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.
Keep an eye 👁 on ;
I’m told @Capitals @TheAHL Affiliate @TheHersheyBears are closing in on hiring former @DallasStars Asst Coach Todd Nelson as the new HC in Hershey PA. @espn @NHLNetwork @NHL #HockeyTwitter
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) July 31, 2022
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.
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.
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.
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.