Wilson/OHL Images

After a report that the OHL’s Flint Firebirds fired all of their coaching staff and the players walked out, head coach John Gruden and assistants Dave Karpa and Petr Jonak have been reinstated.

The issue which led to the termination of the coaches happened after Flint’s 4-3 comeback win over the Oshawa Generals. The Firebirds owner, Rolf Nilsen, was upset that his son, Defenseman Hakon Nilsen, didn’t receive enough playing time. After the coaches were fired, the players, including Hakon, went up to the management office and handed their jerseys in and pretty much quit.

The owner did make the following statement, posted on the team’s Twitter account:

This was an emotional decision after an emotional game. I’m not condoning it, but tensions were running high and Rolf made a mistake. I’m glad to see that he and the coaches were able to reconcile.

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