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Thunder coaching staff still in limbo

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The Borderland Thunder are having trouble righting their coaching ship.

Six weeks after losing his position as head coach to Dave Allison, Wayne Strachan has yet to decide whether he’ll return to the team as an assistant coach this coming season.

“There’s still a few things I have to iron out,” Strachan said last week, adding he was a finalist for coaching positions with the La Ronge Ice Wolves of the Saskat-chewan Junior Hockey League and the Ely Ice Dragons, a Superior In-ternational Junior Hockey League expansion team set to play in the 2003-04 season.

But he also hasn’t entirely ruled out the possibility of returning to the Thunder.

With the Thunder’s rookie camp set to go here in less than three weeks (Aug. 9-11), and full training camp opening Aug. 30, team president Shawn Jourdain said yesterday he’s had no contact with Strachan and offered no comment on whether the team is looking at other alternatives.

“We’ve given him all the time in the world” was all Jourdain would say.

The Thunder, who signed Allison as their head coach June 7, immediately offered assistant coaching positions to Strachan and incumbent assistants Sean Taggart, Neil Cooper, and Shane Bliss.

Bliss is the only one to make a decision thus far, opting back on June 12 to join the Muskie boys’ hockey team as an assistant instead.

Strachan, 29, coached the Thunder to a league-best 28-11-9 record during the regular season and was planning to return behind the bench as head coach.

In related news, the Dryden Ice Dogs, who swept the Thunder to capture the inaugural SIJHL crown back in April, hired another Saskatchewan coaching product, Wayne Labrie, as their head coach July 11.

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