Longtime Charlotte Checkers assistant coach Geordie Kinnear is headed to the Florida Panthers organization as head coach of the Springfield AHL team.

This is the first head coaching job for Kinnear, who began his coaching career with the Albany River Rats as an assistant coach in 2001-02. The 42-year-old has been with the Carolina Hurricanes organization since 2007, when the River Rats changed affiliates from New Jersey, and has served as an assistant coach in all six AHL seasons in Charlotte.

Prior to moving behind the bench, Kinnear appeared in 406 career AHL games over seven seasons with Albany, totaling 98 points (30g, 68a) and 1,094 penalty minutes. A seventh-round draft pick by the New Jersey Devils in 1992, Kinnear also appeared in four NHL games with the Atlanta Thrashers in 1999-00, as well as 80 IHL contests with the Orlando Solar Bears.

The Checkers are heading into the 2016-17 campaign with their third head coach in three seasons, Ulf Samuelsson, but this will be their first as an AHL franchise without Kinnear behind the bench. Samuelsson’s coaching staff has not yet been announced.