Local Sports Journal

The Muskegon Lumberjacks have tabbed a former Detroit Red Wing as their goaltender coach.

Manny Legace, a native of Toronto, spent 11 seasons in the National Hockey League, six off which were as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. He earned 191 career victories in the NHL and won a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2001-02.

“Winning the Stanley Cup in 2002 and making the Red Wings roster after camp in 2000 were the best moments of my professional career,” Legace said.  “When (General Manager) Ken Holland called me up and told me to make a home for myself in Detroit, it was the best feeling for me because all my hard work and dedication to making myself better had paid off in the end.”

Lumberjacks’ head coach Jim McKenzie is pleased to add Legace’s experience to the Lumberjacks’ organization.

“Manny Legace is a class act on and off the ice, and he played the game of hockey the way it should be played,” McKenzie said.“Manny (Legace) brings forth experience and knowledge to the game that will help our goaltenders in the long run, and he is a great asset that will also benefit the team overall.

Legace began his stint in Muskegon several days ago has been impressed by what he’s seen.

“I have only been here (in Muskegon) for a few days and from the first moment in stepped into the building, I was blown away by the facilities they had to offer,” said Legace.  “The Mervis family runs a first-class, professional organization that caters to the needs of the team and fans of the Muskegon Lumberjacks.

Legace also is a goaltender coach with the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League. Therefore, he will be splitting his time between the two cities.

“Manny Legace is a great addition to the Muskegon Lumberjacks organization.  His wealth of knowledge and experience playing the game of hockey will be a valuable asset to the team,” said Lumberjacks owner Josh Mervis.  “The hiring of Manny Legace shows that the Lumberjacks are committed to hiring quality people to teach our players how to be successful young men in college, their professional careers and life overall.”