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FRASER SIGNS NEW TWO-YEAR DEAL

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday announced that Curt Fraser has signed a new two-year contract to remain the team’s head coach through the 2011-12 season.

Named the eighth head coach in Griffins history on July 23, 2008, Fraser has compiled records of 77-64-9-10 (0.541) in the regular season and 4-6 (0.400) in the playoffs during his two seasons behind the team’s bench.

With 18 years’ experience as a head coach, assistant coach and player in the NHL, the 52-year-old Fraser ranks first among active AHL coaches in NHL head-coaching experience with 279 games and is the only current AHL bench boss to have over 200 games of NHL experience as both a head coach and a player on his resume.

Currently fifth all time among Griffins head coaches in both regular season games coached (160) and regular season wins (77), Fraser is set to surpass leader Danton Cole’s 208 games coached in the 49th game of the 2010-11 season, while a 40-win campaign would enable him to eclipse Cole’s 116 career victories for the most in franchise history.

In his debut season behind the Griffins’ bench in 2008-09, Fraser led the team to an impressive 43-25-6-6 regular season mark, a 28-point improvement in the standings from the prior campaign, and its first-ever playoff upset, a six-game toppling of Hamilton in the North Division Semifinals.

The 2009-10 campaign represented an anomaly in Fraser’s career as, for the first times in his eight seasons as a head coach in either the AHL or the original IHL, his team missed the playoffs and finished lower than third place in its division. Grand Rapids finished the year with a 34-39-3-4 record.

After compiling a tremendous head coaching resume in the IHL during the ‘90s, Fraser was named the first head coach of the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers on July 14, 1999. He spent three and a half seasons behind the expansion team’s bench, tutoring such stars as Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk during their first two pro campaigns and helping the Thrashers’ 2000-01 squad improve by 21 points over its debut season. 

Fraser’s NHL resume also includes stints as an assistant coach with the New York Islanders in 2003-04 and St. Louis in 2005-06. He also spent two years (2006-08) as the head coach of the Belarusian national team, helping it qualify for last winter’s Vancouver Olympics with a ninth-place finish at the 2008 IIHF World Championship.

In six seasons as a head coach in the IHL (Milwaukee 1992-94 and Orlando 1995-99), Fraser guided his teams to two division titles and four second-place finishes, posting a cumulative 281-158-10-42 record (0.625) and earning at least 40 wins in every campaign. He was selected to coach in the IHL All-Star Game on three occasions, in 1996 and 1997 while with Orlando (Eastern Conference) and in 1993 while with Milwaukee (Western Conference).

Fraser led the Solar Bears to the Turner Cup Finals in both 1996 – as an expansion team – and 1999, and he orchestrated a first-round playoff triumph over Grand Rapids in 1997, ending the Griffins’ inaugural season. His Orlando teams won eight of 12 playoff series and posted a 17-4 record in elimination games, while his 1998-99 club became the first team in IHL history to overcome a 0-3 deficit in a best-of-seven series, defeating Detroit in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Vancouver’s second pick (22nd overall) in the 1978 NHL Draft, Fraser spent his entire 12-year playing career (1978-90) as a left wing in the NHL, exhibiting a rare combination of scoring touch and toughness. He accumulated 433 points (193-240—433) and 1,306 penalty minutes in 704 contests with Vancouver, Chicago and Minnesota, highlighted by a personal-best 29-goal, 68-point season with the Blackhawks in 1985-86 and a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals with the Canucks in 1982.


Griffins Head Coaching Records
 
      Regular Season Playoffs
Head Coach Tenure GP W L T OTL SOL PTS PCT GP W L PCT
Dave Allison 6/27/96-3/3/98 144 70 55 -- -- 19 159 0.552 5 2 3 0.400
Bob McNamara 3/3/98-7/8/98 20 8 6 -- -- 6 22 0.550 3 0 3 0.000
Guy Charron 7/8/98-6/29/00 164 85 62 -- -- 17 187 0.570 17 10 7 0.588
Bruce Cassidy 7/17/00-6/25/02 162 95 49 11 4 3 208 0.642 15 8 7 0.533
Danton Cole 6/26/02-2/10/05 208 116 72 16 3 1 252 0.606 19 10 9 0.526
Greg Ireland 2/10/05-6/15/07 192 109 65 -- 8 10 236 0.615 23 11 12 0.478
Mike Stothers 7/18/07-6/18/08 80 31 41 -- 2 6 70 0.438        
Curt Fraser 7/23/08-Present 160 77 64 -- 9 10 173 0.541 10 4 6 0.400


