Lorne Molleken to join Saskatoon Blades builder’s banner club

Former Saskatoon Blades head coach and general manager Lorne Molleken’s name is being added to the team’s builder’s banner club.

Molleken spent 12 years behind the bench split over three decades, winning 539 games as the Blades’ bench boss.

He is one of only four Western Hockey League (WHL) coaches with at least 600 wins.

“It is truly an honour and I’m very proud to be inducted into the builder’s category,” Molleken said in a statement.

“It was a privilege to be a part of the Saskatoon Blade organization for many years. The owners, the players, and staff have given me a lifetime of memories.”

The Regina native first joined the Blades for the 1991-92 season, spending four years behind the bench.

He left after the 1994-95 season for the AHL, eventually making his way to the NHL in 1999-00 as head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks.

After brief stints with the Regina Pats of the WHL, and as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins, Molleken returned to the Blades as head coach for the start of the 2004-05 season.

Molleken was given the general manager duties in 2011 to go along with his head coaching duties. He gave up coaching in the 2012-13 season, when the team hired Dave Struch as his replacement.

The Blades parted ways with Molleken on March 25, 2014, after a disappointing season that saw the team finish with the third-worst record in the league.

Molleken stayed on with the team to guide them through the transition period.

“I learned so much from Lorne in our time working together and consider him one of my biggest mentors,” said current Blades general manager Colin Priestner.

“To have his name going up the rafters is going to be incredible to see, and it is so well deserved as one of the greatest coaches and managers in Blades history.”

Molleken went on to coach the Vancouver Giants after leaving the Blades and ended his WHL career with 626 wins.

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