The Milton Keynes Lightning ice hockey team have announced Doug McKay as their next Head Coach and General Manager.

Canadian McKay will take the reins from current Head Coach Pete Russell, who will leave the club at the end of the current campaign, having previously led the organisation to League and play-off trophies and second place in the English Premier League in 2016-17.

McKay will bring to the Lightning vast experience gained in North America, with his resume including a previous two year stint as Assistant Coach at the NHL New Jersey Devils and the Toronto Maple Leafs. He also has Head Coach experience in the AHL and ECHL, along with more than two decades of coaching in several European leagues including Italy and Switzerland.

Off-ice operations at the Lightning will also benefit from Doug’s considerable experience, after four years with the NHL Buffalo Sabres handling marketing, sales, promotion and media relations.

Announcing the appointment, MK Lightning owner Monica Moody spoke of how the organisation arrived at their decision, saying, “Our inaugural season was a challenge in many ways, which reinforced our continuing belief to move forward bringing a strong foundation in the community.

“Doug McKay has worked this game from every angle – from grass roots level to the NHL – and we are confident that with his help we will take our brand forward.

“We thank the entire MKL organisation on and off the ice for their effort, enthusiasm, commitments and their belief in our promising future.”

Doug McKay added, “I’m looking forward to working with Monica and Graham and the Milton Keynes Lightning organization and would like to thank them for this opportunity. I am excited to take on this new challenge and confident we will put a competitive product on the ice for all the MKL sponsors and fan base.”