River Drivers part ways with Coach Andre Niec

BERLIN — The Berlin River Drivers of the Federal Hockey League, have officially announced that the club has parted ways with head coach Andre Niec. Berlin completedit regular season under Niec at 28-21-3-4, good enough for a second place finish in just their second season. Berlin eliminated Danbury in two straight games in the semifinals before falling three games to two in the best-of-five series against Danville.

BRDDomMattHead Coach Andre Niec (center), with forward Dominik Synek and goaltender Matt Kaludis, will not return behind the bench in 2017-18 for the Berlin River Drivers. (JEAN LEBLANC PHOTO)

"We thank Andre Niec for his tenure with the River Drivers, and for all of his hard work bringing the team to the final round of the Commissioner's Cup," a team issued press release states. "The organization wishes him the best of luck in his future endeavors, as the organization moves in a different direction. The interview process is already well under way to find a new head coach and general manager. The candidates have been narrowed down to three well-qualified and experienced coaches, including a former captain in the AHL, and one who has hoisted the Commissioner’s Cup twice! Any of the three candidates would be a great pick to take over the River Drivers helm, but the hockey club would like to do its due-diligence and bring in the best person possible, to win the Championship next season."

River Drivers Release Protected List

In other news, the Berlin River Drivers organization is excited to announce the players that have been secured to their protected list for next season, as submitted to the FHL on May 1 at noon.

"We thank the many players that have become part of the BRD family this season and for bringing us to a second place finish this season," stated a team spokesman. "However, we are limited to protecting only 12 players by the Federal Hockey League. Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to keep the same team year after year, but we wish all players who have contributed to the River Drivers' 2016-17 success the absolute best in the future."

The following is the official Berlin River Drivers protected list: David Brancik, John Celli, Cameron Dimmitt, Matt Fuller, Tyler Howe, Matt Kaludis, Edgars Ozolins, Jiri Pestuka, Josh Pietrantonio, Jan Salak, Stanislav Vlasov and Nick Wright.