After a dissatisfying inaugural year in Flint, Michigan, the OHL’s Firebirds are off to a great start in their first full offseason having signed a new general manager, a new head coach and now their first round pick from the OHL Priority Draft – Ty Dellandrea.
Flint Firebirds announce that their first round pick Ty Dellandrea has committed to the team. Great news considering all that's happened,
— Mark Scheig (@markscheig) May 26, 2016
Following the mess that was their first season, there was a lot of speculation as to whether or not players would want to join the Firebirds for their OHL careers. But, that was put to rest when the franchise was able to alter the direction of the club heading into the 2016-17 season.
With that, Dellandrea signed and will be with the team for the upcoming year.
“Playing in the Ontario Hockey League is what you dream of growing up,” said the fifth overall pick in the Port Perry Star. “To make it official means a lot to my family and I. It’s a great community in Flint with a strong fan base and I’m looking forward to making the best impact as a player on the ice for years to come.”
The OHL suspended the team’s owner – Rolf Nilsen – for five years and fined him $250,000 after his treatment of the franchise during their inaugural season. Following the suspension, the OHL’s commissioner David Branch hired George Burnett as the team’s new general manager.
“From an organization prospective, the Firebirds are thrilled to welcome Ty and his family to our program,” said Burnett to the Star. “We are excited to get some time together to further introduce Ty to the community and our facility. There’s a mutual excitement to get everything started and Ty is going to be a huge part of our foundation moving forward.”
With the signing, the Firebirds are looking to start fresh and give the franchise a full 180-degree turnaround following what was certainly a disappoint season for the team, its fans and the OHL as a whole.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.