Preston began his pro career in the World Hockey Association in the 1974-75 season with the Avco World Trophy champion Houston Aeros. He then played three more years with the Aeros before joining the Winnipeg Jets in 1978-79. The Jets won the Avco World Trophy in 1979 (the league's final year) and Rich was named Most Valuable Player of the WHA playoffs.
Preston started his National Hockey League career with the Chicago Black Hawks in 1980. He also played for the New Jersey Devils. He left the NHL after the 1987 season. Most recently Preston served as an assistant coach for the Calgary Flames from the 2003-2004 NHL season until just after the 2008-2009 NHL season. Shortly after his dismissal from the Flames, Preston was hired as the WHL's Lethbridge Hurricanes head coach and general manager.
Prior to his NHL career, Preston played for the University of Denver Pioneers.
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