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ECHL affiliate Cyclones hire journeyman Skalde as new coach…

He once played for the Cyclones and now he’s their head coach.

Then again, who didn’t he play for?

Jarrod Skalde was introduced today as the new head coach of the Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers ECHL affiliate Cincinnati Cyclones.

Skalde, a second round pick of the New Jersey Devils back in 1989, wound up as a journeyman hockey player, having played for – wait for it – 27 different hockey clubs between turning pro in 1990 and retiring in 2008. In case you’re keeping track, that’s an average of nearly 1.5 different teams per season.

I’ll talk a little bit more about the shoes he has to fill in one second. But, before I do, let me list the different teams he’s skated with. (Quite honestly, I didn’t even know some of these teams even existed.)

* Utica Devils (AHL) from 1990-93
* New Jersey Devils (NHL) from 1990-93
* Cincinnati Cyclones (IHL) in 1992-93
* San Diego Gulls (IHL) in 1993-94
* Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (NHL) in 1993-94
* Las Vegas Thunder (IHL) in 1994-95
* Baltimore Bandits (AHL) in 1995-96
* Saint John Flames (AHL) from 1995-97
* Calgary Flames (NHL) in 1995-96
* Indianapolis Ice (IHL) in 1997-98
* Kentucky Thoroughblades (AHL) from 1997-99
* San Jose Sharks (NHL) in 1997 and then again in 1999
* Dallas Stars (NHL) in 1997-98
* Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) in 1998-99
* Utah Grizzlies (IHL/AHL) in 1999-00 and then again from 2003-05
* Atlanta Thrashers (NHL) in 1999-00
* Orlando Solar Bears (IHL) in 2000-01
* Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) in 2001-02
* Chicago Wolves (AHL) in 2001-02
* Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL) in 2001-02
* Lausanne HC (Swiss Elite League) in 2002-03
* Springfield Falcons (AHL) in 2004-05
* San Antonio Rampage (AHL) in 2005-06
* Leksands IF (Swedish Elite League) in 2005-06
* Oji Eagles (Asia League) in 2006-07
* Jesenice (Austrian League) in 2007-08
* Bloomington PrairieThunder (IHL) in 2007-08


Now Skalde’s got some big shoes to fill as recently departed Head Coach Chuck Weber won two Kelly Cup titles during his four year stint as the Cyclones bench boss, his first four as a head coach anywhere. Skalde, 39, has spent the last two years on the International Hockey League level with the same Bloomington team he played for in 2007-08. In his two seasons behind the bench, he led the PrairieThunder to a 60-74-7-11 record, neither time making the post season.

By contrast, Weber not only led the Cyclones to two Kelly Cups, but he also posted a 177-92-19 record, won two North Division titles (2008, 2009), brought home a Brabham Cup (for the ECHL’s best record) and earned three consecutive trips to the American Conference Finals (2008, 2009 and 2010).

Your move, Skalde.

Predators goaltender Jeremy Smith was the only Nashville prospect to spend considerable time in southern Ohio last season. He made the most of it, however, posting a 23-15-2 regular season record and then going on to be named co-Kelly Cup MVP.

The only other players in the Preds’ system to spend any time in Cincinnati last season were Ian McKenzie (24 games) and Mark Dekanich (2 games).

Regardless of how many prospects wore a Cyclones sweater last year, Cincinnati is affiliated with the Predators and thus, a new head coach in the system is news worthy.

Especially when the new head coach played on 27 different clubs in his 19 year professional career.

But, if you really need a Preds connection to tie this all together for you, when he played for the Solar Bears in 2000-01, he played wither former Preds tough guy Darcy Hordichuk under current Nashville Assistant Coach Peter Horachek.

Oh, and they won the IHL’s championship that season, the Turner Cup.

EDIT: He was also a teammate with former Predators goalie Dan Ellis on the 2003-04 Utah Grizzlies team.

PHOTO CREDIT: Joel Fellers // Pantagraph

SPECIAL THANKS: Props to @SLakePreds for the Horachek connection.