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Louis Mass hired by San Jose Barracuda as assistant coach

EVERETT, Wash. — Former Everett Silvertips associate coach Louis Mass has been hired by the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League as an assistant coach. Mass departs the Silvertips organization after four seasons behind the bench in assistant and associate capacities.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the Everett Silvertips family,” said Mass. “I will be forever grateful to the players, staff and fans for making it the experience of a lifetime. I’d like to extend a special thank you to [owner] Bill Yuill, [chief operating officer] Zoran Rajcic and [general manager/head coach] Dennis Williams for their leadership, guidance and support. Your commitment and passion for player development has made the Everett Silvertips the standard-bearing organization in the WHL.”

“We’re very excited for Louis,” commented Silvertips head coach/general manager Dennis Williams. “He’s one of the best coaches I’ve been able to work with over the years. He’s passionate about the job, passionate about players’ growth, and passionate about getting players to that next level. I knew it wouldn’t be long until Lou had the opportunity to move to a higher position. He’s a great coach and he’s one of my best friends. They got a great coach in San Jose, but also a really loyal, dedicated coach that’s going to do an unbelievable job. I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Mass helped lead the Silvertips to three U.S. Division titles in 2018-19, 2021 and 2021-22 as part of Williams’ coaching staff as well as two Western Conference regular season titles in 2021 and 2021-22. The Silvertips are the winningest franchise in the Western Hockey League since 2018-19 with 157 victories. Handling defensive responsibilities with the Silvertips, Everett has twice led the WHL in goals-against average (2018-19 and 2019-20) while finishing second in 2020-21 and sixth in 2021-22.

Mass also coordinated the Silvertips’ penalty kill, which ranked as the second best in the Western Hockey League during his four-year tenure (81.84% kill rate, behind only the Portland Winterhawks’ 82.78%). Everett twice finished in the top-three in WHL penalty kill percentage, even leading the league in 2020-21 with an 88.4% successful kill.

“We’re in a developmental league for everybody,” Williams explained. “Everybody wants to get to the next level. Whether that’s [former Silvertips assistant coach] Mitch Love getting to go to Saskatoon as a head coach and Stockton as a head coach, or [former longtime Everett equipment manager] James Stucky joining the Kraken, those things are terrific for us.”

Under Mass’ tutelage, several Silvertips defensemen have earned professional contracts or NHL Draftee status, including Gianni Fairbrother (3rd-round pick, 2019 NHL Draft), Kasper Puutio (5th-round pick, 2020 NHL Draft), Ronan Seeley (7th-round pick, 2020 NHL Draft), Jake Christiansen (signed pro contract with Columbus Blue Jackets in 2020) and Olen Zellweger (2nd-round pick, 2021 NHL Draft).

From the San Jose Barracuda’s release:

“Louis and Kyle [Hagel] come from the WHL as highly respected coaches,” said general manager Joe Will. “They both possess excellent communication skills and the aptitude to teach the game. We think they will both be great additions to John’s staff, and we’re excited for them to join the organization.” 

“Through their experiences as both coaches and as a players, Louis and Kyle bring varying styles and backgrounds to our organization that will be of great benefit to our prospects,” said head coach John McCarthy. “They have proven their prowess as teachers and developers of young players, and we’re excited to have them join our team.” 

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