June 4, 1970|
Virginia, Minnesota, U.S.
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)|
|National team||United States|
168th overall, 1990|
John Daniel Gruden (born June 4, 1970) is an American former professional ice hockey defenseman and assistant coach of the New York Islanders. He previously served as the head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs and inaugural head coach of the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
Drafted 168th overall in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins, Gruden played for the Bruins, Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals playing a total of 92 regular season games, scoring one goal and eight assists for nine points and collecting 46 penalty minutes. He also had a spell in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in Germany for Eisbären Berlin. He played high school hockey in Hastings, Minnesota in the late 1980s.
He has worked as an assistant coach for the Detroit Little Caesars AAA hockey club, coaching for their Squirt 2000 squad. Coached a short stint for the storied Brother Rice JV Prep Squad (1-16), training the fists of forward Patrick VanDusen. He also spends time doing work on behalf of the Red Wings Alumni Association. Gruden coached the Stoney Creek High School Cougars hockey team in Rochester, Michigan along with fellow NHL alumnus Greg Johnson.
On March 26, 2015, it was announced that Gruden would serve as the inaugural head coach for the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League during the 2015–16 season. In a highly publicized incident, he was fired a month into the season. Reports claim the firing was due to refusing to increase the playing time of defenseman Håkon Nilsen, the team owner's son, however team president Costa Papista denied the reports. Following a successful player walkout, Gruden was reinstated as the Firebirds head coach and given a three-year contract extension. On February 17, 2016, Gruden was again fired by the Firebirds. On June 3, 2016, Gruden was named head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Following the 2017–18 regular season, he led the Bulldogs as the OHL playoff champions.
Regular season and playoffs
|1989-90||Waterloo Black Hawks||USHL||47||7||39||46||35||—||—||—||—||—|
|1990–91||Ferris State University||CCHA||39||4||11||15||29||—||—||—||—||—|
|1991–92||Ferris State University||CCHA||37||9||14||23||24||—||—||—||—||—|
|1992–93||Ferris State University||CCHA||41||16||14||30||58||—||—||—||—||—|
|1993–94||Ferris State University||CCHA||38||11||25||36||52||—||—||—||—||—|
|1999–00||Grand Rapids Griffins||IHL||50||5||17||22||24||12||1||4||5||8|
|2000–01||Grand Rapids Griffins||IHL||34||2||6||8||18||10||1||4||5||8|
|2001–02||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||57||3||14||17||48||5||1||0||1||2|
Awards and honors
|Defenseman of the Year||1990|
|All-CCHA First Team||1994|
|AHCA West First-Team All-American||1994|
|CCHA Best Offensive Defenseman||1994|
|Second All-Star Team||1998|
|First All-Star Team||2002|
- "Flint Firebirds name hockey staff". Ontario Hockey League. March 26, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
- Joyce, Gare (November 9, 2015). "How Flint Firebirds firestorm came about". Sportsnet. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
- Sipple, George (November 9, 2015). "Flint Firebirds re-hire coaches after players protest". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
- Seravalli, Frank (November 9, 2015). "Flint Firebirds re-hire coaches after player protest". TSN.ca. TSN. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
- Woodyard, Eric (November 9, 2015). "Report: Flint Firebirds players walk out after coach is fired". MLive. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
- Sipple, George (February 17, 2016). "Flint Firebirds fire coaches for second time this season". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- "Bulldogs name John Gruden new head coach". Hamilton Bulldogs. 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
- Radley, Scott (July 18, 2018). "Hamilton Bulldogs head coach becomes Islanders assistant coach". The Hamilton Spectator.
- "Canadian All-Stars 13, Planet USA All-Stars 11". American Hockey League. 2002-02-14. Retrieved 2019-02-01.