William Raymond Muckalt (born July 15, 1974) is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey player who was recently the head coach and general manager of the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League. Muckalt played in the National Hockey League for the Vancouver Canucks, New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators and Minnesota Wild from 1998 until 2003. In 2016, Muckalt led the Tri-City Storm to its first Clark Cup during his first season as Head Coach and General Manager.
July 15, 1974|
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)|
New York Islanders
221st overall, 1994|
Muckalt played Junior A in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League (BCJHL) with the Merritt Centennials and briefly with the Kelowna Spartans before joining the American college ranks with the University of Michigan of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) in 1994. While with Merritt, Muckalt delivered a check from behind that rendered the opposing player a quadriplegic. Muckalt played four years for the Michigan Wolverines and was named to the CCHA and NCAA West First All-Star Teams in his senior year in 1998. The school won two NCAA titles while Muckalt was a sophomore in 1996 and a senior in 1998. The 1996 championship team also featured future NHLers Brendan Morrison, Jason Botterill and goalie Marty Turco.
Muckalt was selected in the ninth round (221st overall) of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by his hometown Vancouver Canucks. He played his first NHL game with the Canucks on October 12, 1998, against the Los Angeles Kings, notching his first NHL point as well, an assist. Muckalt scored his first NHL goal on October 20 against the Carolina Hurricanes. He played in 73 games during his rookie season, scoring 16 goals and 36 points. Muckalt was traded to the New York Islanders along with Dave Scatchard and goalie Kevin Weekes in exchange for goalie Felix Potvin and draft picks midway through the 1999–2000 season on December 19, 1999. Shortly after debuting with the Islanders, however, he was sidelined for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury sustained in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on January 13, 2000. After a full season with the Islanders in 2000–01, he was involved in a blockbuster trade with the Ottawa Senators on June 23, 2001. Muckalt was dealt to Ottawa along with up-and-coming defenceman Zdeno Chara and the Islanders' first round pick in 2001 (which Ottawa would subsequently use to select Jason Spezza) in exchange for star centre Alexei Yashin.
Muckalt spent only one season with Ottawa, registering no goals and eight assists in 70 games, before signing as a free agent with the Minnesota Wild on July 3, 2002. He registered five goals and eight points in his first five games with Minnesota before dislocating his right shoulder in a game against the Calgary Flames on October 22, 2002. The injury was severe enough to end Muckalt's season and keep him sidelined for the majority of the next as well.
He would not play another regular season NHL game, though he did attempt a comeback with the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Houston Aeros, registering three assists in nine games in 2003–04. In 2006, Muckalt signed as a free agent with Russian club Vityaz Chekhov, he never played a game for the team.
Muckalt began his coaching career as an assistant with the Eastern Michigan Eagles in 2006–07, moving up to head coach the following year. In 2009–10, Muckalt served as head coach of the Valencia Flyers of the Western States Hockey League, guiding the team to a 23–21–5 record and a fifth-place finish in the WSHL Western Division. On March 28, 2010, he was named head coach of the New Mexico Mustangs, a North American Hockey League (NAHL) expansion team. Muckalt led the development of the franchise's coaching, recruiting and scouting systems. With 21 rookies on the roster, the Mustangs went 19–35–4 in their first year, winning 15 of their last 27 games. In the off-season, he accepted a position as an assistant coach with Michigan Tech of the NCAA Division I Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and served as an Assistant Coach from 2011-15.
During 2014-15, Muckalt helped Michigan Tech to a 29-10-2 record, tied for the most wins in college hockey, and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The campaign marked the first 20-win season for MTU since the 1982-83 year. Michigan Tech had a No. 1 national ranking for the first time since 1976 and boasted the largest goal differential in Division I hockey, finishing second in goals against average (1.80) and fifth in goals per game (3.51).
With Michigan Tech, Muckalt coached Tanner Kero, the 2014-15 WCHA Player of the Year, who signed with the Chicago Blackhawks. Others from MTU to sign pro contracts were Blake Peitila, with the New Jersey Devils; and former Storm goaltender Phoenix Copley, with the Washington Capitals.
In July 2015, Muckalt was named Head Coach of the USHL's Tri-City Storm. In his first season, Bill Muckalt led the Storm to its first Clark Cup, sweeping the Dubuque Fighting Saints in three games. Muckalt enters his second season as head coach of the Storm in 2016-17. He is the seventh coach in Tri-City Storm history.
The Storm ran through the 2016 postseason with a 9-2 record, sweeping Sioux Falls, beating Waterloo in five games and dispatching Dubuque, 3-0, in the Clark Cup Final. He became the fifth coach in the Tier-1 History of the USHL (since 2002-03) to win a championship in the first season as Head Coach, joining Jeff Blashill (2009, Indiana), Jim Montgomery (2011, Dubuque), Derek LaLonde (2012, Green Bay) and Jeff Brown (2014, Indiana).
The series wins helped the Storm rid it of some previous demons; Sioux Falls had eliminated the Storm from the postseason in 2014-15 and Waterloo beat Tri-City in the 2004 Clark Cup Final.
In the 2015-16 regular season, the Storm went 28-15-10-7 (73 points) and clinched the Western Conference regular season title for the second time. Muckalt instituted a balanced team; Tri-City finished seventh in goals for (3.05 GF/GM), seventh in goals against (2.73 GA/GM), third on the power play (20.8%) and sixth on the penalty kill (84.4%).
The Storm went on a team-record 13-game point streak from February 12 - March 19. The run moved Tri-City into first place in its conference.
Muckalt presided over the development of Carson Meyer, the team's leading goal scorer (32) and Wade Allison, who won Clark Cup MVP with a league-best nine goals in the postseason. Goaltender Jake Kielly set the Storm's postseason record with a 1.64 goals against average and a .950 save percentage.
Awards and honoursEdit
|All-CCHA Rookie Team||1994–95|
|All-CCHA First Team||1997–98|
|AHCA West First-Team All-American||1997–98|
|1994–95||University of Michigan||NCAA||39||19||18||37||42||—||—||—||—||—|
|1995–96||University of Michigan||NCAA||41||28||30||58||34||—||—||—||—||—|
|1996–97||University of Michigan||NCAA||36||26||38||64||69||—||—||—||—||—|
|1997–98||University of Michigan||NCAA||46||32||35||67||94||—||—||—||—||—|
|1999–2000||New York Islanders||NHL||12||4||3||7||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||New York Islanders||NHL||60||11||15||26||33||—||—||—||—||—|
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Bill Muckalt". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
- "Muckalt Appointed Coach of NAHL Expansion Team". valenciaflyers.net. Archived from the original on March 31, 2010. Retrieved March 30, 2010.
- "Michigan Tech adds Muckalt to coaching staff". USCHO News. June 10, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
- "Michigan Tech adds Muckalt to coaching staff". uscho.com. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2011.