How difficult would it be to hire a coach to come in at the half way point of a season?
How difficult would it be to hire a coach to come in at the half way point of a season when you have championship aspirations and expectations?
How difficult would it be to hire a coach to come at the half way point of the season when you have a championship caliber team?
One can only imagine the stress that’s confronting the Moncton Wildcats organization right now.
The Moncton Wildcats have two options and no I’m not talking about potential short list of candidates.
Option 1: Do you hire a coach just for the championship run?
Option 2: Do you hire a coach that can win you a championship and see you through the rebuild process for years to come?
Well it’s clear that the Wildcats have to weigh both options very carefully, but there’s no option when it comes to the expectations to win it all this season.
This is the year.
All or nothing.
That’s just crazy pressure and expectations for any coach to deal with. I don’t care who it is, that’s just crazy pressure.
One aspect that the new coach will have going in their favour is the fact the QMJHL like any other league in the CHL is legitimately broken up into two different seasons.
Organizational transformations and roster overhauls are common place in junior hockey and most seasons are broken up by the cyclular nature of the beast itself.
Every team in junior hockey has found themselves in this position with regards to bringing in new personnel after Christmas. Very few have done that trying to hire a coach in the process.
It is what it is and maybe the third time will be the charm for the Cats.
The Cats new bench boss will have a multitude of talent and personalities to coach and get to know and manage.
Sure the new coach will be inheriting an outstanding team that’s only going to get better, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
They will have to implement their own coaching philosophies, vision, structure and culture.
In some cases that takes a long time to establish, and the coach the Cats do decide to hire better be Jedi like when it comes to communicating and establishing buy in and accountability from players.
The Wildcats will be welcoming in new faces left and right when it’s all said and done. The Cats new coach will also have to be a master at role identification. In my opinion that might arguably be the toughest aspect of all of this.
The Cats new coach will have to set players up to succeed within new roles and structural guidelines.
In some cases players will have their ice time drastically reduced and find their role morphed into something completely different.
In theory you want and believe that everyone buys in when you have a championship caliber team.
That’s what everyone wants, but that’s not always the reality.
Juggling personalities and roles while having a strong presence and systematic mindset are definitely the prerequisite to any coach especially for whoever the Cats decide to hire.
The Wildcats new bench boss will ultimately have to bridge that gap.
Sure they have a few months before the playoffs start to get acclimatized to their new surroundings and role, but they better establish it quickly given the pressure and high expectations on them and the players.
You see if the Moncton Wildcats are going to win it all this year they will have to come together as a team in every essence on and off the ice.
Can you say trust factor!
Everything will be new starting after the Christmas Break or will it?
One can only assume the Cats are planning to move quickly with regards to hiring their new coach, but it’s clear they need to hire the right fit if they want to go to promise land.
It’s one thing to have a plan, it’s another to execute it.
The Wildcats brain trust have done a phenomenal job at identifying their needs early during trade period by acquiring Jared McIsaac, Benoit-Oliver Groulx and Dakota Lund-Cornish.
Nevertheless, it remains to be seen if they can land two to three more pieces during the final weeks of the Trade Period.
I don’t know their plan, but I certainly know they need a Shawn Element and Liam Leonard type players in their bottom six which can play up and down the line up.
They also need a Justin Bergeron type player on the backend to complete a truly lethal championship caliber blueline.
From a player personnel perspective the Cats have done everything the right way to this point, now they just have to find the right coach!
The search continues