OHL: Flint Firebirds Clean House, Players Walk Out

After a 4-3 comeback win against the defending Memorial Cup Champion Oshawa Generals, the mood in the room was not a cause for celebration, but apparent burning angst among the players.

This roster includes 18-year old Red Wings prospect Villi Saarijarvi and four other NHL draft picks.

Reports indicate that Owner Rolf Nilsen fired the entire team’s coaching staff due to the fact he was unhappy with his son, Hakon Nilsen getting limited ice time.

Upon learning of the coaches being dismissed, all 24 players including 17-year old Hakon went to the owner’s office, where they threw their jerseys on the floor, and quit the team.

The Firebirds used to be the Plymouth Whalers under owner Peter Karmanos, and were sold to IMS USA, Inc. They relocated to Flint for the 2015-16 season and have posted a 7-9-0-1 record so far.

UPDATE:

Confirming John Buccigross’s tweets:

It’s quite a development and very embarrassing for the new franchise and OHL as a whole, as it was reported that the 17-year old Nilsen’s father complained about his son getting less than desired ice time.

In response, Nilsen has indeed put the “fire” in Firebirds.

More on this as it develops.

Main Photo:

Firebirds info courtesy of Firebirds Website
Stats courtesy of OHL Network

MainPhoto Caption: MISSISSAUGA , ON – OCTOBER 4: Alexander Nylander #92 of the Mississauga Steelheads chases Jacob Collins #73 of the Flint Firebirds during OHL game action on October 4, 2015 at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images)


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