Brent Flahr - General Manager / Alternate Governor
Flahr acts as the General Manager/Alternate Governor of the Iowa Wild, and also serves as the Senior Vice President, Hockey Operations for the Minnesota Wild, having been promoted to that position in July of 2017.
Flahr is entering his eighth season with the organization having been named to his position on July 28, 2009. In addition to his duties in Minnesota, the longtime NHLer oversee all aspects of Iowa Wild hockey operations, from player contracts to the development of Minnesota Wild prospects.
In Minnesota, he is responsible for overseeing all aspects of player development and evaluation, and assists General Manager Chuck Fletcher in player personnel decisions, contract negotiations, and league-related issues. Flahr oversees the organization’s preparation for and the selection of players at the NHL Entry Draft. During his tenure, Minnesota has drafted Jonas Brodin, Matt Dumba, Joel Eriksson Ek, Mikael Granlund, Gustav Olofsson, Alex Tuch, Luke Kunin and Jason Zucker.
Before his time with the Wild, Flahr spent two seasons (2007-09) with the Ottawa Senators as Director of Hockey Operations. Prior to joining the Senators, he spent four seasons (2003-07) working as an Amateur Scout for the Anaheim Ducks, including the 2007 Stanley Cup team. From 1996 to 2003, Flahr spent eight seasons as part of the Florida Panthers organization, serving in a variety of positions, including Assistant to the General Manager, and Scouting and Video Coordinator. He was also the Director of Hockey Operations for the Panthers’ AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. Flahr has worked with Chuck Fletcher two times previously, spending three seasons with him in Anaheim and six seasons in Florida.
The native of Courtenay, B.C., is a graduate of Princeton University, where he played four seasons of college hockey for the Tigers from 1992-96. He and his wife, Dana, reside in Saint Paul.
Derek Lalonde - Head Coach
Derek Lalonde, 45 (8/18/72), enters his second season as head coach of the Iowa Wild after his hiring on June 20, 2016 as the fourth head coach in team history.
The 2016-17 season was his rookie campaign in the AHL and he became the first coach in Iowa Wild history to record a winning season with the club, having posted a 36-31-7-2 record (.533). Under his leadership, the team posted team records for overall wins, home wins, road wins, fewest losses and total points in a season. In addition, the team posted numerous record setting streaks, including: the longest overall winning streak (6 games), the longest road winning streak in team history (9 games), the longest overall point streak (11 games), and the longest point streak on home ice (6 games).
Prior to coaching in Iowa, Lalonde spent two years as the head coach of the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye. In two seasons with Lalonde at the helm, the Walleye posted a 97-35-7-5 record (.715) with back-to-back playoff appearances. The Walleye went 47-20-2-3 in 2015-16, finishing with the ECHL’s Eastern Conference regular season title. The team fell in the first round of the Kelly Cup playoffs in seven games to Reading.
As a rookie head coach in the ECHL, Lalonde made an immediate impact by leading Toledo to a 50-15-5-2 record in 2014-15. The Walleye lost in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals after claiming the Brabham Cup (ECHL regular season champions). For his efforts, he was named ECHL Coach of the Year (John Brophy Award), helping Toledo amass a 58-point improvement from the previous season. The 58-point differential is the largest in ECHL history. Toledo claimed the Eastern Conference and North Division regular season titles each season he was behind the bench.
Prior to coaching in the ECHL, Lalonde spent three years behind the bench of the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers, where in 2011-12, he led the team to a 47-9-2-2 overall record, culminated with a Clark Cup. He was named the USHL Coach of the Year in 2012, guiding the Gamblers to their fourth Clark Cup in franchise history. Over the stretch of his three seasons in Green Bay, Lalonde’s Gamblers were 114-56-8-6 (.657). Iowa Wild defenseman Gustav Olofsson played for Lalonde in Green Bay from 2011-13.
The Brasher Falls, NY native also has experience as a coach on the international stage. He served as an assistant with the United States World Junior U-19 team, which captured a gold medal at the 2012 World Junior “A” Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. He also served as the head coach for the United States World Junior U-19 at the 2013 World Junior “A” Challenge, once again winning gold.
Lalonde served as an assistant coach at the University of Denver from 2006-11, helping the team post a 122-63-19 record. During his tenure, the Pioneers claimed two WCHA Championships (2008 and 2010) and four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. The team never fell out of the top 15 national rankings in the six seasons Lalonde was an assistant. He recruited and coached NHL first-round picks Joe Colborne and Beau Bennett, as well as second-round picks Drew Shore, Jason Zucker and Patrick Weircoch. Zucker played for the Iowa Wild in the 2013-14 season.
