HV71 head coach Lucas Frey has left his position, the club announced December 5. Frey’s former assistant Joakim Engström will take over as head coach in his stead.
“HV71 and Lucas have agreed that he will leave his assignment due to personal reasons and then we have chosen to lift Joakim as the head of the women’s team,” GM Peter Ekelund told the club’s website.
When asked by Jönköpings Posten if the departure had anything to do with Frey’s coaching style, Ekelund replied, “No, it doesn’t. But as with all coaches, there are probably some players who adore him and the way he leads the team and some who certainly have his views and who do not think he is fantastic.”
He also mentioned that the discussions have been taking place over the past few weeks prior to Thursday’s announcement.
The news of Frey’s departure comes as a shock. HV71 is the best team in the SDHL and the last team that seemed poised for a midseason coaching change. They do have the benefit of a break, though; the team doesn’t play again until December 20.
“We will take this time to gather ourselves and then we will come out hard against Luleå at home,” Engström said to Jönköpings Posten,