Former Hershey Bears making headlines
The Hershey Bears organization continues to produce names into the NHL head coaching ranks. With the St. Louis Blues win and elimination of the San Jose Sharks, former Bears left winger Craig Berube will lead the Blue Notes to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Also today former Hershey Bears and Colorado Avalanche defensemen D.J. Smith has been announced as the new head coach of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators. D.J. Smith, was the assistant coach of the Toronto Maple leafs, keeping him at home in his home country of Canada.
Berube, played as a journeyman forward starting his professional career with the AHL’s Hershey Bears. In the 1986-87 season, Berube played 63 games in the chocolate and white scoring seven goals and seventeen assists for 24 points. The big number to watch for was the 325 penalty minutes he accumulated in that season. Berube averaged a fight a game, or just over five pims per game.
In the 1986-87 rookie season for Craig Berube, he would see seven NHL contests with the Philadelphia Flyers. During those seven games Craig had 57 penalty minutes. It’s safe to say it was not smart for players to get in the way of the player later to be named the “chief”.
Craig Berube played parts of three seasons in Hershey for the Bears before playing 16 straight seasons in the NHL with the Flyers, Maple Leafs, Flames, Capitals, Flyers again, back to the Capitals, then to the Islanders before ending back with the flames. Berube would end his playing career with the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms, the affiliate to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Congratulations to @StLouisBlues Head Coach and former Bears forward, Craig Berube on winning the Western Conference and advancing to the #StanleyCup Final! #HBH pic.twitter.com/p9ww9E30sn— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) May 22, 2019
D.J Smith, a 1995 second round selection by the New York Islanders made his pro debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He would play eight games in the 1996-97 season recording one assist. He would be assigned to the St.John’s Maple Leads and play in one playoff game in the AHL during that same 1996-97 season. Smith would stay in the AHL for the nine straight seasons, while making NHL appearances in parts of three seasons with the Maple Leafs, and the Colorado Avalanche.
D.J Smith played the 2001-2002, 02-03 and 03-04 seasons in Chocolate Town for the Hershey Bears. In 51 career games in Hershey, Smith recorded seven goals, ten assists, and 108 penalty minutes.