2013-14 preview: Who's behind the bench?
Everett played the final three months of the season without a head coach. That needs to be rectified. Let the speculation begin.
The Tips were winging it after head coach Mark Ferner and assistant coach Chris Hartsburg were fired in January. General manager Garry Davidson took over behind the bench on an interim basis, and he began the process of transforming the way the team plays. There were hints of the changes down the stretch, but it will be up to the new coach to do the heavy work in that regard.
This will be Davidson's first coach hire as Everett's GM.
While I declared it time to begin speculating, the speculation has actually been going on for a while now. A large part of the fanbase, understandably, is pining for the past. I've personally been asked to begin the bring-back-Kevin-Constantine groundswell, and others have suggested bringing Jay Varady back to take the reins. I've even heard suggestions that assistant coach Mitch Love be given the head job.
However, I wouldn't put much stock in those happening. Davidson has no connection to Everett's coaches from the past. In addition, Davidson fired Ferner primarily because of differing hockey philosophies. Davidson has not been shy about his desire to build an offensive team, and Constantine's Everett teams won with their defense. Therefore, if Davidson and Ferner weren't the right fit, I have a hard time seeing Davidson and Constantine (or any of his underlings) being the right fit. And although Davidson has said he wants to serve as Love's mentor, Love is probably a little green for the top job.
So who would be the right fit? Davidson outlined what he's looking for in a coach after the season ended. It basically broke down into three characteristics: an offensive philosophy, coaching experience at the junior level, and a teaching mentality.
I personally have no idea who all fits those parameters. But the one name that seems to be the first on everyone's lips is Travis Green. It makes a certain amount of sense. Green is Portland's assistant coach and general manager, so he's worked with Davidson before. Portland's teams obviously play the way Davidson wants to play. And Green received head coaching experience this season thanks to Mike Johnston's suspension. Davidson has spoken very favorably of Green when asked about him in the past. Whether Green would be interested in the job is another matter, and I have no knowledge of Green's mindset. But whoever gets the job, Green will probably serve as the model.
Davidson said he doesn't expect to make a hire until after the May 2 bantam draft. He also said he wanted to wait until after more teams get eliminated from the playoffs, thus expanding the pool of candidates. He set the beginning of June as a target to have someone in place.
Until then, the guessing games will continue.
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