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Ryan Johnson - General Manager

johnson.jpgOn July 26, 2017, Ryan Johnson added Comets General Manager duties to his existing role as Director of Player Development. In this expanded role, Johnson will continue to work closely with prospects in the system and lead the day-to-day function of Comets Hockey Operations. He originally joined the Canucks as a Player Development Consultant in 2013 and became Director of Player Development in 2016. Johnson played 210 games in a Canucks uniform over a 701 game NHL career (38-84-122). 

Pat Conacher - Director of Hockey Operations

_LAM1338.jpgPat Conacher joined the Comets staff on August 12, 2013 as the franchise’s first Director of Hockey Operations.

Pat has coached and played over three decades of professional hockey including 521 career NHL games with a record of 139 points (63-76-139) and 235 penalty minutes. Prior to joining the Comets, Conacher was head coach of the Regina Pats of the WHL for two seasons from 2011-12 to 2012-13. His coaching career began in 2001-02 with the Phoenix Coyotes, where he spent three seasons as an Assistant Coach before Head Coaching appointments with the Utah Grizzlies and San Antonio Rampage.

Before coaching, Pat was a member of the Utica Devils over the course of three seasons playing a combined 108 games and recording 97 points (27-70-97) and 91 penalty minutes. The Edmonton, AB native was drafted by the New York Rangers 76th overall in the 1979 Entry Draft and played for six NHL teams: the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils, Los Angeles Kings, Calgary Flames and New York Islanders. Conacher’s career includes two trips to the Stanley Cup finals, a championship with the Oilers in 1984 and a 24-game Cup run with Los Angeles in 1993.

Pat and his wife Susan have three children, Patrick, Dan and Cheyenne.

Trent Cull - Head Coach

Trent_cull.jpgCull begins his first season manning the bench of the Utica Comets. He previosuly served as an assistant coach with Syracuse for eight seasons from 2006 to 2010 and again from 2013 to 2017, culminating in an Eastern Conference Championship and berth in the 2017 Calder Cup Final.

He was the head coach of the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves for three seasons (2010 to 2013) compiling a 94-88-11-11 record.

The Georgetown, Ontario native played 11 seasons as a defenseman in the AHL and IHL with five teams: St. John’s, Houston, Springfield, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Syracuse. He totaled 618 games as a pro with a 28-79-107 record and 1,629 penalty minutes.

Gary Agnew - Associate Coach

Agnew_Gary.jpgGary Agnew joins Trent Cull’s staff as Comets Associate Coach and adds experience at the NHL, AHL and junior coaching levels. He most recently worked as an Assistant Coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2015-16 season. Agnew’s experience is highlighted by a head coaching role with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL, General Manager/Head Coach of the London Knights and he was twice recognized as OHL Coach of the Year.

Jason King - Assistant Coach

Jason_King.jpgJason King enters his second year with the Comets after spending the previous three seasons with the IceCaps. His post-playing career included two seasons as an assistant coach and last season as the Director of Hockey Operations.

King was drafted in the 7th round (212th overall) in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks. The Corner Brook, Newfoundland native made his NHL debut in the 2002-03 season. A year later, King made a splash with the Canucks when he was featured on a line with perennial all-stars Henrik and Daniel Sedin, and earned Rookie of the Month honors for November while scoring 12 goals in 47 games that season.

King finished his 11-year pro career a veteran of 59 NHL games, 335 AHL games and 140 DEL games (Germany). The forward spent two seasons with St. John’s from 2011-2013, leading the club in goal scoring in 2011-12 and earning Community Man of the Year honors for his efforts in the community. In 2013-14, his first season behind the bench, King helped coach the IceCaps to their first-ever Calder Cup Finals after a fourth place finish in the AHL’s Eastern Conference and a franchise record 99 points.

Curtis Sanford - Player Development Goaltending Consultant

_LAM1350.jpgSanford, 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.

Josh Gagnon - Video Coach

Gagnon_Josh.jpgJosh Gagnon 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.

He was a member of the 2008 Oswego NECHL championship team. Josh currently resides in Utica with his wife Erin, and their daughter Emma.

Toby Blosser - Athletic Trainer

_LAM1126.jpgThis is Toby’s second year as the head athletic trainer with the Utica Comets. 

For the previous eight seasons, Blosser served as the head athletic trainer for the Saginaw Spirit Hockey Club of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in Saginaw, MI. 

Prior to his time with the Sprit, Blosser operated as the head athletic trainer at Saginaw Valley State University and Northwood University in Midland, Michigan.

He received his Bachelor’s degree from The University of Toledo and Master’s from Michigan State University. 

Toby is married to wife Christyn and they have two children, Brady and Eliza. 

Damion Parmelee - Equipment Manager

_LAM1132.jpgDamion Parmelee is in his fourth season as the Comets Equipment manager and his 18th season working in the professional hockey. 

Prior to joining the Comets, he spent eight seasons (2006-14) with the Phantoms, both in Philadelphia and Adirondack. He spent 2003-2006 with the Alaska Aces of the ECHL. In 2006 the Aces won the Kelly Cup Championship. He spent 2000-2003 with the ECHL’s Pee Dee Pride.

He started his professional hockey career in 1999 as an assistant equipment manager for the AHL’s Albany River Rats. Parmelee had the honor of working the 2002 and 2003 ECHL All Star games as well as the 2015 and 2016 AHL All-Star Games.

He is a native from Binghamton, NY and currently resides in New Hartford, NY with his wife Ashley, son Wyatt and dog Alyeska.

Greg Lowden - Assistant Equipment Manager

_LAM1129.jpgGreg Lowden is in his second full season with the Comets as Assistant Equipment Manager and his 7th season working in professional hockey. 

Prior to joining the Comets, he worked with the Adirondack Phantoms from 2011 until their move to Lehigh Valley in 2014. 

Lowden is a graduate of Rutger's University and received a master's degree from Shenandoah University. He is a native of New Jersey and currently resides in New York Mills with his goldfish, Travis. 

 

Ken Hetzel - Strength and Conditioning Coach

_LAM1135.jpgKen Hetzel is in his fourth season with the Utica Comets. He oversees athletic development including, strength, power, conditioning, nutrition, recovery.

Prior to joining the Comets Hetzel spent three years with the San Jose and Worcester AHL clubs and four seasons with the New York Mets Organization, including the NY Mets Single-A St. Lucie Mets championship team in 2006.

The Queens native is a graduate of Westfield State University in Westfield, MA and earned a master's degree from Springfield College in Springfield, MA. He currently resides in New Hartford.