Thunderbirds Hockey Operations Staff
Eric Joyce - General Manager
Eric Joyce was named Assistant General Manager of the Florida Panthers in May 2016. He also serves as the GM of the Springfield Thunderbirds. Eric joined the Panthers and Sunrise Sports & Entertainment in 2013 as an assistant to the General Manager.
Eric’s current duties with the Panthers include overseeing player development as General Manager of the AHL affiliate in Springfield, as well as negotiating player contracts and managing the team’s salary cap with others in senior management. Eric also works closely with the pro and amateur scouting staffs to identify and acquire/draft pro and amateur prospects. Additionally, Eric is also responsible for the team’s community outreach, and works closely with the Florida Panthers Foundation to ensure the team is a vibrant member of Broward County.
A native of Boston, Mass., Eric has held numerous positions throughout the US government and the private sector focusing on national security. Most notably, Eric served as an Army Captain during Operation Iraqi Freedom III in Mosul, Iraq from 2004-2005 and was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Bronze Star and the Valorous Unit Citation.
Eric is a 2002 Graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, with a degree in Systems Engineering, and is also a 2011 Graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School with a focus on International Relations and econometrics. His hockey experience includes playing at the United States Military Academy from 1998-2002, where he was a member of the ECAC All-Academic team.
Eric enjoys spending his free time with his wife, Sarah Rose, and their children, Charlotte Rose and James Michael.
Geordie Kinnear - Head Coach
Geordie Kinnear joins the Springfield Thunderbirds as head coach after serving as an AHL assistant coach since 2001.
Kinnear began his coaching career with the Albany River Rats following an eight-year professional playing career and also served as a special assignment scout for the New Jersey Devils during the 2004-05 season.
After he played three seasons of junior hockey for the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, the New Jersey Devils drafted Kinnear in the seventh round (162nd overall) of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. Beginning with the 1993-94 season, he skated with Albany for the first six years of his career, helping the team reach the playoffs each season. Over that time, he was a member of Albany’s 1995 Calder Cup championship team, appeared in four consecutive AHL All-Star Classics (1995-1999) and served as team captain for three seasons (1996-1999).
Kinnear signed with the Atlanta Thrashers as a free agent in August of 1999, making his National Hockey League debut by appearing in four games with Atlanta, posting a total of 13 penalty minutes. He split the 1999-2000 season between Atlanta and the Thrashers’ IHL affiliate, the Orlando Solar Bears. After starting the 2000-01 season with Orlando, he was traded back to New Jersey on Nov. 6, 2000, and played 14 games with Albany before being forced to retire due to injury in December of 2000.
A defenseman originally from Simcoe, Ontario, Kinnear totaled 30 goals, 68 assists and 1,094 penalty minutes over the course of 406 career AHL games with Albany.
Doug Janik - Assistant Coach
Doug Janik is in his second season as an AHL assistant coach after serving in the same role for the Springfield Falcons in 2015-16.
A native of Agawam, Mass., Janik played his youth hockey for the New England Junior Whalers before going on to capture a national championship collegiately for the University of Maine in 1999. That same year, Janik was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the second round of the NHL Draft.
A veteran of more than 800 professional games, Janik played in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres, Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, Montreal Canadiens, and Detroit Red Wings between 2002 and 2012.
At the AHL level, Janik scored 202 points and added 951 penalty minutes in his career, which included a trip to the AHL All-Star game in the 2003-04 season.
Mike Ryan - Assistant Coach
Michael Ryan was named as an assistant coach with the Springfield Thunderbirds in 2016, his first pro coaching opportunity. A native of Milton, Mass., Ryan has over thirteen years of professional hockey experience.
The majority of his National Hockey League career was spent with the Buffalo Sabres and the Carolina Hurricanes. He finished the last four seasons of his professional career in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and the Finnish Elite League (Liiga). His primary goal with the Thunderbirds is to help develop and support the Panthers prospects in achieving their goal of playing in the NHL.
Prior to turning professional, Ryan was a second round (32nd overall) draft pick of the Dallas Stars. He is a Boston College High School graduate who was inducted into the athletic hall of fame in 2016. Following his two seasons at BC High, Ryan went on to play for Northeastern University where he led the Huskies in goals three straight seasons and was team captain.
Ryan currently resides with his wife and four young children in his home town of Milton during the offseason.
Additional Hockey Operations Staff:
Leo Luongo - Goaltending Coach
Alex Ambrose - Athletic Trainer
Eddie Reyes - Strength & Conditioning Coach
Ralph Calvanese - Equipment Manager