Al Murray isn’t certain how close he came to being the general manager of the Regina Pats.
He knows, however, that he won’t be the next general manager of the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Murray is quite content as Hockey Canada’s head scout, meaning he is one of the main forces behind the national junior team program and the spring and summer under-18 teams.
Murray, a veteran NHL scout who for a long time was the Los Angeles King’s head scout, spent part of last week in Calgary, at the U-18 team’s selection camp. Now, he’s in St. John’s, Nfld., at the national junior team’s evaluation camp. Next, he will fly to Europe where he will re-join the U-18 team as it plays in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia. That tournament begins Monday.
Earlier this summer, Murray was in contract talks with Regina Pats president Brent Parker about stepping in as that team’s general manager. It is a position that was vacated by Parker, who moved upstairs.
“We talked about a contract,” Murray said. “But I don’t know how those things work as far as if I was the only one (Parker) was talking to, or if he was talking to a couple of us at the same time to see what it was going to cost.
“We definitely talked contract and we talked about their list . . . I was interested . . . definitely interested. . . . From my point of view. I think they were interested, too.
“Some times things just don’t work out.”
Murray was especially interested in the Regina job because he and his family live in the Saskatchewan capital.
“It was kind of a special situation, not having to relocate,” he stated, “and I think the Parkers have done a good job in the community. I think the community is growing, so if we could get the team going right it could be sellouts like Kelowna, or Kamloops in the old days.
“I think a lot of things are on the cusp of going if the team starts winning and I think I could have helped in that area, so it was something I was pretty interested in.”
Since then, Murray admitted, he has received a couple of phone calls, one of which came from the Moose Jaw Warriors. They are looking to replace Jeff Truitt, who resigned as director of hockey operations in order to get back into the coaching game. He signed on as an assistant coach with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage.
Murray, however, told the Moose Jaw folks, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
“I didn’t pursue it,” he said. “It was a situation with the Regina one where if I was leaving Hockey Canada, where I am really happy, it was going to have to be for a special situation. Not that Moose Jaw couldn’t be, but Regina being home was the home run.”
The Pats, of course, signed Chad Lang as their general manager.
The Warriors, meanwhile, continue their search. In fact, I am told that search is nearing an end and that veteran OHL executive Alan Millar may be their man.
Millar was dismissed by Sarnia on March 30, 2009, after five years as the Sting’s general manager. At the time, he had one year left on a five-year deal. Millar also has served as GM of the Guelph Storm.
THE COACHING GAME:
Darryl Einarson (Winnipeg, 1976-77) is the new head coach of the junior B Airdrie, Alta., Thunder. Einarson, 52, replaces Mike Carlsen, who has moved to the Swiss International School and Education Centre in Cochrane, Alta., where, among other things, he will run a midget program. . . . Einarson has worked as GM of the AJHL’s Olds Grizzlys, and also spent five years as GM and head coach of the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers.
Dwayne Gylywoychuk, an eight-year assistant coach with the Brandon Wheat Kings, is resting in Brandon Regional Health Centre after being injured Tuesday at the Keystone Centre. He suffered a broken back while moving some boxes but is expected to make a complete recovery.
The OHL’s Soo Greyhounds have hired Seamus Kotyk as their goaltending coach. He replaces Terry Barbeau, who had been on the coaching staff for eight years. . . . Barbeau had been the longest-serving member of the coaching staff. “The change comes as a mutual decision between the ’Hounds and Terry after business opportunities arose that would limit his time available for the team's goalies,” read a news release from the team. . . . Kotyk, a native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., played four seasons in the OHL with the Ottawa 67’s before going on to a pro career that included stints in the AHL and Europe.