Hamilton Bulldogs Dismiss George Burnett
The Hamilton Bulldogs have released George Burnett from his duties as General Manager and Head Coach. will not be returning as the Hamilton Bulldogs Head Coach and General Manager, President Steve Staios announced this afternoon. Steve Staios will assume the role of General Manager, and the team is still looking to fill the position of head coach.
The Hamilton Bulldogs (25-35-8, 58 points) competed for the final playoff position right up until the final weekend under George Burnett. Considering that this team became the youngest in the OHL following the Over-age player deadline back in early January, this sounds moderately respectable. This team is one that was hampered by significant injuries during the season to important roster pieces. There are three reasons that we can probably attribute to the lost season: a -63 goal differential; a November we don’t want to remember; and an inability to compete with divisional rivals (Peterborough, Mississauga and Oshawa). There was speculation back in November during a seven game losing streak that Burnett’s tenure in Hamilton would mirror his lone NHL Head Coach assignment with the 1994/95 Edmonton Oilers; out of work by Christmas. Owner Michael Andlauer and Staios decided to stay the course and develop some consistency for the players who were all in a new environment.
Ultimately, this is an opportunity for the team to move towards a future with a new identity that will coincide with the revised branding. I appreciate the work that Burnett put into this team this season, despite missing the target of playoff hockey in Hamilton. He was always very respectful and accommodating to members of the media. All the best George!