Utica, NY – Utica Comets General Manager Ryan Johnson announced today that Curtis Sanford has been named Player Development Goaltending Consultant and Utica-native Josh Gagnon has been promoted to Video Coach.
“We’re excited to have Curtis join our team and promote Josh to a full-time role,” said Johnson. “Curtis brings 15 years of experience as a pro and has played at every level of the game. He’s a Canucks alumni, having played two years with the team, who brings passion and knowledge to the role. Josh is a Utica native and has been with the club from our first season. He’s an important member of our coaching staff and we’re very pleased to have him join us in a full-time capacity.”
Sanford, 37, completed his 15-year professional career after the 2014-15 season in the KHL with the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv. The Owen Sound, Ontario native competed in 144 career NHL games, 35 of which were with the Canucks from 2007-2009. In addition, Sanford appeared in 251 career AHL games as well as an appearance in the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic. He was also named to the 2010-11 AHL second All-Star Team and possessed the best goals against average in the AHL with a 1.93 GAA.
“I'm grateful for the opportunity and I'm looking forward to working with everyone in the organization,” Sanford stated. “The Canucks have a talented group of goaltenders that I'm thrilled to meet and work with. I'm extremely proud to be a part of the Vancouver Canucks organization.”
Gagnon initially joined the Comets for their inaugural season as the team's video coordinator. Prior to joining the Comets, Josh served as an assistant on the Mohawk Valley Community College coaching staff. A graduate of Clinton High School, Josh received his Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from SUNY at Oswego.
“This promotion goes to show that hard work really does pay off,” said Gagnon. “Nolan Baumgartner and I developed a great friendship over the years and he was an excellent mentor, as was Travis Green. The new coaching staff is a great group to work with and they come with years of hockey wisdom. Being involved in these initial coaching meetings and seeing ideas come together is exciting.”