Manny Legace named new goaltending coach of the Muskegon Lumberjacks

Manny Legace played six seasons with the Red Wings, and won the Stanley Cup in 2002. (Photo from the MiHockey archives)

By Michael Caples - 

The Muskegon Lumberjacks just added a former Red Wing and Stanley Cup champion to their coaching staff.

Manny Legace, who won a Cup with the Red Wings in 2002, will be joining the Lumberjacks’ organization as their new goaltending coach.

Legace played 11 seasons in the NHL, six of which while wearing a Red Wings’ sweater. He played in Detroit from 1999-2004 and 2005-06. The Toronto native also spent three seasons with the St. Louis Blues, and one season for both the Los Angeles Kings and the Carolina Hurricanes.

In a release from the Lumberjacks, Legace said that the two best moments of his professional hockey career came with the Wings.

“Winning the Stanley Cup in 2002 and making the Red Wings roster after camp in 2000 were the best moments of my professional career,” said Legace, who recorded 191 NHL wins in his career.  “When (General Manager) Ken Holland called me up and told me to make a home for myself in Detroit, it was the best feeling for me because all my hard work and dedication to making myself better had paid off in the end.”

Lumberjacks coach Jim McKenzie said he is excited to have a former NHL opponent joining him in Muskegon. McKenzie spent 15 years in the NHL before joining the coaching ranks.

“Manny Legace is a class act on and off the ice, and he played the game of hockey the way it should be played,” said McKenzie in the press release.  “Manny (Legace) brings forth experience and knowledge to the game that will help our goaltenders in the long run, and he is a great asset that will also benefit the team overall.”

Legace said that even in a short time in Muskegon, he has been impressed with the USHL club.

“I have only been here (in Muskegon) for a few days and from the first moment in stepped into the building, I was blown away by the facilities they had to offer,” said Legace.  “The Mervis family runs a first-class, professional organization that caters to the needs of the team and fans of the Muskegon Lumberjacks.”