ECHL: Savannah Ghost Pirates Name Former ECHL Player as Head Coach
Staal Family Foundation

The Savannah Ghost Pirates announced today that they have hired Jared Staal as head coach. Previously, the Ghost Pirates had Alex Loh as interim Head Coach after they fired Coach Rick Bennett in early February of this season. The Ghost Pirates started experiencing troubles on the bench early this season, with rumors spreading that the players were unhappy with their treatment. Alex Loh, taking over for the last two and a half months, saw things improve. With a new Head Coach, we look to see this improvement continue. The Ghost Pirates ended the season second to last, missing out on making it to the postseason. Still, notability under Alex Loh could defeat some much better-ranked teams, telling us that the issues were definitely coaching-related. With Stall as the new coach, we hope to see the history and experience he has brought and bring Savannah to the level of hockey we all know it can be. 

Jared Staal has a long history with hockey, starting as a player in the Ontario Hockey League in 2007 and playing with the Sudbury Wolves for 249 games. He would play his first AHL game with the San Antonio Rampage, playing ten games with them before joining the Charlotte Checkers in 2010, where he would play 13 games before being assigned to the Florida Everblades for 33 games. In 2011, Jared would rejoin the Checkers in the AHL and get loaned to the Providence Bruins for seven games before returning to Charlotte and playing till the 2014-15 season. During his time with the Checkers, Staal would make his NHL debut in April of 2013 with the Carolina Hurricanes for two games. He would finish his North American Hockey career with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays in the 2015-2016 season before heading to the EIHL and playing for Edinburgh Capitals in the UK. 

Once he retired, he joined the OHA Edmonton Prep as an assistant coach for one season before being scooped up by the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears. Jared accepted the position of assistant Coach in 2019 before the season started. He would stay with the Solar Bears until he joined the Charlotte Checkers as an assistant coach Coach instead of a player this time.
Jared the only brother with a right-hand shot. Photo| Getty Images

Zawyer Sports’ new Vice President of Hockey Operations, Joe Ernst, said, “We are very excited to welcome Jared and his family to the Ghost Pirates as our next Head Coach, with Jared’s experience in both the ECHL and AHL as a player and an assistant coach, along with knowing what it takes to build a winning team in the ECHL, he is the perfect fit. Jared’s vision in how we build our winning team with his recruiting, preparation, communication, and teaching will hold players accountable while establishing a winning culture that our great fans in Savannah deserve this upcoming season.”

Jared Staal’s connection to hockey runs deep in his family. He is Eric’s younger brother, who last played with the Florida Panthers in the 2022-23 season; Marc Staal, currently with the Philadelphia Flyers; and Jordan Staal, a player with the Carolina Hurricanes. This rich hockey heritage provides Jared with a wealth of knowledge and experience that he can draw upon to elevate the Ghost Pirates and lead them to the Kelly Cup Playoffs next season.

Stephanie DeLaFleur

Beat Writer covering the ECHL Savannah Ghost Pirates, NHL Vegas Golden Knights and AHL Henderson Silver Knights. Follow me on X @StephiDelafleur

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