The local Midget “AA” Canadians hockey team, slated to begin its second season of play this winter, may be on the verge of folding due to a lack of a coach.
Former coach Dave Allison accepted a head coaching job with the Fort Wayne Komets in the United Hockey League nearly two months ago while GM Gus Lindberg has since stepped down from his position.
Those departures didn’t appear to be a problem at first as the local minor hockey association had what it thought were two suitable candidates.
But that number now has been pared down to zero with the decision by John Sus of Atikokan to coach an ‘AA’ team there.
“It looks as if the ‘AA’ program may be scrapped,” noted Dave Egan, who helped resurrect the Midget house league here last season. “So far, no coach has come forward.”
But Lynn Kellar, president of the local minor hockey association, said they’ve been busy trying to find a suitable coach since being informed of Sus’ decision just last week.
He did not envision the team folding but did admit the next couple of weeks will be imperative if the team is to hit the ice again this season.
“If people don’t come forward, then it won’t go,” he warned.
The Canadians had been comprised of 16 and 17-year-old players from Fort Frances and Atikokan. They played an exhibition schedule here with the Bantam ‘AA’ B•Macs and Midget house league teams and also travelled to out-of-town tournaments.
The idea was to give players of that age—who did not make the Muskies—another opportunity to play competitive hockey.
In related news, while the ‘AA’ team is having trouble finding a coach, the Midget house league is having trouble finding a convener.
Egan held that job last year but he’s also a minor hockey board member. And the local association no longer allows a person to hold the positions of board member and league convener.
If no convener is found (although Kellar fully expected there would be one in place), then the Midget house league would not go ahead this season.
But if it does, the local Midget league is expected to be just as strong last year. Atikokan is committed to play and a Midget team is expected to be iced in Emo, which will join the B•Macs and at least two Midget ‘A’ teams here in town.