He began his collegiate coaching career in Big Rapids, MI at Ferris State University from 2003-06. With Lalonde as an assistant, the Bulldogs posted a 31-10-1 record in 2003, also capturing their first and only CCHA Championship, as well as qualifying for the NCAA Tournament.
Lalonde played goalie collegiately at Cortland State, earning team MVP honors as a senior. He graduated with a B.S.E in Physical Education in 1995 and later received an M.A. in Education Administration from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in 1998.
A native of upstate NY, Lalonde and his wife Melissa have three children: Alex, Luke and Abby.
David Cunniff - Associate Coach
Cunniff, 47, is in his third season with the Iowa Wild in 2017-18, having served as Iowa’s Associate Coach in 2016-17.
In 2015-16, Cunniff filled two capacities during the AHL season. He originally joined as an associate coach to then Head Coach John Torchetti. On Feb. 13, Torchetti was promoted to head coach of the Minnesota Wild. Upon Torchetti’s departure, Cunniff was named interim head coach of Iowa, guiding the club to an 8-11-2-3 mark in the final 24 games of the regular season.
In 2016-17 he joined Iowa’s newly appointed Head Coach Derek Lalonde in developing Minnesota’s top prospects in Des Moines. Cunniff possesses a wealth of coaching experience, having spent a combined total of 15 seasons behind the bench in the AHL for the Wild, New Jersey Devils and San Jose Sharks.
Prior to joining the Wild in 2015, he worked with the Albany Devils for 2014-15 season. Before that, he developed Sharks prospects for a total of 12 seasons, working alongside the AHL’s all-time coaching leader for wins – Roy Sommer in Cleveland and Worcester. The South Boston, MA native was critical in the development of Sharks defensemen Christian Ehrhoff, Jason Demers, Douglas Murray and Matt Carkner.
Cunniff was a forward and played five seasons professionally, including three-plus seasons in the Devils organization with Raleigh (ECHL) and Albany (AHL). Between 1997-2000, he appeared in 120 AHL games, posting 25 points (5g-20a) and 219 penalty minutes. The former left wing began his pro career in 1996-97 with Jacksonville (ECHL), before joining Raleigh later that season. Cunniff, who played 148 career ECHL games, spent his last season in 2001-02 between Louisiana (ECHL) and Richmond (ECHL).
Additionally, Cunniff created and operates Cunniff Hockey, which offers hockey camps, private lessons and video analysis for all age groups and all levels of expertise. David is the son of former New Jersey Devils and Hartford Whalers Head Coach John Cunniff. His father was also a longtime assistant coach in the NHL for the Boston Bruins, as well as long tenured head coach with the AHL’s Albany River Rats.
Cunniff and his wife Mary Ann have two children: David Jr. and Patrick.
Brett McLean, Assistant Coach
McLean joined the Iowa Wild coaching staff as assistant coach having been hired in July of 2017. He recently wrapped up an 18-year playing career that included 385 NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche. Over his NHL tenure, McLean scored 56 goals and added 106 assists for 162 career points. The former center played in seven different leagues from 1999-2017, compiling 1,111 pro games between the NHL, AHL, IHL, ECHL, SEL, Swiss-A and the Austrian League.
The Comox, BC native also represented Canada many times during his career including at the U-18 level, the World Juniors and for six Spengler Cups, winning the Spengler Cup in 2012. He also won the Swiss-A championship in 2010. McLean completed his pro career in 2016-17 in Austria with Linz EHC, scoring nine goals and totaling 36 points in 39 outings.
The former forward was originally drafted by the Dallas Stars in the ninth round (#242 overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He suited up in 274 AHL games during his playing career, scoring 72 goals and dishing out 126 assists for 198 AHL points. McLean also spent time with Minnesota affiliates in Cleveland (IHL) in 2000-01 and Houston (AHL) 2001-02.
McLean and his wife, Brenna, reside in Waukee with their daughter Darian, and sons Nixon and Nash.
Keith Paulsen - Video Coach
Paulsen enters his second season as the video coach of the Iowa Wild in 2017-18.
He joined the Iowa Wild in 2016-17 after serving as the Assistant General Manager and Associate Head Coach of the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) Madison Capitols from 2013-16. Paulsen was instrumental in helping launch the expansion team’s inaugural season in 2014-15. He worked primarily with the Capitols defensemen and oversaw scouting and recruiting for the Capitols and the USHL Drafts.
He gained valuable international experience in December 2014 as an Assistant Coach for Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge. Team USA took home a Gold Medal at the World Jr. A Challenge with a 3-2 overtime win against Denmark. Paulsen was a critical addition to the staff in the recruitment and selection of players for Team USA.
Prior to joining the Capitols, Paulsen was with the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers from 2010-13, in the role of an Assistant Coach and Director of Scouting. Before his time in the USHL, Paulsen navigated his way through the high school ranks in Wisconsin as a head coach at Rice Lake high school from 2003-2010. In 2008-09, he guided the Warriors to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association State Tournament for the school’s first appearance in 29 years. Paulsen also taught middle school Physical Education while in Rice Lake.
Paulsen, is an Eau Claire, Wisconsin native. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, playing four years of collegiate hockey for the Blugolds. He was a WIAC Honorable Mention Defensemen in 1997-98, and on the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll in 1999-2000. As a senior he was named an Assistant Captain. Paulsen graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis on teaching. He has his Masters Degree in Collaborative Educational Leadership from Fielding Graduate University.
Keith and his wife Maria reside in Ankeny with their daughter Kendall and son Max.
Frederic Chabot - Goaltender Development Coach
Frederic Chabot, 49 (2/12/68), is in his third season as the Minnesota Wild’s Goaltending Development Coach after being named to the position on Sept. 3, 2015. Chabot has been critical in the development of Iowa goaltenders Alex Stalock, Steve Michalek and Adam Vay.
He works with goalie prospects throughout the organization, including goaltenders playing for the Iowa Wild in the American Hockey League (AHL), as well as Minnesota draft picks. The former NHL netminder joined the Wild after serving as the Goaltending Coach for the Edmonton Oilers (2009-14). Prior to working for the Oilers, he served as a Goaltending Consultant with Hockey Canada and its National Junior Team, helping Canada win a gold medal at the 2009 World Junior Championship. Chabot was also an instructor at Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence Goaltending Camp for three years (2007-09). The native of Hebertville-Station, Que., worked as a Goaltending Consultant with Berlin (DEL) in 2008-09, capturing the league championship with the Ice Bears. Chabot also worked with AIK Stockholm (SWE-2) from 2007-09, overseeing goaltending for the entire organization.
Chabot played 17 seasons of professional hockey (1989-2006) and appeared in a total of 32 NHL contests with the Montreal Canadiens, Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers. He spent a majority of his career in the International Hockey League (IHL) and was named the IHL’s Most Valuable Player and Top Goaltender in 1999-2000 after going 36-19-7 with a 2.13 GAA and a .920 SV% in 62 games with the Houston Aeros. Chabot was also named best goaltender in the AHL (Baz Bastien Award) in 1993-94, MVP of the IHL in 1996-97 and best goaltender in the German League in 2002-03. He also backstopped the Vienna Capitals to the regular season and playoff championship in the Austrian League in 2004-05.
He was originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the 10th round (192nd overall) of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft.
He and his wife, Suzanne, have a son, Gabriel, and reside in Quebec City.
Masayasu Takaiwa, A.T.C. - Head Athletic Trainer
Takaiwa begins his first season with the Iowa Wild in August of 2017. He brings more than 15 years of athletic training experience to the club, with over eight years of experience in hockey. He graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2000 with a B.S in Athletic Training and a minor in Physical Education. In May of 2002, he finished his Master’s degree from Kent State University in Sport and Recreation: Exercise, Leisure and Sports Management.
Takaiwa has worked as an athletic trainer/massage therapist for many hockey teams, including the Minnesota Magicians (NAHL), the Dallas Stars (NHL) and the U-17 USA Hockey program. He also worked for the Men’s ice hockey teams at Minnesota State University - Mankato, the University of Nebraska Omaha and Lake Superior State University.
Takaiwa has worked in various sports fields including: hockey, football and basketball.
Takaiwa moved from Japan to the United States in October of 1994. The Tochigi Prefecture, Japan native resides in West Des Moines with his beagle Mame.
Mike Lefczik - Head Equipment Manager
Mike Lefczik is the Head Equipment Manager for Iowa Wild. He is in his seventh season with the Minnesota Wild organization overall, helping transfer the team from Houston. Lefczik is in his fifth season with Iowa.
He started his career in hockey as a stick boy for the Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL) and was hired as a full-time assistant equipment manager in 2003. Mike’s tenure with the Phantoms included a Calder Cup championship in 2005. In 2007, Lefczik was named the head equipment manager for the Alaska Aces (ECHL). After one season in Anchorage, he earned an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts from the Art Institute of Philadelphia but soon realized his passion was still pro hockey. He returned to the equipment ranks in the 2010-2011 season as the head equipment manager for the Louisiana IceGators (SPHL) before joining the Houston Aeros as an assistant in 2011.
He resides in West Des Moines. Lefczik has a daughter, Amya, and two sons; Chaise and Marcus.
Dr. Timothy Vinyard