Niagara IceDogs name Welland native and Stanley Cup Champion Assistant Coach

Team also makes first trade of off-season. Pictured: Daniel Paille. Photo Credit: Niagara IceDogs. 

The Niagara IceDogs announced the hiring of NHL veteran, Welland native and Stanley Cup Champion Daniel Paille as Assistant Coach.

Paille joins head coach Ben Boudreau behind the bench.

“Michele and I are excited to welcome Dan to our organization,” said IceDogs Governor Darren DeDobbelaer. 

“Dan will be a tremendous asset to our already great coaching staff. What more can we say about Dan, a local guy, tremendous coach and a Stanley Cup Champion, it doesn’t get better than this.”

Paille, who played his junior B hockey with the then Welland Cougars, skated four years with the OHL’s Guelph Storm from 2000 to 2004, tallied 247 points across 239 regular season games played, before being selected in the first round, 20th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. 

He would go on to play 582 career NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. This impressive NHL career included winning a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011, and a trip back to the Rose City with the holy grail of hockey.

Paille’s playing career wrapped up in 2018 as he shifted his focus to coaching, taking a position with Canisius College in the NCAA as a Volunteer Assistant Coach (2019-2021). 

He would then gain a promotion to Assistant Coach with the Golden Griffins, spending three seasons in that role (2021-2024). During his three seasons as Assistant Coach, Canisius would qualify for the playoffs in all three years, while winning the Atlantic Hockey America Conference tournament in 2023.

“I would like to thank Darren and Michele for this opportunity to work with the Niagara IceDogs organization,” Paille said.

“I look forward to building a relationship with Head Coach Ben Boudreau, as well as the remaining staff within the organization, the players and Niagara Community where I am near family and friends.” 

Paille now calls Pelham home. 

Following the Paille announcement on Tuesday, the IceDogs announced their first trade of the off-season Thursday, acquiring defenceman, Matthew Virgilio from the Soo Greyhounds.

Niagara receives Matthew Virgilio (D), while the Greyhounds receive 2026 2nd Round Pick (KGN); 2025 3rd Round Pick (FLNT); 2026 4th Round Pick (NB); and 2026 10th Round Pick (SOO).

Virgilio, a native of Vaughan, ON was originally selected in the 4th round, 78th overall by the Greyhounds in the 2022 OHL Priority Selection. 

Prior to his commitment with the Greyhounds, Virgilio was committed to the University of Michigan (NCAA), after spending his draft year with St. Andrew’s College (CAHS).

Across two seasons with the Greyhounds, the 5’11, 183-pound right-handed defenceman suited up in 128 regular season OHL games registering eight goals and 22 assists.

“We welcome Matthew to the IceDogs family,” said Niagara General Manager Wes Consorti. “He will be an integral part of our D-core moving forward. We are very pleased to bring his experience and high level of play into our organization as we head into the 2024 season.”

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