Report: Hershey Bears “Closing In” On Hiring Dallas Stars Assistant Coach Todd Nelson

Photo: Andy Devlin/Getty Images

According to ESPN’s Kevin Weekes, the Hershey Bears are “closing in” on hiring former Dallas Stars assistant coach Todd Nelson as their new head coach. Nelson would replace former Bears head coach Scott Allen, who was promoted to assistant coach for the Capitals on July 25.

Nelson was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, but played primarily in the minors and played just one game for the Penguins.

Capitals Ties

Nelson then signed as a free agent by the Capitals and helped guide the Capitals’ minor league affiliate Portland Pirates to the Calder Cup in 1994. He was inducted into the Pirates Hall of Fame in 2007.

Nelson played in just two games for the Capitals, and played in the minors until his retirement in 2002.

Coaching Career

Nelson began his coaching career for the Muskegon Fury of the UHL for the 2001–02 season. He then moved to be an assistant coach for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL for the 2002–03 season before returning as head coach of the Muskegon Fury from 2003 to 2006. The Fury won the Colonial Cup his first two years as their coach.

Nelson then moved on to be the assistant coach for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL from 2006 to 2008, who won the Calder Cup in his final season as an assistant.

On July 25, 2008, Nelson accepted an assistant coaching position with the Atlanta Thrashers of the NHL. On July 15, 2010, he was introduced as the first head coach of the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons, affiliate of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers.

After the firing of Dallas Eakins on December 15, 2014, Nelson was promoted to head coach of the Oilers on an interim basis for the remainder of the 2014–15 NHL season. He was replaced as head coach by Todd McLellan on May 19, 2015.

On June 16, 2015, Nelson was named the head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League (AHL). Nelson became the third person ever to win the Calder Cup as a player (1994), assistant coach (2008), and head coach (2017), joining Bob Woods and Mike Stothers.

Dallas Stars

On May 31, 2018, Nelson left the Griffins to become an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars in the NHL until his resignation on May 20, 2022.

Stars Head Coach Rick Bowness announced on May 20 that he was stepping away as Head Coach of the Dallas Stars, effective immediately. Additionally, General Manager Jim Nill announced that assistant coaches John Stevens, Derek Laxdal and Todd Nelson would not return next season.

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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7 Responses to Report: Hershey Bears “Closing In” On Hiring Dallas Stars Assistant Coach Todd Nelson

  1. steven says:

    Wish Toddall the best in Hershey. Wonderingif after this year and when Lavgoes after the season and takes McCarthy and Forsythe with him out the door, will the NEW GM promote Allen, Nelson or bring in someone new?

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      New GM? Are you breaking some news?

      • steven says:

        I wish and I hope. GMBM is to much like GMGM and there needs to be ne blood and ideas in the front office and on the bench especially for the coming rebuild. My thought is why wait for Ovie to retire but instead get the front office and coaching staff in place after this seeason and then work the rookies into the lineup especially when there will bw 10 or is it 11 UFA and 2 RFA after next season. Didnt count Hagelin as I doubt he will play this year at all and to be honest hoping that backy retires for the good of his hip and especially when you read about others who have had the surgery he had and what they did after surgery. With kuzy adn Oshie having 2 years after this season and Mantha 1 maybe at the trade deadline this year or at least by the draft in the summer it would seem to be a logical time to trade all 3 and maybe Carlson. Like I said time to start new with HC, GM and rebuild the team!

        • Norm says:

          I think GMBM has done a great job – he can’t play in the games.

        • DWGie26 says:

          I understand your disdain with GMBM, but I do think it is misguided. He has made some decisions that haven’t panned out for sure. But he also also worked a lot of magic given the situation of two aging stars that Ted wanted to take care of, very limited Cap space which caused him to keep 2 unproven but cheap goalies. His drafts have been good given where they have picked and forced him to take some big swings. But all in all, there are less than a handful of GM’s who have been better over the last 10 years. Plus Ted (and org) love him so he won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

          • steven says:

            And part of the problem is Ted. He does not realize that there is no need to keep every player until he fdrops. After winning the Cup to many players were given fat contracts when some should have been traded for picks or younger players when they had value. The GM has also traded younger players, like Chandler, Travis and Jonas, that were good for this system to keep older players like Eller and them go out and get players and give up picks for players like MoJo and Larsson. Shame that he didnt trade sammy and at least get a low pick. Lastly I do not think that GMBM is the GM to lead this team into and out of a rebuild. Its time that Ted realize that he can keeppatching this team but it is no longer a Cup team;maybe a playoff team but not a Cup team. And tired of just getting into the playoffs to feed the owners ego when this team should be in rebuild mode.

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