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Wolves lose Stortini, gain Dorval in coaching staff changes

Zack Stortini is leaving the Wolves for another team, while Rick Dorval is coming in to fill his place from his current role as head coach and general manager for the Hawkesbury Hawks Jr. A team of the Central Canada Hockey League

In two recent staffing changes, the Sudbury Wolves are bidding farewell to associate coach Zack Stortini and saying hello to incoming assistant coach Rick Dorval. 

The outgoing associate coach is leaving the team for another coaching opportunity with a “professional team,” according to a media release issued by the Wolves.

“I want to thank the Wolves ownership and management for giving me the opportunity to begin my professional coaching career in Sudbury,” Stortini said in the release.

“Having the chance to be a part of a team that allowed me to learn and grow as a coach has been a rewarding experience. I have enjoyed the privilege of working closely with the Wolves coaching and training staff and all of the Sudbury Wolves players and I appreciate everyone’s hard work, dedication, and commitment every day.

Sudbury Wolves VP and general manager Rob Papineau extended his appreciation for Stortini’s efforts and said the team he’s relocating for “is getting an incredible human being.”

Stortini joined the wolves behind the bench in the 2019-20 season as assistant coach and was promoted to associate coach ahead of the 2021-22 season. He is also an alumnus of the team, having played 247 regular season games for the Wolves between 2001-05.

Filling Stortini’s vacancy as assistant coach will be Rick Dorval, who has served as head coach and general manager for the Hawkesbury Hawks Jr. A team of the Central Canada Hockey League for the past eight years.

His relocation to Sudbury is a homecoming, as he was born in the Nickel City.

“I am thrilled to move back to my hometown of Sudbury to join the Wolves coaching staff,” Dorval said, expressing his appreciation to the team’s movers and shakers. 

“I feel honoured to be part of this iconic franchise and this talented team. I look forward to working with these players. I feel that their future is bright, and I am very excited to be part of their journey.”

Dorval is credited with bringing the Hawkesbury Hawks from a last-place team to a league contender with an average .633 win percentage. He’s the youngest coach in CCHL history to win 400 games and is a two-time CCHL Coach of the Year, including most recently this past season. At 39 years of age, he has been a head coach for 13 years.

“We are really excited to bring Rick to Sudbury,” Papineau said. “He understands the game extremely well and has a great ability to teach and get the most from his players in all situations.”

The Wolves open their training camp on Aug. 29, and their season-opening home game will take place on Sept. 30 against the Barrie Colts. Single game tickets go on sale for pre- and regular-season games in early September, while season memberships are on sale at or by visiting the Sudbury Arena Box Office in-person.