Most Sundays, the Toronto Sun contains a column of odds and ends that is written by Steve Simmons. The one that appeared yesterday included this:
“Leafs have an offer on the table with Kelly McCrimmon, owner, general manager and coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings. When (Leafs president Brendan) Shanahan was hiring Mark Hunter, he kept asking people who are the best talent evaluators in the business: Hunter’s name always came up, right along with McCrimmon. The question with McCrimmon: Whether he wants to walk away from junior hockey empire for an NHL gig?”
There has been enough smoke involving the Maple Leafs and McCrimmon over the past few days that there obviously is something going on here.
There was a time, and not that long ago, when McCrimmon would have jumped at an opportunity such as this. That was then; this is now.
The difference now is that he has put together a team that reached the WHL final this season, a team that is poised for a dominant WHL season in 2015-16, and you can bet that the decision facing McCrimmon is much tougher than it would have been.
One thing is for certain — he wouldn’t consider leaving unless he knew he was leaving the Wheat Kings in good hands. That isn’t a problem off the ice, where his front-office staff, led by Rick Dillabough and Lyn Shannon, is second to none.
But should he leave, who would be the head coach. Assistant coach Darren Ritchie has been on staff for seven seasons, the last three in a full-time position. David Anning has been an assistant coach in Brandon for three seasons.
Should McCrimmon leave, does he promote Ritchie to head coach and bring in another assistant? If that were to happen, who would be the general manager? Or, would McCrimmon hire a general manager/head coach?
Of course, all of this is speculation. At the end of the day, it could be that McCrimmon simply decides to stay put. If he does that, however, he will do it while wondering if the NHL ship will ever come his way again. He’s 54 now, so that is a valid question.
The Medicine Hat Tigers looked after some signings on Sunday. No, it didn’t have anything to do with a lease for the Canalta Centre. . . . Rather, the Tigers signed two selections, both defencemen, from the 2015 WHL bantam draft. . . . Layne Matechuk was taken with the 39th selection after putting up 38 points in 31 games with the bantam AA Humboldt Broncos. . . . Cole Clayton was taken six picks later. He had 30 points in 33 games with the bantam AAA Rocky Mountain Raiders.
First, it was FIFA. Then, it was Hope Solo. Both dealt black eyes to soccer. Richard Deitsch, who writes about the media for si.com, takes a look right here at how Fox Sports handled what went on Sunday involving Solo, the goalkeeper for the U.S. national women’s soccer team.
THE COACHING GAME:Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia News is reporting that the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers have interviewed Kris Knoblauch, the head coach of the OHL’s Erie Otters. Apparently, the Flyers are looking for a head coach for their AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms. . . . Knoblauch played in the WHL with the Red Deer Rebels, Edmonton/Kootenay Ice and Lethbridge Hurricanes (1996-99) and has coached with the Prince Albert Raiders and the Ice. . . . Seravalli reports that Knoblauch also has spoken with two or three other NHL teams who have openings with their AHL affiliates. . . . Servalli’s report is right here.
The Prince Albert Raiders have scheduled a news conference for this morning at which they are expected to introduce Curtis Hunt as their new general manager. Hunt resigned Friday as general manager and head coach of the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons. Hunt is a former Raiders defenceman who was a freshman on the team that won the 1985 Memorial Cup.
The Prince George-based Cariboo Cougars will be the host team for the 2017 Telus Cup tournament, at which the national midget AAA championship is decided. Ted Clarke of the Prince George Citizen has more right here.
In the AHL, F Nic Dowd scored at 5:36 of OT to give the host Manchester Monarchs a 2-1 victory over the Utica Comets in the Calder Cup final. . . . The Monarchs lead the series 2-0 as the teams head to Utica for Game 3 on Wednesday. . . . Manchester won the opener 3-2 in OT on Saturday. . . . Last night, F Zach O’Brien gave the Monarchs a 1-0 lead with a PP goal at 19:05 of the first period. . . . F Nicklas Jensen pulled the Comets even at 1:12 of the second. . . . Attendance was 6,078. . . . Dowd also had an assist on O’Brien’s goal. . . . The Monarchs are affiliated with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings; the Comets with the Vancouver Canucks.
In the ECHL, F Vincent Arsenault’s goal at 8:49 of the second OT gave the visiting Allen Americans a 3-2 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays in Game 4 of the Kelly Cup final. . . . The series is 2-2 with Game 5 scheduled for Tuesday in the North Charleston Coliseum. . . . F Dyson Stevenson, who played with the Regina Pats (2010-14), had a goal and an assist as the Americans took a 2-0 lead with goals 29 seconds part in the first period. . . . South Carolina F Caleb Herbert forced OT with a goal at 11:49 of the second period. . . . Attendance was 7,058.
I say this every year, but the OHL and WHL are really missing out by doing their drafts online. The Q crushes it with the show they put on.— Willy Palov (@WillyPalov) June 6, 2015
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