Paul Theriault, renowned Oshawa Generals coach, passes away at 73

In the world of ice hockey, news of Paul Theriault’s death has filled the internet, leading to a flurry of searches by the public who want to learn more about him and the circumstances of his passing. Here, we bring you the facts about Paul Theriault’s life and his contributions to hockey.

Theriault, a distinguished coach in Oshawa Generals hockey history, sadly passed away aged 73. His coaching tenure with the Generals spanned a decade, from 1979 to 1989, with a year’s break in 1980-81. During his time with the Generals, he demonstrated his coaching prowess with an impressive record of 350 wins, 234 losses, and 22 ties.

Under Theriault’s guidance, the Generals secured two Ontario Hockey League championships and consistently maintained a record above 500. His most successful seasons were in 1982-1983 and 1986-1987, with the Generals triumphing over the North Bay Centennials and the Soo Greyhounds, respectively. Despite these victories, they fell short in the Memorial Cup final in both years, losing to the Winter Hawks in Portland in 1983, and then to the formidable Medicine Hat Tigers team in 1987.

Theriault’s coaching talents were recognised in 1986-1987 when he was named OHL coach of the year, one of only three Oshawa Generals coaches to receive this honour. Future NHL players such as Dave Andreychuk, Tony Tanti, John MacLean, Derek King, Dale Degray, Joe Cirella, Gord Murphy, and Jeff Daniels are among the many who were coached by Theriault during his time with the Generals. He also had the opportunity to coach the legendary Wayne Gretzky in the Soo for six months in his first season as a young OHL head coach.

Following his time with the Generals, Theriault took on the role of OHL head coach for both the Erie Otters and his hometown Soo Greyhounds, and served as the Buffalo Sabres’ assistant coach in the 1996-1997 season. His coaching career extended to the International Hockey League where he coached the Flint Spirt and concluded his coaching journey in Italy in 2005.

Theriault, who played for Lake Superior State University from 1968 to 1971, later faced the impacts of post-concussion syndrome which forced him to retire from coaching and seek medical treatment. In 2012, a charity golf event titled “A Tribute to Turk” was held in his honour to raise funds for his treatment.

As a coach, Theriault had a significant impact on his players, both on and off the ice. His influence extended beyond their athletic skills, shaping their development as individuals. The hockey community will remember him as a skilled and dedicated coach who left an indelible mark on the sport.