John Anderson spent most of his 17-year playing career in the National Hockey League, but he made his mark coaching with the Chicago Wolves.
A Toronto native, Anderson was drafted by his hometown Maple Leafs in the first round in 1977 and went on to skate in more than 800 games in the NHL with Toronto, Quebec and Hartford. As his playing days wound down, Anderson made a brief debut appearance in the AHL with the Binghamton Whalers in 1989-90 before spending a memorable 1991-92 campaign as a player/assistant coach in New Haven.
With the Nighthawks that year, Anderson scored 41 goals and collected 54 assists, finishing with 95 points and a plus-42 rating in just 68 games. He was voted a First Team AHL All-Star at left wing, the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the league’s most valuable player, and the recipient of the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award for sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.
Anderson joined the coaching ranks full-time in 1995 and was hired by the Chicago Wolves in 1997. He led the Wolves to two Turner Cup championships before the franchise joined the American Hockey League, and won a third championship in the Wolves’ inaugural AHL season by becoming the first – and still only – team to win five playoff series en route to the Calder Cup. Anderson and the Wolves returned to the Finals in 2005 and followed a 111-point regular season by winning the franchise’s second Calder Cup and fourth league title in 2008.
Following stints as head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers and assistant coach with the Phoenix Coyotes, Anderson came back to the Wolves in 2013 and spent three more seasons in Chicago, capturing another division crown in 2013-14. He returned to the NHL in 2016 and served for two seasons as an assistant with the Minnesota Wild.
Anderson ranks fifth in league history with 424 victories and seventh with 788 games over 10 seasons as a head coach in the AHL. He won three division titles and had seven 40-win seasons and four 100-point campaigns, and was behind the bench for two AHL All-Star Classics as well.