What a surprise that the junior hockey world learned last night. I didn't expect Benoit Groulx to leave the Gatineau Olympiques with less then ten days until training camp starts. Talk about leaving the team (Gatineau) in a tough situation. They were left to hangout to dry and are scrambling to find a coach. Last night I was talking to a friend and we were talking about where theam goes from here. Do they stay within the organization or find someone out side the club. We both agreed that it's too late to find someone outside the team. The best way to go about it is to promote within to keep as much stability as possible. Will the coach have the interim tag placed on him, that's another question that should be answered in the next few days.
Not only he leaves Gatineau but Canada has no head coach for the World Junior Champions this season. Hockey Canada has more time to find a coach but the coach that would probably of gotten the job, Bill Peters the head coach of the Spokane Chiefs the Memorial Cup Champions, has also took a job in the AHL with the Rockford Ice Hogs. Probably another canidate was Peter DeBoer but he left for the Florida Panthers. The previous coach, Craig Hartsburg, took the Ottawa Senators job (Hey, worse case scenerio they will use him because the tournament is in Ottawa.).
Willie Desdjardins an assistant coach with Team Canada told the Medicine Hat News on Wednesday night that he hasn’t heard a thing. I would also take Clem Jodain off the list as a potential head coach for Team Canada. He's currently the Head Coach of the Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He didn't want to be the assistant coach this year because he wanted to focus on the Memorial Cup this year. Rimouski hosts the tournament this year.
Taking the timing out of it, it was a good career move for Groulx. He lead the Olympiques organization to three QMJHL Championships in the last six seasons. Last year the Olympiques were the third seed in the Telus Division and ran through the playoffs. He's still young at the age of 40.
The Florida Panthers have two of the four coaches from last year's Memorial Cup in their organization.
That's My Take
(Nathan also is a writer for MVN.com. He's the writer for the Asylum which covers the Lewiston Maineiacs of the QMJHL. He's also a regular contributor to the NHL Source also at MVN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)