Dubuque Fighting Saints GM Larsson Extends Stay
According to a press release from the organization, the Dubuque Fighting Saints and Northern Lights Hockey LLC have announced the contract extension of their current President of Hockey Operations and General Manager, Kalle Larsson. Larsson's new deal will keep him with the Saints through the 2025-26 season.
In addition to the extension, Larsson has also acquired a minority ownership stake of Northern Lights Hockey LLC.
Larsson has been a part of the Fighting Saints organization since 2015 when he was hired on as the Director of Player Personnel. He was then named the team's General Manager, along with his Player Personnel role, in 2017-18, before operating solely as the General Manager beginning in the 2018-19 season. Since then, Larsson has added the title of President of Hockey Operations in February of 2022.
With Dubuque, Larsson has overseen several of the franchise's high points. In the 2019-20 season, the Fighting Saints were on pace for their second-best finish in franchise history before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The strong season led to Larsson being named the USHL General Manager of the Year. Under his leadership, the Fighting Saints have continued their playoff streak to 11 consecutive seasons.
From a player development standpoint, Larsson has drafted and developed several marquee players. During Larsson's stay, Dubuque has seen over 95% of their players commit to Division I schools. Larsson is also responsible for drafting several USHL award winners, including 2019-20 USHL Forward and Player of the Year Riese Gaber, 2019-20 USHL Goaltender of the Year Erik Portillo, 2021-22 USA Hockey Junior Player of the Year Connor Kurth, and two USHL Curt Hammer Award Winners (Gentleman of the Year) in Stephen Halliday (2021-22) and Aidan Fulp (2019-20). The Fighting Saints have also had nine All USHL Team selections and three All-Rookie Team selections under Larsson.
Dubuque has also seen several players excel in the NHL Draft, that were drafted or acquired by Larsson. These include Matthew Savoie, Matias Macceli, Braden Doyle, Cole Guttman, Alex Steeves, Tyce Thompson, Kenny Connors, Kurth, Halliday, and Portillo, among others.
Education has also been a key focus for the Fighting Saints under Larsson. The Fighting Saints have had three of the last five USHL Scholar Athlete winners and 12 of the 29 total (41.3%) USHL All-Academic selections since the award was introduced in 2017.
Larsson joined the Fighting Saints from the Sioux City Musketeers, where he previously served as the club's Assistant General Manager and Director of Scouting. The Gothenburg, Sweden native joined the team late in the 2013–14 season and provided insight to the organization during two USHL drafts.