Candidates galore available
By Mario Annicchiarico, Edmonton Journal
April 21, 2010
Does Edmonton Oil Kings general manager Bob Green go with youth and inexperience or a veteran with respectability?
Within minutes of Tuesday's announcement that head coach Steve Pleau had been fired, names of potential suitors were already flying about.
Among Green's options are successful Alberta Junior Hockey League coaches such as Boris Rybalka of the Camrose Kodiaks and Steve Hamilton of the Spruce Grove Saints, or even Mark Ferner of the Vernon Vipers, the B.C. Junior Hockey League team currently giving Hamilton's Saints all they can handle in the Doyle Cup.
Among coaches with Western Hockey League experience are former head man Kevin Constantine and Green's close confidant Rick Carriere, who is currently working with the Vimy Ridge hockey academy, as well as consulting for the Medicine Hat Tigers, where Green worked before Edmonton.
"It's hard to say. I don't know if Rick would want to coach any more. I think Rick's got it pretty good. I can't imagine he'd want to coach again and throw himself back into this. He's got a pretty good thing going on right now," Green said.
A huge name making the circles is Ken Hitchcock, the former National Hockey League head coach who has a tremendous junior hockey history in Kamloops, B.C.
Current or former WHL assistant coaches being mentioned include Shaun Clouston (Medicine Hat), Terry Virtue (Tri-City Americans), John Becanic (Seattle Thunderbirds), Michael Dyck (Lethbridge Hurricanes, Medicine Hat and Vancouver Giants) and Derek Laxdal, a former NHLer and current head coach of the Idaho Steelheads in the East Coast League.
Former Edmonton Oilers players and coaches whose names have come are include Kevin McClelland, Billy Moores and Rob Daum.
Green said it was too early to talk about candidates.