Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

McGill Out As Pack Coach

Have another donut

by Bruce Berlet (Hartford Courant) June 9, 2005

Wolf Pack coach Ryan McGill was home Wednesday afternoon entertaining friends when the phone rang. The words he heard were "pretty shocking." Despite having the best record in the AHL the past two seasons, the Rangers had decided not to pick up the option year of his contract.

"I thought I was probably coming back, but obviously they wanted to make a change," McGill said. "Obviously I would want to be back, but the decision was made to go in a different direction, and I'll live with it. It's part of the business and there are no bad feelings.

McGill's departure caught others by surprise. "You're kidding," an AHL coach said when informed of McGill's departure. "Don't they like winning in Hartford? Sounds like what happened before [with John Paddock]."

"Being a player, I'm not privy to everything that goes on behind closed doors," Pack captain Ken Gernander said. "I don't know why he was released. The playoffs weren't exactly what we expected, but we had a good [regular] season. And the previous season we had a real good season and playoffs.

McGill was 127-73-27-13 in three seasons with the Pack. Despite numerous injuries and losing two of his best defensemen to the Russian Super League after 13 games last season, McGill led the Pack (50-24-3-3) to a franchise high for victories and home wins (30).

The search process for McGill's successor was unknown because Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld could not be reached in Toronto, where the Rangers held their team meetings. In a statement released by the Rangers, Schoenfeld said, "I would like to thank Ryan for his service and dedication to the Hartford Wolf Pack organization over the past three seasons. After evaluating the situation at our organizational meetings, our decision was that a change would be best at this time. We wish Ryan nothing but the best in his future endeavors."

Slimy Jim Schoenfeld said himself, after the Wolf Pack bowed out of this year's playoffs in the first round, that all but a small handful of guys on the team failed to do their jobs while playing with very little heart this year. Firing McGill seems to be a "it wasn't my fault" move by Shufflin' Schoenfeld, though my guess is that the firing has as much to do with happenings within the Ranger organization (unknown to those of us who watch the games from the stands) as much as it has to do with what the Pack did on the ice this past season.


Blogger Brushback said...

At no suprise to anyone, Jim Schoenfeld inserted himself as the head coach of the Wolf Pack, barely waiting until the very hour the NHL lockout was over to make the announcement. Recently retired Wolf Pack team captain Ken Gernander and former NHL defenseman Ulf Samuelsson have been named as assistants. Nick Fotiu, who had been the Wolf Pack assistant coach under McGill, has been "moved up" to the NY Rangers scouting staff.

7/15/05, 2:11 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

On July 26th it was announced that Ryan McGill will become the new head coach of the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights, the Calgary Flames' AHL affiliate, who will be in their inagural season this year. The Flames (as well as their former AHL affiliate, the now-defunct Saint John Flames) have some of the best-looking jerseys in hockey, by the way.

"Ak-Sar-Ben" is a local reference, in case you were wondering, the meaning of which escapes me at the moment. It always makes me think of the Ak Bars Kazan (Russian Hockey League) whenever I see it..

7/31/05, 10:53 PM


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