OHA hires Stu Barnes as skills coach

Former NHLer Stu Barnes joins Okanagan Hockey Academy as a skills coach

Retired NHLer Stu Barnes is joining the Okanagan Hockey Academy as a skills coach, the Okanagan Hockey Group announced.

‘We are very excited to have Stu Barnes join the OHA staff this coming season,” said OHG vice-president Dixon Ward in a press release. “His experience in the game, both as a player and coach, is unparalleled in our industry. His integrity, character, and passion for the game gives us the opportunity to expose our young athletes to a great leader.”

Barnes, 44, will work with all OHA Penticton teams helping players improve their fundamentals over the course of the season.

“I’m excited for the upcoming season working alongside the coaching staff to continue to help their players develop in OHA’s great hockey environment,” said Barnes.

Barnes was drafted fourth overall by the Winnipeg Jets at the 1989 NHL Draft. He would go on to play 1,252 combined regular season and playoff games in the NHL with stops in Winnipeg, Florida, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Dallas.

The Spruce Grove, Alta., product was a major contributor on the Florida Panthers 1996 run to the Stanley Cup Final. He also shared the team lead in post-season goals for the Buffalo Sabres during their 1999 Stanley Cup Final run.

Prior to his NHL career, Barnes played three seasons in the Western Hockey League with the New Westminster Bruins and Tri-City Americans. He won a gold medal for Canada at the 1990 World Junior Championship.

Upon completion of his NHL career, Barnes spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars and is a current TV analyst for the team. He has been a co-owner of the Tri-City Americans since 2004.