Monday, August 25, 2008

Fitzgerald turns to coaching, Lock traded

Former Plymouth Whalers captain Randy Fitzgerald has been hired as an assistant coach by the Oshawa Generals.

Fitzgerald, 28, played for the Whalers from 1996-2000, playing in 233 regular-season games and another 54 playoff games. He was a solid left winger who played in the OHL finals in his final season as a player.

Drafted by the Hartford Whalers in the 1997 NHL Draft, Fitzgerald later signed a free agent contract with the Minnesota Wild and played in their farm system before injuries forced him to retire.

“After having numerous discussions with prospective coaches, I found that Randy was the right fit for where we are as an organization and where we are going," Oshawa head coach-GM Chris DePiero said. “The experience he brings of his playing days in the OHL and in professional hockey will be invaluable for our forwards. He played the game hard and with passion, and was a leader - all very good traits for a coach.”

Fitzgerald joins Rich Ricci behind the bench with DePiero this season and joins fellow Whaler alums Jamie Allison (Brampton) and Troy Smith (Kitchener) who work in the OHL as assistant coaches.

In other Plymouth news, the Whalers traded forward Steve Lock to Kitchener today for a 15th-round pick in next year's draft and a conditional pick in 2010. Lock made the Whalers out of training camp last season after being acquired from Peterborough, but left the team prior to the start of the season.

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