Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And Then There Was One...

The off-season is always busy for WHL teams. However, over the past few weeks, more that one third of the teams have initiated and completed their own searches to occupy vacant head coaching positions. Only the Tri City Americans have yet to fill the position, although it has been only a week since Don Nachbaur departed for a job in the American Hockey League.

Here's how things will look when the pucks drop in September. The names in bold are the new coaches entering their first full season...2009-2010. In parenthesis ( ), last season's bench boss:

Eastern Conference
Saskatoon Blades: Lorne Molleken (Molleken)
Regina Pats: **Curtis Hunt (Dale Derkatch...released)
Moose Jaw Warriors: Dave Hunchak (Hunchak)
Brandon Wheat Kings: Kelly McCrimmon (McCrimmon)
Prince Albert Raiders: Bruno Campese (Campese)
Swift Current Broncos: Mark Lamb (Dean Chynoweth...hired by New York Islanders, NHL)

Calgary Hitmen: Mike Williamson (Dave Lowry...hired by Abbosttsford Heat, AHL)
Red Deer Rebels: Jesse Wallin (Wallin)
Medicine Hat Tigers: Willi Desjardins (Desjardins)
Kootenay Ice: Mark Holick (Holick)
Lethbridge Hurricanes: Rich Preston (Michael Dyck...released)
Edmonton Oil Kings: Steve Pleau (Pleau)

Western Conference
Kelowna Rockets: Ryan Huska (Huska)
Kamloops Blazers: Barry Smith (Smith)
Prince George Cougars: Dean Clark (Drew Schoneck...released; Wade Klippenstein...promoted)
Vancouver Giants: Don Hay (Hay)
Chilliwack Bruins: Mark Habscheid (Jim Hiller...released)

Everett Silvertips: Craig Hartsburg (John Becanic...released)
Spokane Chiefs: Hardy Sauter (Sauter)
Seattle Thunderbirds: Rob Sumner (Sumner)
Portland Winterhawks: Mike Johnston (Johnston; Richard Kromm...released)
Tri City Americans: TBD (Don Nachbaur...hired by Binghampton Senators, AHL)

**Curtis Hunt returns to Regina after one season with the Ottawa Senators organization.

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