Friday, July 25, 2014

By Lee Samuels

Las Vegas – Hockey coach Rob Pallin of Las Vegas got the call at 7 am this morning. “They (the owners) sounded just as excited as I was when they told me the news.”

Coach Rob, an assistant coach last winter, was promoted today to head coach of Sapa Fehervar A19 in Hungary.

So who did coach Rob called first?

That was his dad David and mother Char who live in Chisholm, Minnesota.

“Mom, Dad..I got the job,” he told them.

Then he held the phone back a bit as they both screamed excitedly…..


Rob Pallin, who years ago put Las Vegas youth hockey on the map – coaching the first nationally-ranked Las Vegas midget team which went to the U.S. Nationals, coaching the UNLV Rebels hockey club to first-ever Top 10 spots in the Western ratings, who was on the bench when the ECHL Las Vegas Wranglers played for the Kelly Cup — got the job he always wanted: to be a head coach of a pro hockey club.

He replaces friend Marty Raymond who resigned about two weeks ago to take a coaching position in Italy.

“We have a very young hockey team and they (the Sapa owners) liked how I developed the younger players,” Rob said today.

He paused….

“I am very humbled to be named the head coach. Our team finished 10th in the regular sason last year. I love the challenge of taking over struggling programs and making them elite teams. We did in the past with the Las Vegas Mustangs and Rebels midget teams and the UNLV hockey program.

He plans to bring in US players like Brandon Marino of Bemidji State; Andrew Sarauer of Northern Michigan, Frank Banham who has played in 32 NHL and 304 AHL games. Matt Register, a top scorer from the Ontario Reign is going there as well as Jeff LoVecchio of Western Michigan.

Coach Rob departs Las Vegas on Tuesday, July 29 – connecting from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City, Paris and into Budapest.