A few names to ponder for the vacant Broncos Head Coach/GM position below....
First, a CHL Import draft preview for the Broncos.
I was talking to Assistant General Manager Sheldon Ferguson today. He said they may be looking to move up from their 44th overall pick for Tuesday's draft. He also has some reservations about the process.
"We have young (Jan) Dalecky coming back and we are certainly very happy with Jan. We have the pick at #44 but there's also been a lot of activity in the top 15. We have a few teams in our league in the top 15 area. If something could be worked out we may possibly get into that action."
Ferguson adds if they can't make it happen, then they will be content to use the pick at #44.
"If it doesn't happen we will pick someone at #44 and it will be a prospect we feel can play."
Ferguson wasn't leaning in one particular positional direction.
"If we want to take a goalie I'm pretty sure there will be a kid we can take a chance on. There's a couple of defenseman I'm very interested with and then of course there an exciting young forward or two that may fall there, although I don't think they will fall that far. We will just have to wait and see and obviously we will just try and pick the best player for the Broncos."
As in previous years, Ferguson knows it isn't a level playing field for some of the smaller markets across the CHL to attract the top talent.
"I hate to use the word "cheat", but this European draft is not a perfect system with the whole CHL involved. There are certainly teams with a bigger advantage than others. I've certainly been finding that out to be true when talking to agents and the teams involved. It's an interesting process and one that I'll certainly be very interested in going forward. I have some very strong views on this European draft and I will certainly make them clear as we proceed."
Ok now to the newest sport in Swift Current "Name the Coach". A lot of speculation around the replacement (or two) for Dean Chynoweth. I went to work on it today.
Word is the process wants to be wrapped up by early July so we're not talking a lot of time here. I'm told it's the selection committee's mandate to hire a General Manager. That person would then make a decision on a head coach if not themselves. The hiring committee doesn't want to put the cart before the horse so this is the process they are following moving forward.
Now to some names....
Mark Lamb - Continues to be the name heard the most. He's visiting family in Swift Current and interviewed for the job Saturday.
Don Nachbaur - Still under contract by the Tri-City Americans. Perhaps a promotion to GM gets him out of that contract without the Broncos providing compensation to the Ams? I have a feeling Nachbaur is in the mix. Word is his son is a pretty good 14 year-old player and a move to Canada would be the best for his development. He's coached a pretty successful program in Tri-City under General Manager Bob Tory.
Michael Dyck - The recent head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes tells me he's expressed interest into the job to the Board of Directors. Like most of the candidates, he lacks GM experience in the league. He hasn't heard anything from the Broncos end. More than a capable head coach.
Chad Lang - Has GM experience with the Moose Jaw Warriors and did a good job climbing the ranks with the Warriors. Has the respect of other GM's across the league.
Roy Stasiuk - Also has GM experience and has been in the league a long, long time. Recently let go by the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Comes with some strong recommendations.
Tim Kehler - Has the inside track as a being a big part of the current program as Assistant Coach. Can he convince the BOD that he can make the jump or are they already looking past him because of the GM first route? Sentimental favorite perhaps? There's a lot of people thinking he deserves a chance to coach.
Sheldon Ferguson - Broncos Assistant G.M. Came in midway thru last season as a replacement for the out-going Elden Moberg. Has plenty of experience in the junior and NHL levels. Tells me "he's a team player and willing to take on any role sent his way. Has made Swift Current his home and is looking forward to continuing with the team.
Obviously this isn't a complete list and a few other names have to be in the mix. I think the fact the BOD is looking for a General Manager first will limit the process down to just a handful of names.
We will see what the week brings....