First up, a big welcome this morning!
If you're one of the applicants for the soon to be vacant Broncos Head Coach / General Manager position I know you will be surfing in from time to time to find out the latest. There has been a landslide of applicants over the last few days so I'm told.
The Board of Directors will meet today to form a selection committee to keep the process moving forward. I spoke with Chairman Al Stewart to get the latest. Here's what he had to say.
On the applications they are receiving.....
"In the last few days we've received resumes, we've received phone calls from all directions of the globe actually. We have resumes from people who would like to return to the WHL from the NHL. We have resumes from other pro leagues, from people who are coaching in Europe as well as College and Junior "A". There is a vast array of them actually."
On promoting from within....
"We have had success from promoting from within at times. We think we have a very strong organization right now and if those people desire to move up they will be given the opportunity to apply for the job and interview for the job. We would certainly give them the right - which they deserve, to try and take the next step."
On the process itself....
"As much of a loss Dean (Chynoweth) is, there's some excitement that goes with this too. I think we all had it in the back of our minds and had planned some day that we would have to go through this process again. It comes without warning but at the same time we think we have a pretty good organization at this point and that the groundwork that Dean has put in makes this an attractive opportunity for the next guy to come along.
From another perspective this is much the way when a guy like Zack Smith leaves and we wonder how in the world are we going to get by without him. Then remarkably a young man steps up and fills the gap and in two years you wonder how you're going to get by without him.
We will go through the process, we are excited for an opportunity to attract a real good coach or G.M. or a Coach/G.M. We're looking at building at the success we've had in the last five years and taking it several steps further."
I won't get into specific names of applicants for the job(s) but put it this way: If you are a currently unemployed coach or G.M. and have worked in the WHL then you have applied for one or both of the positions. That should be good for about 10-15 names right there.
The Everett Silvertips will announce Craig Hartsburg as their new Head Coach today. Hartsburg is familiar with a lot of the league personnel including Regina Pats Head Coach Curtis Hunt who we took to the Ottawa Senators this past season to be his assistant coach. He's also worked with Warriors Head Coach Dave Hunchak through the World Juniors.
Speaking of Hunchak, I'm thinking he's quietly excited that he doesn't have to face-off with Chynoweth behind the bench any time soon. The teacher was 13-1 against his former student over the last two seasons. Granted, the Warriors couldn't buy a break or save against the Broncos the last two years.
More and more the WHL is becoming an attractive place to be. In fact, it seems there's more NHL coaches in this league than actually in the NHL. I'm a little tongue in cheek here but the interest level has gone through the roof lately from coaches at the next level.
It sure makes it awfully tough to for the young coaches out there waiting on an opportunity to prove themselves. It seems NHL teams are more willing to give a young coach a shot than the WHL these days. Strange how that works.
One thing I've realized (again), Is that I feel very fortunate to have a role in this league in some capacity. I hope current WHL coaches/GM's sit back and think about how fortunate they are too. It's easy to take it for granted until you're the one trying to hunt down a vacant spot.
The WHL coaching game is not for the faint of heart.
Thanks for the visit,