July 26, 2011

Changes at NU: Madigan coming, Oleksiak going

Staff Report

BOSTON -- Northeastern alumnus and three-time Beanpot champion Jim Madigan has been named Northeastern men’s ice hockey head coach, director of athletics Peter Roby announced Tuesday. 

Jamie Oleksiak at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft (photo: Getty)

Jamie Oleksiak at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft (photo: Getty)

Madigan, the 10th coach in program history, brings more than 26 years of college and professional hockey experience to his new post on Huntington Avenue. He played for the Huskies from 1981 to ‘85 and was an assistant coach at the university from 1986 to 1993.

In other news, Northeastern defenseman Jamie Oleksiak has left the program and signed an Ontario Hockey League contract with the Saginaw Spirit, the Spirit announced Monday.

The 6-foot-7, 245-pound Oleksiak, selected in the first round by the Dallas Stars in the 2011 NHL draft last month, finished his freshman year at Northeastern with four goals and 13 points.

Madigan has served as a professional scout for the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins since 1993, winning a Stanley Cup in 2009. He replaces Greg Cronin (Arlington, Mass.), who left to become an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Madigan was scheduled to be formally introduced as head coach at a press conference today at Matthews Arena on the Northeastern campus.

“It’s a true honor to be named head coach at Northeastern,” said Madigan. “I have tremendous passion for this university and for this program. Northeastern is a world-class institution and Boston is a world-class city. I’m thrilled to be back where it all started for me -- Matthews Arena.

“The expectations I have for our program are high. We will continue to build on the momentum established by Greg Cronin and his staff, and we will compete at the highest level, both in Hockey East and nationally.”

As a professional hockey scout, Madigan has demonstrated great skill in identifying and evaluating talent in a thorough and insightful manner. He has served as a scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins since 2006, helping that franchise build a team that advanced to the Stanley Cup finals in consecutive seasons (2008 and 2009) and that captured the Stanley Cup in 2009.

Northeastern fans also will remember Madigan’s tenure as an assistant coach for the Huskies from 1986 to ‘93. During that seven-year stint, he recruited and coached four All-Americans and 15 All-Hockey East selections.

Prior to returning to his alma mater, Madigan coached at the University of Vermont for one season (1985-86).

As a player at Northeastern, Madigan was a four-year letter winner under Ferny Flaman (1981–85), leading the Huskies to a 67-59-5 record.