Jim Midgley named NHL assistant coach
Former Acadia Axemen assistant coach Jim Midgley has been named assistant coach of the NHL’s New York Rangers. Midgley joins Prince Edward Island’s Gerard Gallant’s coaching staff, along with assistant coach Mike Kelly, also from PEI and a UNB hockey alumnus. Midgley was an assistant coach with Acadia from 2002 thru 2007.
Jim, 43, originally from Townsend, Ontario, is currently an assistant coach with Team Canada’s women’s national team at the World Championships in Calgary; the head coach of that team is another former Assistant Coach for the Axemen, Troy Ryan. The two were also to serve in the same positions for the 2022 Beijing Olympics for Team Canada, although with his new position, Midgley will likely need to pass on the Olympic opportunity.
Prior to working with Team Canada, Jim scouted for the Philadelphia Flyers and was an assistant coach with the Iserlohn Roosters of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in 2019-20. He was the head coach of the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) in 2017-18 after serving as an assistant coach for six seasons (2011-17). Midgley was also an assistant coach with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL (2007-09) and). He was the video coach for Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship.
Axemen Head Coach Darren Burns was thrilled to hear the hiring news by the Rangers saying, “We are so excited for Midge. He is one of the great young minds in the game of hockey. He has kept focussed and continued to study the game over the last couple years, while not coaching and now he is a member of an original six franchise. It is all about being a real quality hockey person and having perseverance. It’s great to see this Maritime connection. There’s a reason why Gerard and Mike’s teams never underachieve. They understand motivation and being real with their players. In adding Midge to their staff, they have just added a huge piece of the puzzle to help them continue their reputation as one of the top coaching tandems in hockey. We are very proud of Midge and we wish him all the best!”
Midgley played his junior career, in the OHL, with the North Bay Centennials & the Belleville Bulls before heading east to suit up for the Acadia rival, Saint Mary’s Huskies for 4 years; serving as Captain of the team for 3 of those years.
The Acadia Axemen hockey program would like to congratulate Midge on his new role with the Rangers, as we’ll be watching and routing for him this season in Wolfville!