Kevin Maxwell - General Manager
Kevin Maxwell was named the General Manager of the Springfield Thunderbirds on August 1, 2022.
Maxwell, 62, joins the Blues organization following 14 seasons in the scouting department with the New York Rangers. Since 2011, Maxwell had served as the Rangers' Director of Professional Scouting. New York reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 10 of Maxwell's 14 seasons in the organization, including a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals last season.
A native of Edmonton, AB, Maxwell was a third-round selection by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1979 NHL Draft following an All-American season at the University of North Dakota in 1978-79, when the center amassed 82 points (31g, 51a) in 42 games for the Fighting Sioux.
Maxwell turned pro in 1980 and skated in eight professional seasons, including 66 NHL games with the North Stars, Colorado Rockies, and New Jersey Devils. In his AHL playing career, Maxwell was a member of two Calder Cup winners with the Maine Mariners in 1984 and the Hershey Bears in his final playing season in 1988. Maxwell finished 1987-88 second on the Bears with 85 points (36g, 49a) in 77 games.
After retiring from his playing career in 1988, Maxwell immediately jumped into the scouting ranks, spending three seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers scouting department from 1988-91. Following a brief stint as the head coach for the Western Hockey League's Brandon Wheat Kings in 1991-92, Maxwell spent the last 30 years in NHL scouting roles with the Hartford Whalers (1992-96), New York Islanders (1996-2006), Dallas Stars (2006-08), and Rangers (2008-2022). He has served as the Director of Professional Scouting for the Whalers, Islanders, and Rangers over his tenure as an executive.
Drew Bannister - Head Coach
Drew Bannister was named Head Coach of the St. Louis Blues' AHL affiliate in 2018. The 2022-23 season marks his second as Thunderbirds head coach.
In his first season behind the T-Birds bench in 2021-22, Bannister led Springfield to its first playoff berth since the club's inception in 2016, posting team-record totals in wins (43), and points (95). The team then raced all the way to the Calder Cup Finals by means of series wins over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (3-0), Charlotte Checkers (3-0), and Laval Rocket (4-3) before falling to the Chicago Wolves in the Finals.
Before joining the Blues organization, 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 Greyhounds to franchise records in both wins (55) 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 (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 - Associate Head 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.
Jordan Smith - Assistant Coach
Jordan Smith was hired as the Thunderbirds assistant coach on August 8, 2022.
Smith, 36, spent the last five years in the Ontario Hockey League as an Associate Coach with the Sudbury Wolves (2017-18) and Soo Greyhounds (2018-22). He was on the same coaching staff as current Thunderbirds goalie coach Dan Stewart with the Greyhounds from 2018-20. Smith reached the postseason with the Soo in 2019 and 2022.
Smith is now the third member of the Thunderbirds' coaching staff with ties to the Soo organization. Head coach Drew Bannister served in the same position for the Greyhounds from 2015-18.
A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Smith began his coaching career in 2012-13 with the Thunder Bay North Stars of the Superior International Junior Hockey League before serving four seasons as a head coach with the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (2013-17), where he won four division titles and compiled a 176-29-10-3 record.
In his playing career, Smith was a second-round selection by the Anaheim Ducks in 2004 but was forced to retire from professional hockey due to injury after two AHL seasons with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks and Portland Pirates. He also skated for the Greyhounds from 2001-05, putting up 68 points (13g, 55a) in 211 games in the OHL.
Additional Hockey Operations Staff:
Jeff Jordan - Video Coach
Dan Stewart - Goaltending Coach
Koryd Lavimoniere - Athletic Trainer
Julia Snow - Assistant 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)