Ontario Reign Announce Coaching Staff Update, Pre-Season Schedule + Kings 5K Photos

Happy Monday, Insiders!

There’s LA Kings hockey this week… I repeat, there’s LA Kings hockey THIS WEEK!

The rookies hit the ice within days here in El Segundo, before heading to San Jose to compete in the 2022 Rookie Faceoff starting Friday. Before we get to that, though, let’s recap a story from the weekend, when Reign Ontario announced some updates regarding their coaching staff for the 2022-23 season.

Reign Announces Coaching Staff Updates
The Ontario Reign made an announcement Friday with three coaching “transactions” if you will, all impacting AHL personnel heading into this season.

The most notable move was the promotion of Brad Schuler from video coach to assistant coach, joining Marco Sturm’s staff for the upcoming season. Schuler started with Ontario as a video coach in 2019, serving in that capacity for three seasons, until officially last year. When Reign’s staff underwent a mid-season transformation, due to the personal absence of John Wroblewski, Schuler remained behind the bench for the remainder of the season alongside assistant coaches Chris Hajt and Craig Johnson. With Johnson now a member of the Anaheim Ducks organization, Schuler joins Hajt as a permanent assistant coach on Sturm’s staff.

“We’re thrilled to have Brad build on the work he did in a more hands-on role last season,” said Ontario Reign general manager Richard Seeley. “He has a great relationship with our coaching staff and will continue to be part of our goal of developing players for the NHL and winning hockey games.”

Schuler has worked with Kings prospects and Reign players in an on-ice capacity for the majority of two seasons now, in addition to his work on the video side, as well as last season on the bench during games. Schuler also has a season of experience as an assistant coach with the ECHL’s Manchester Monarchs during the 2018-19 season, when he helped lead the team to the second round of the Champions League playoffs. Kelly Cup 2019.

The New Jersey native also served as an assistant coach in the NCAA ranks at the University of Maine during the 2017-18 season and held the same position for two seasons at Middlebury College. As a player, Schuler played professionally with the CHL’s Denver Cutthroats and SPHL’s Huntsville Havoc after a four-year career at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Ontario also announced the additions of Cole Lussier, who will replace Schuler as video coach and team services specialist, as well as Andre Carere, who was hired as head strength coach and conditioning.

Of the Kingdom –

Lussier, 25, comes to Ontario from the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), where he served as video coach and administrative assistant during the 2021-22 season. Originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Lussier played collegiate hockey for Trine University and later earned a pre-law degree from Michigan State University.

Carere spent the 2021-22 season with the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds as a strength and conditioning trainee, where he was part of the group that qualified for the 2022 Calder Cup Finals. He recently completed his master’s degree in strength and conditioning from Springfield College, where he also served as a graduate assistant in the school’s athletic department.

Carere’s other prior experience includes time as an intern with the Calgary Flames, College of Holy Cross and McMaster University. He received his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from Brock University in 2017.

AHL pre-season date revealed
The AHL announced the league’s preseason schedule Tuesday, which consists of a single date for Ontario’s reign. Ontario will have its only exhibition outing on Saturday, October 8 in San Diego, six days before the team opens the regular season at home on October 14.

Much of Reign’s roster will be on the ice over the next few weeks as part of Kings training camp and could see action during the NHL preseason. Ontario is scheduled to open its own camp the week of October 3 and will have just under two weeks to prepare for its opener.

5K Pictures
While we’ve been focusing all of our attention here on the on-ice news, the Los Angeles Kings also made big strides off the ice on Saturday, with the annual 5K event held in Redondo Beach.

Several Kings players joined Daryl Evans and a ton of Kings fans for the annual run/walk, with all fundraisers going to the Kings Care Foundation. Some pictures from the event below –

Looking ahead, the rookies hit the ice here in El Segundo on Thursday morning, with an eye on Game 1 against Colorado on Friday. I’ll be away during the tournament for a family wedding, but the Ontario duo of Josh Schaefer and Jared Shafran will have you covered here on LAKI throughout the weekend festivities.