WEST VALLEY CITY - Utah Grizzlies' director of hockey operations and head coach Kevin Colley announced Wednesday that defenseman Jeff Dwyer has retired to become his assistant.
Dwyer played 56 games for Utah last season, when he was a team captain. He also appeared in 15 playoff games during the Grizzlies' march to the conference finals. In addition, the 27-year-old Dwyer earned three call-ups to Bridgeport.
"It was a tough decision to retire, but I am excited to go behind the bench," said Dwyer. "I look forward to helping our players achieve their dreams and goals of advancing to the AHL and NHL. Kevin and I are both young, motivated guys and we look forward to winning a lot of games in Utah."
Dwyer is a Connecticut native and 2004 graduate of Yale University, where he played hockey for four years. He was named the Ivy League Freshman of the Year in 2001. Dwyer was selected in the sixth round of the 2000 entry draft by the Atlanta Thrashers.
"Jeff was a great leader on last year's team," said Colley. "He has a strong understanding of the game of hockey and his business savvy and organizational skills will be a great benefit to us." "We are once again excited to stay within our Grizzly family with a very capable candidate," said Grizzlies' CEO Kevin Bruder. "Kevin and Jeff are both familiar with each other's style. They are equally focused on winning while developing our players for the next level. They will make a great coaching staff." The Utah Grizzlies celebrate their 15th anniversary season in 2008-2009. Owned and operated by the Elmore Sports Group, the Grizzlies enter their second season as an affiliate of the NHL's New York Islanders.