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Kevin Colley

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Kevincolley

Kevin Colley (born January 4, 1979 in New Haven, Connecticut) is a retired American ice hockey right winger who played for the New York Islanders of the NHL, and currently is the head coach of the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL. Colley was signed as a free agent by the Islanders on June 11, 2004. Colley fractured his fifth cervical vertebrae in a game against the Washington Capitals on January 31, 2006. As a result of the injuries sustained to his neck and at the behest of his doctors, Colley officially retired from professional ice hockey on February 24, 2006.

On April 8, 2006, prior to their game against the Washington Capitals, the Islanders presented Colley with the Bob Nystrom Award, an award given to the Islander "who best exemplifies leadership, hustle and dedication" as voted on by the fans.

Colley played junior hockey, where he starred for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL, from 1996 to 1999. He then turned pro and bounced around the ECHL, playing for the Charlotte Checkers, Dayton Bombers, New Orleans Brass, Pensacola Ice Pilots, and the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies, where he won a Kelly Cup championship in 2002-03. He then bounced around the American Hockey League with the Hartford Wolf Pack, Providence Bruins, Rochester Americans, Syracuse Crunch, and Worcester IceCats. He started the 02-03 season in the AHL, but ended it in the ECHL with Atlantic City. He returned to the ECHL with a new determination and fire, scoring 33 goals in 50 games and adding 38 assists. He was an emotional leader on the ice too, with 190 penalty minutes. In the playoffs he had 13 goals and 7 assists to lead Atlantic City to their only ECHL championship.

His hard work did not go unnoticed, and in 03-04 Colley found a home with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. He would spend the next two and a half seasons in Bridgeport before getting the call-up to the New York Islanders in 05-06. He played 16 games for New York with no points, but 52 penalty minutes. He was injured after missing Jamie Heward with a check, falling head first into the boards. Former Islanders general manager Mike Milbury praised Colley after his injury. "When you consider that Kevin gave everything he had every time he stepped on the ice, it's especially sad," Milbury said. "The good news is that Kevin is going to lead a healthy and productive life." The Islanders affiliate in Utah named him assistant coach for the 07-08 season. In his only season as assistant, he helped guide the Grizzlies to the National Conference finals, after knocking off the Fresno Falcons and Victoria Salmon Kings. The Grizzlies lost out to the Las Vegas Wranglers in a hard fought 4-0 sweep, with 3 of the 4 games decided by a goal.

Colley was named head coach and director of hockey operations for Utah on September 5th, 2008. He replaced Jason Christie, who moved up to the AHL with the Chicago Wolves.

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