NU hockey coach Cronin leaves for job with NHL’s Leafs

Posted June 20, 2011, at 6:15 p.m.
Last modified June 20, 2011, at 9:08 p.m.

BOSTON — Northeastern men’s ice hockey head coach Greg Cronin has been named an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL, NU Director of Athletics Peter Roby announced in a press release Monday.

Cronin is a Colby College graduate and was an assistant at the University of Maine from 1988-90 and from 93-95.

He went 20-13-2 as the interim head coach at Maine after the late Shawn Walsh was suspended for one year for NCAA violations during the 1995-96 season. Cronin went 12-6-1 over the second half of the 1995-96 season and 8-7-1 over the first half of the 1996-97 campaign before Walsh returned.

A national search for Cronin’s replacement at NU will begin immediately. Assistant coach Sebastien Laplante will serve as the interim head coach and will be a candidate for the full-time position, according to the press release.

Cronin served as an assistant coach with the New York Islanders for six seasons (1998-2003); as the organization’s director of player development for three years (2002-05); and as head coach of its top AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, for two years (2003-05).

On Feb. 18, Northeastern suspended Cronin and assistant coach Albie O’Connell as a result of NCAA violations related to excessive telephone and text message contact with prospective student-athletes, but they were reinstated in March for the Hockey East playoffs.

Cronin was named head coach at Northeastern in 2005. In six years, he amassed an overall mark of 84-104-29 (.461). In the last three seasons, the Huskies made their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1994, qualified twice for the Hockey East semifinals, and earned two trips to the Beanpot championship game.

Cronin was awarded the Bob Kullen Hockey East Coach of the Year award for the ‘08-09 season..

“I want to thank Greg for the incredible work he has done on behalf of this university and our student-athletes,” Roby said. “Greg has been a tireless worker, both on and off the ice. He has taken our hockey program to new heights. He’s advanced our relationships with alumni and friends of the program. And he’s helped reshape our arena into one of the finest hockey venues in the nation.”

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