The Soo Greyhounds Hockey Program is pleased to announce that they have exercised the contract extension option to Head Coach Sheldon Keefe. The extension places Keefe behind the Hounds bench through the 2014-15 season.
Originally hired on December 3rd, 2012, the option on Sheldon’s contract was available until November 2013 but team ownership and management were proactive in ensuring his position with the club.
"I am very excited the our ownership has given me the go ahead to exercise the option on Sheldon's contract for 2014-2015. Over Sheldon's time as our Head Coach in the regular season and the playoffs we saw our team playing a very strong puck possession style and performed at a winning percentage of over 62%. All of that was done with Sheldon having just two days of practice before his first game at Windsor on December 6th” began Hounds GM Kyle Dubas.
"Sheldon and I have talked each day this off-season about the challenge ahead and how the two of us, along with Joe Cirella and our entire Hockey Operations team are going to ensure our Program continues to strive towards our goal of long-term, sustained success” continued Dubas.
Keefe, a Brampton, ON native, led the Hounds to a regular season record of 23-12-1-3 in 39 regular season games before advancing the Hounds to the post-season for the first time in three seasons.
"I'm incredibly grateful for the confidence that General Manager Kyle Dubas and our ownership group have shown in my ability to develop the program over the next two seasons" said Keefe.
"While that confidence helps make for an easier transition into Sault Ste. Marie for my young family it remains business as usual as I continue to be committed to maximizing every day to ensure we are prepared to build on the foundation we have worked to form over the last six months” explained Keefe.
After OHL and NHL careers, Keefe’s transition to the coaching ranks was highlighted with immediate success with his ownership, management and coaching of the Pembroke Lumber Kings which was topped by a National championship. His strength in communicating and motivating his players became an immediate impact in his tenure so far with the Hounds.
"All of the very best major junior hockey clubs in the Canadian Hockey League have strong stability in their coaching and management ranks. Excercising Sheldon's option is a very important step in our development as a program and I am very excited to see the results of Sheldon having an entire off-season and pre-season to be ready for 2013-2014” concluded Dubas.
Keefe also expressed the vital importance of stability with relation to his working relationship with Hounds General Manager, Kyle Dubas.
"The vision and leadership of the program begins with Kyle and it’s evident in speaking with our staff and players that everyone is anxious and hoping that Kyle's contract status is secured for a very long time” concluded the Hounds Head Coach.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)