Kevin McDonald - General Manager
Kevin McDonald has been a member of the St. Louis Blues organization since 2001, when he joined the team as a professional scout. Since then, he has been influential in the success of the franchise by overseeing scouting and development of the team's AHL franchise.
A native of Andover, Mass., McDonald began his career as a Pro Scout with the New York Rangers, staying with the organization for 13 years.
Drew Bannister - Head Coach
Drew Bannister was named Head Coach of the St. Louis Blues' AHL affiliate in 2018.
The Sudbury, Ontario native spent the previous three seasons as head coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. In 2017-18, Bannister led the Greyhouds to franchise records in both wins (55-7-6) and points (116) en route to capturing the franchise's fifth Hamilton Spectator Trophy as the OHL regular season champion. For his efforts, Bannister was named the coach of the year in both the OHL (Matt Leyden Trophy) and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) overall (Janes Brian Kilrea Award).
Bannister was a second-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992. He enjoyed a six-year National Hockey League (NHL) career, including stints with Tampa Bay, Edmonton, Anaheim and New York (Rangers). Overall, he collected 30 points in 164 career NHL regular season games. He also spent four seasons in the American Hockey League (AHL), including 1999-2000, when he captured the Calder Cup Championship with the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Prior to the 2019-20 season's abrupt end, Bannister led the San Antonio Rampage to a 24-25-7 record (60 points), two points out of a playoff spot in the Central Division.
Daniel Tkaczuk - Assistant Coach
Daniel Tkaczuk joined the St. Louis Blues organization in 2016 as an assistant coach with the club's AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. After spending the 2017-18 season as a Skills Coach with the Blues, he rejoined the AHL affiliate as an assistant coach under Drew Bannister in 2018, a role he has held ever since.
The Toronto, Ontario native began his coaching career in the OHL as an assistant coach with the Owen Sound Attack from 2011-15 before spending the 2015-16 season with the Kitchener Rangers. Tkaczuk and Bannister were co-assistant coaches with Owen Sound from 2012-15.
Tkaczuk was the sixth overall draft pick in the 1997 NHL Draft by the Calgary Flames who played 12 professional seasons in both North America and Europe. As a member of the Saint John Flames, Tkaczuk captured a Calder Cup championship in 2000-01. He was tied for second among Flames skaters with 10 goals in the Calder Cup Playoffs that season.
In 286 AHL games with Saint John, the Worcester IceCats, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Charlotte, Syracuse, Rochester, and Hartford, Tkaczuk posted 59 goals and 109 assists for 168 points. He was a career point-per-game performer in the playoffs, scoring 14 goals and adding 17 assists in 29 career Calder Cup playoff contests.
Stu Bickel - Assistant Coach
Stu Bickel joined the Thunderbirds as an assistant coach on August 17, 2021. Bickel, 34, joins Springfield after serving as the head coach and assistant general manager for the Minnesota Magicians in the North American Hockey League during the 2020-21 season. A native of Chanhassen, Minn., Bickel also served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, from 2018-2020.
A hard-nosed defenseman and winger in his playing days, Bickel skated in 76 NHL games from 2011-2015 with the New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild, posting 10 assists and 203 penalty minutes. On three occasions, he accumulated more than 100 penalty minutes in a single AHL season. Over 10 AHL seasons with the Iowa Chops, San Antonio Rampage, Syracuse Crunch, Connecticut Whale, Hartford Wolf Pack, Iowa Wild, and San Diego Gulls, Bickel scored 12 goals, added 42 assists, and racked up 919 penalty minutes in 310 games played.
Additional Hockey Operations Staff:
Jeff Jordan - Video Coach
Dan Stewart - Goaltending Coach
Koryd Lavimoniere - Athletic Trainer
Abe Edson - Strength & Conditioning Coach
Steve Passineau - Head Equipment Manager
Casey Barile - Assistant Equipment Manager
Dr. Tara Futrell - Director of Medicine, Head Team Physician (Baystate)
Dr. Seth Gemme - Associate Medical Director (Baystate)
Jim Maloney - Director of Rehabilitation (Baystate)
Dr. Chris Magiera, DMD – Team Dentist (Agawam Crossing Dental)
Dr. Tom Langlois – Team Chiropractor (Langlois Family Chiropractic)
Dr. Max Kernizan, Dr. Steven D. Nguyen, Dr. Michael J. Spink - (Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery of Western Mass - Official Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons)