Boy, are the Flint Firebirds a mess off the ice.
The newest major junior hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League made headlines earlier this season when owner Rolf Nilsen fired the entire team's coaching staff after a win because they weren't giving his son enough ice time.
But the story ended on a good note when the players revolted, marched to the owner's office and quit the team, forcing Nilsen to re-hire the coaches. He even signed them to three-year contract extensions!
But on Wednesday, the incredible happened:
#BREAKING: The Flint Firebirds have re-fired coaches John Gruden and Dave Karpa. No word on a player walk out. #OHL— OHLInsiders(.com) (@OHLinsiders) February 17, 2016
Yes, you read that right. A sports team just "re-fired" their coaches. In the same season.
Staffer on Rolf's progress as an owner following original walkout: "Nothing changed after the walkout. In fact it got worse from Rolf"— OHLInsiders(.com) (@OHLinsiders) February 17, 2016
Nilsen says he fired the coaches for team performance this time, but still. Congrats, Flint. Your hockey team probably just made a sports first.
UPDATE: This situation is far from over. Looks like a second players revolt took place and no one showed up to the mandatory morning skate, except the owner's son. The Firebirds are scheduled to play against the Erie Otters tonight.
#OHL's Flint Firebirds were scheduled for morning skate today prior to game vs. Erie. Only player to show was team owner's son, Hakon Nilsen— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 18, 2016
Team called morning skate "optional," but originally scheduled for full skate and media availability following it. Didn't happen.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 18, 2016
Less than an hour after the details of the player's practice revolt, the OHL suspended the owner of the Flint Firebirds and handed down various sanctions on the club.
The Ontario Hockey League has suspended the owner of the Flint Firebirds. pic.twitter.com/QYj58En7WJ— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 18, 2016