Fraser's Coaching Record

        Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team League Position GP W L T OTL SOL PCT GP W L PCT
1990-91 Milwaukee IHL Asst. Coach 82 36 43 -- 3 -- 0.457 6 2 4 0.333
1991-92 Milwaukee IHL Asst. Coach 82 38 36 -- 8 -- 0.512 5 1 4 0.200
1992-93 Milwaukee IHL Head Coach 82 49 23 -- 10 -- 0.659 6 2 4 0.333
1993-94 Milwaukee IHL Head Coach 81 40 24 -- -- 17 0.599 4 0 4 0.000
1994-95 Syracuse AHL Assoc. Coach 80 29 42 9 -- -- 0.419 -- -- -- --
1995-96 Orlando IHL Head Coach 82 52 24 -- -- 6 0.671 23 11 12 0.478
1996-97 Orlando IHL Head Coach 82 53 24 -- -- 5 0.677 10 4 6 0.400
1997-98 Orlando IHL Head Coach 82 42 30 -- -- 10 0.573 17 9 8 0.529
1998-99 Orlando IHL Head Coach 82 45 33 -- -- 4 0.573 17 10 7 0.588
1999-00 Atlanta NHL Head Coach 82 14 57 7 4 -- 0.238 -- -- -- --
2000-01 Atlanta NHL Head Coach 82 23 45 12 2 -- 0.366 -- -- -- --
2001-02 Atlanta NHL Head Coach 82 19 47 11 5 -- 0.329 -- -- -- --
2002-03 Atlanta NHL Head Coach 33 8 20 1 4 -- 0.318 -- -- -- --
2003-04 NY Islanders NHL Asst. Coach 82 38 29 11 4 -- 0.555 5 1 4 0.200
2004-05 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
2005-06 St. Louis NHL Asst. Coach 82 21 46 -- 7 8 0.348 -- -- -- --
2006-07 Belarus National Team Head Coach -- -- Unavailable -- -- -- -- --
2007-08 Belarus National Team Head Coach -- -- Unavailable -- -- -- -- --
2008-09 Grand Rapids AHL Head Coach 80 43 25 -- 6 6 0.613 10 4 6 0.400
2009-10 Grand Rapids AHL Head Coach 80 34 39 -- 3 4 0.469 -- -- -- --
  HEAD COACHING TOTALS 930 422 391 31 34 52 0.517 87 40 47 0.460
  NHL HEAD COACHING TOTALS 279 64 169 31 15 -- 0.312 -- -- -- --
  GRIFFINS/AHL HEAD COACHING TOTALS 160 77 64 -- 9 10 0.541 10 4 6 0.400
  IHL HEAD COACHING TOTALS 491 281 158 -- 10 42 0.625 77 36 41 0.468


Fraser's Playing Record

      Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM GP G A PTS PIM
1974-75 Victoria WCHL 68 17 32 49 105 12 3 2 5 22
1975-76 Victoria WCHL 71 43 64 107 167 15 3 8 11 38
1976-77 Victoria WCHL 60 34 41 75 82 4 4 2 6 4
1977-78 Victoria WCHL 66 48 44 92 256 13 10 7 17 28
1978-79 Vancouver NHL 78 16 19 35 116 3 0 2 2 6
1979-80 Vancouver NHL 78 17 25 42 143 4 0 0 0 2
1980-81 Vancouver NHL 77 25 24 49 118 3 1 0 1 2
1981-82 Vancouver NHL 79 28 39 67 175 17 3 7 10 98
1982-83 Vancouver NHL 36 6 7 13 99 -- -- -- -- --
  Chicago NHL 38 6 13 19 77 13 4 4 8 18
1983-84 Chicago NHL 29 5 12 17 28 5 0 0 0 14
1984-85 Chicago NHL 73 25 25 50 109 15 6 3 9 36
1985-86 Chicago NHL 61 29 39 68 84 3 0 1 1 12
1986-87 Chicago NHL 75 25 25 50 182 2 1 1 2 10
1987-88 Chicago NHL 27 4 6 10 57 -- -- -- -- --
  Minnesota NHL 10 1 1 2 20 -- -- -- -- --
1988-89 Minnesota NHL 35 5 5 10 76 -- -- -- -- --
1989-90 Minnesota NHL 8 1 0 1 22 -- -- -- -- --
  NHL/PRO TOTALS 704 193 240 433 1306 65 15 18 33 198

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