RALEIGH -- Former Cincinnati Cyclones coach Ron Smith died Monday at the age of 72, the Charlotte Observer reported.
Smith coached the Cyclones from 1997- 2001 until he went on to lead the North Carolina Hurricanes, where he coached for seven seasons.
Former Hurricanes forward Shane Willis said Smith “kept a pretty tight leash.”
“It was a little bit more of an NHL feel in Cincinnati,” Willis told the Charlotte Observer. “We had some veteran guys – Gilbert Dionne was on that team – and Ron just wanted to make sure you were ready. If you weren’t, there were repercussions.”
Smith coached notable players like Erik Cole, Craig Adams, Jaroslav Svoboda, Chad LaRose and Mike Commodore. He is also credited with helping to modernize the NHL.