(Boise, ID) ? The ECHL?s Idaho Steelheads announced Tuesday that Hardy Sauter has been named head coach and director of hockey operations. The 39-year-old Sauter becomes the fifth head coach in organization history, following Dave Langevin (1997-98), Clint Malarchuk (1998-2000), John Olver (2000-2005) and Derek Laxdal (2005-2010). ?We?ve been strong and stable behind the bench for the past decade,? Steelheads president Eric Trapp said. ?We?re excited for Coach Sauter to continue that tradition.? Sauter comes to Idaho after spending the last three seasons with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League. He was an assistant coach in 2008 when the Chiefs won the Memorial Cup, the grandest prize in all of major-junior hockey. He spent the past two seasons as the team?s head coach, compiling a record of 91-45-8 along the way, reaching the WHL playoffs in each season. ?I?m excited to coach here in Boise,? Sauter said. ?I have not heard one bad thing about the city or the organization. My family and I are thrilled to be here and we?re looking forward to carrying on the winning tradition the city of Boise and the Steelheads fans have come to expect.? The Maryfield, Saskatchewan, native was named to the Central Hockey League?s ?All Decade? second team following a long playing career with the Oklahoma City Blazers that still has him ranked in the league?s all-time top ten in games played (590), assists (527), and points (669). He was named a CHL All-Star in each of his nine seasons with Oklahoma City and skated in 590 of a possible 598 games. He was the two-time CHL Defenseman of the Year (1997 and 1998). During that tenure, Sauter (pronounced SOT-er) actually played in Boise at Qwest Arena. The Blazers and Steelheads played four games during the 2000-2001 season as part of a WCHL/CHL cross-over competition. Idaho won all four games, including a pair of games in Boise on October 27-28, 2000. Prior to his nine-year run in the CHL, he spent one year with the Tallahassee Tiger Sharks of the ECHL, where one of his teammates was Steelhead legend Cal Ingraham. Sauter is married, Heidi, and has one daughter, Jessica. The Steelheads open the regular season on October 15 when they host the Victoria Salmon Kings at Qwest Arena. Ticket plans for the 2010-2011 season are available right now, starting at just $275 per seat for all 36 home games during the regular season. Partial-season plans are also available. Contact the Steelheads front office at 208.383.0080 for more information.
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