It's all about coaching today... Last night NL reporter Ian Douglas talked to Blazer Head Coach Guy Charron regarding the recent move to part ways with assistant coaches Scott Ferguson and Geoff Smith.
On the departure of Ferguson and Smith....
"It's a difficult situation for Scott and Geoff. These are things that happen. When you haven't been directly selected by your head coach coming in and you don't have success sometimes those decisions have to be made."
Ian asked Guy where they are in the process....
"I've been busy watching games. I was in Vernon and then in Kelowna last week. We haven't really sat down and discussed it much further. There's been been some resumes and applications coming in. The process will take some time.
It's important for me to go through the process. Together we will make the right decision for the hockey club. I think it's important to see the candidates and sit down with the individuals and see what their goals are and find out why they'd like to be an assistant coach at the WHL level.
The junior experience is new for me all over again. I'd be looking for someone to compliment me. I know where my strengths are and I know where I need some help. We will see who fits the bill. Apparently there's been about four or five applicants already. If there's a lot we will get it down to a short list and then you get into the interview process."
Personally I think it's still a bit early to be speculating on who and when but there are some names being thrown around. This week on Radio NL, Sports Director Rick "The Bear" Wile threw out the names of BCHL Head Coach/GM's Mark Ferner in Vernon and Tim Kehler in Salmon Arm. Another name was part-owner Daryl Sydor and perhaps former Blazer captain Ajay Baines.
The Blazers have time on their side. They could wait awhile on this one. After all, its only March. Let's not get carried away. As for Fergie and Smitty, the pair were great to work with in my first year with the team. They made me feel right at home and we had some fun over the course of the season together. I'll miss them. That's the business though. You don't have to explain it. They get it.
Seattle is the first team to make a coaching change but if you talk to folks around the league, it's the first of several moves coming. I've heard four or five teams may be looking for a head coach by the time all is said and done with some teams waiting to see how much playoff success they have before making a move. I don't like to throw out names and destinations. Been there, done that. I've been burned and taken to task. I'll leave that process to someone else. It's coming though.
You can always tell when a coach is at the end of his rope. Their tone, their demeanor...it all changes. Some can't relax and appear visibly rattled and some put their hands up in the air as to say "what can I do?".
It's tough to keep it together when coming under fire. I'll always remember two coaches I talked with who were in "dead man walking" territory. Dale Derkatch of the Regina Pats at the end of the 08-09 season and Barry Smith of the Kamloops Blazers in November of 2009 when he came through Swift Current with his club.
I've seen it with team's I've worked with too. Randy Smith in Swift Current late in the 03/04 season. Rob Sumner in the 2nd half of the season gave me that vibe too. You could just sense they knew it was getting close to the end of the line. You feel a bit for these guys...but they know what they signed up for.
As I've said before...coaching, not for the faint of heart.