DANBURY, Conn. -- The Danbury Whalers announced Thursday that Phil Esposito has agreed to terms to be the club’s head coach and director of hockey operations for the 2011-12 season.
Esposito, who is not related to the former Boston Bruins great, spent last year as the Whalers’ assistant coach and was part of an organization that promoted 12 players to the AHL, ECHL and CHL. He brings eight years of professional playing experience and five seasons of professional coaching.
The Whalers play in the Federal Hockey League, which is coming off its inaugural season.
A native of East Haven, Conn., Esposito played collegiately at Army. He also made stops in the International Hockey League, the ECHL, the United Hockey League and the Southern Hockey League. His best professional years were in the ECHL for the Johnstown Chiefs and Mobile Mysticks.
"Our goal in Danbury this year is focused on one target: to be the Federal Hockey League champions,” said Esposito. “Our guys will go through the wall to get there and the Danbury Whalers players will do whatever it takes to bring the Cup to this incredible city. I have always said it is an honor and privilege to be a part of a professional hockey franchise (and) to do it in this city -- it is second to none."