The Flint Firebirds announced Monday they have hired Barclay Branch as the team’s General Manager and Vice-President of Hockey Operations.
The son of OHL Commision David Branch was previously General Manager of the Sudbury Wolves, and had spent 11 years with the Belleville Bulls prior to that.
Branch will take over for George Burnett, who was appointed by the OHL to help stabilize the Firebirds’ franchise. The move seemed to pay off as Flint made some significant strides this season, distancing themselves from a far from smooth inaugural season in 2015-16, and earning their first playoff birth since the move from Plymouth.
With Branch’s departure, current Vice-President of Hockey Operations Rob Papineau will assume the role of General Manager, effective immediately.
Burnett will remain in the OHL, as he accepted a job with the Guelph Storm on Monday. He joins the team as Head Coach and General Manager.
He is no stranger to the league, having spent nine seasons with the Belleville Bulls, he’s also coached with the Hamilton Bulldogs, Oshawa Generals, Guelph Storm and Niagara Falls Thunder, where he won back to back coach of the Year Awards with the Thunder in 1990-91 and 1991-92.
Burnett also played three seasons with the London Knights from 1979 to 1982, scoring 26 goals and 92 points in his final season.