ST. CLOUD, MN, MARCH 4, 2020- Today, St. Cloud Blizzard Head Coach, Moe Mantha has announced that he will be retiring at the season’s end.
The announcement marks the end of an impressive hockey career stretching back to his days playing with the Streetsville Derbys in1976.
St. Cloud Blizzard’s Head Coach, Moe Mantha Jr. was born in Lakewood, OH while his father (Moe Mantha Sr.) skated with the Cleveland Barons of the AHL. Once his father retired the family moved to Ontario. After playing Junior hockey with the Derbys of the CJHL (Now, OJHL) Coach Mantha developed his game with the Toronto Marlboros of the OMJHL (Now, OHL).
In 1980, Coach Mantha was drafted (#23 overall) by the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. In addition to the Jets, his NHL days would see him play with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota North Stars, and the Philadelphia Flyers. Coach Mantha also served as a member of the U.S. national team in the 1981, 1985 and 1991 Ice Hockey World Championships as well as the 1992 Winter Olympics. His time as professional hockey player allowed him to play with some of the game’s greatest players like Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. While playing for the North Stars (in 1987), he was even coached by the legendary 1980 “Miracle on Ice” Head Coach, Herb Brooks.
Coach Mantha retired from playing pro hockey in 1993. Since then, he has spent the majority of his time coaching players in the Minor or Junior hockey ranks. For him, coaching has always been about making a greater impact.
Coach Mantha’s tenure with the Blizzard began in Brookings, South Dakota. He developed a tight bond by reaching out to the people in that community and he encouraged his players embrace the same approach. When the Blizzard moved to St Cloud, Coach Mantha made certain that same conviction came too. He has continued to emphasize the importance of demonstrating the positive effect Junior Hockey, its players, its coaches and its fans can play in enriching the community both on and off the ice.
While refining players into the leaders of tomorrow’s game, the impact Coach Mantha has made in his players lives has been tremendous.
“When I began my coaching career 28 years ago my goal was to help develop players and help them move onto the next best level possible. It was also my mission to help them take what they have learned from hockey and apply to their future life outside of hockey.” Coach Mantha fondly remembers of his time teaching and learning from those around him.
Hockey is more than just playing a game. It is about building character and strengthening resolve. Building better players means building better men. Coach Mantha’s time as coach allowed him to do just that. The impact he has made on players will be felt for generations to come.
“Coach has not only improved my game, but he has believed in me. He believed in this team and that means something,” recalled a player recently.
Juniorhockey.com would like to commend a leader and a visionary for all of his time and dedication to growing and advancing the game we all love so very much. We wish you the very best in all of your endeavors, Coach. Enjoy some time with your loved ones, you have earned it.