ICE HOCKEY - Coventry Blaze appoint Vinnell as assistant coach while Regush added to playing roster - The Coventry Observer

ICE HOCKEY - Coventry Blaze appoint Vinnell as assistant coach while Regush added to playing roster

COVENTRY Blaze have appointed Zach Vinnell as assistant coach and added Canadian forward Michael Regush to the club’s playing roster.

Vinnell will act as assistant coach to new Blaze chief Kevin Moore, after opting to retire from playing at the age of 26 having won the Elite League Grand Slam with Sheffield Steelers last term.

And Blaze have also signed 25-year-old forward Regush who most recently played 17 games in the AHL with Abbotsford Canucks contributing two assists.

Moore said: “Zach came on to my radar when I was working in Indy. We had him for a few months after he finished school, and he really impressed me. He is really detailed, hardworking, smart and curious.

After the recent season ended, we spoke, and he made it clear that he really wanted to pursue coaching. Through the interview process, he really impressed me in many ways, and I loved how he challenged me and wasn’t afraid to speak his mind.

“As a previous defenceman and a forward, he will bring experience of playing in those roles, and he is very good at skills development which is particularly important for our younger British guys.

“He was part of an organisation that won the treble in this league last season and having that experience, and knowing what it takes will be valuable for him to share with our players.

“He has followed a similar path to our players, through the NCAA and into pro and so he will be able to relate and help with that transition and make our players the best versions of themselves.

“I am really excited to work with him again.

“I’m really excited to have Mike join the club. He spent an entire season in the AHL which is an incredible accomplishment.

“Mike is big, strong, fast and he can rip a puck. His defensive habits are strong, but he has a good skill set to add to our powerplay and five-on-five.

“He’s good on face-offs and will help us in all areas. He obviously missed last year as he had some injury issues to take care of, but he was training mid-way through but couldn’t find the right fit for him.

“He’s raring to go and I’m really excited to lean on him this season.”

Versatile Canadian Vinnell began the 2023/24 season with Glasgow Clan before moving to the Steelers in December and played an important role in the Sheffield side’s treble of league, Challenge Cup and play-offs.

A defenceman, who could also play as a forward, Vinnell turned professional with the ECHL’s Indy Fuel when Blaze coach Moore was assistant coach in 2022/23 and the pair built a positive connection.

Vinnell’s spent most of his NCAA career at Merrimack College (2019-2022) where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He then moved to Bowling Green State University (2022/23) where he achieved a master’s degree.

Prior, he spent three seasons in the AJHL with Camrose Kodiaks where he was an associate captain and left as the franchise’s all-time leading scorer by a defenceman.

Regush, a Surrey, British Columbia native, competed for the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks at the 2022 Young Stars Classic as a college free agent before being added to the club’s training camp roster on an amateur try out agreement.

His impressive performances ultimately earned him a contract with Abbotsford.

Regush completed his senior NCAA season in 2021/22 with Miami University of Ohio (NCHC), playing 24 games for the RedHawks.

He recorded nine points (three goals, six assists) in his first active campaign since leaving Cornell University (ECAC) after the 2019/20 season.

Over three years at Cornell, Regush won two Ivy league Championships, most promising freshman and two ECAC regular season championships.

Between Cornell and Miami of Ohio (2018 to 2022), Regush totalled 42 points (26 goals, 16 assists) in 89 NCAA games.

Regush is an alumnus of Delta Hockey Academy and played two full seasons in the BCHL, skating in 106 games between the Merritt Centennials and the Langley Rivermen which culminated in a Clark Cup final run.

Support community journalism by making a contribution.

The Coventry Observer's team of journalists provide a trusted source news, sport, entertainment and events going on in your area and issues which matter to you - both via our free weekly print edition and daily updates on our website.

Every contribution, however big or small, you can make will help us continue to do that now and in the future.

Thanks for reading this and the Coventry Observer.

Are you on Facebook?

Like or follow our Facebook page - to get daily news updates straight to your news feed.

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Coventry Observer.

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.


Weddings, Birthdays, Bereavements, Thank you notices, Marriages and more.


Receive a weekly update to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter.