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All Signs Point To Pearl

Multiple sources have indicated to FTT that Holy Cross’ Paul Pearl is the new frontrunner in the search to replace Toot Cahoon.  I’m unable to confirm if the job has been offered to him yet, but it appears that’s where things are headed.  Assuming UMass doesn’t get “Umiliated” again and he were to actually accept, he could be announced as head coach before the end of the week.  Matt Vautour had a blog post addressing the Pearl rumors, in it mentioning that the usually accurate BC Hockey Blog has also stated Pearl is the focus of the search.

I wasn’t exactly enthused at the prospect of Quinnipiac’s Rand Pecknold being named the new UMass coach.  I would say I’m less so about Paul Pearl.  Pearl of course is remembered for bringing his Crusaders to the NCAA tournament in 2006 and beating #1 seed Minnesota in probably the biggest upset in tournament history.  That moment is certainly a feather in his cap.  My concern is what Holy Cross has done since.  From the season after their big win over the Gophers to this past season Pearl’s record is 82-109-32.  That’s a .439 win percentage and 27 games below .500.  In those six years the Crusaders have finished 6th, 9th, 9th, 7th, 7th, 3rd, and 3rd in the ten team Atlantic Hockey.  If there’s one positive  it’s that Pearl and his Crusaders has gone .500 against Hockey East teams, picking up wins against Northeastern and Merrimack in the past two years.   But overall, I don’t see anything on his resume that tells me he can turn UMass into a winner in Hockey East.  I certainly don’t see anything that tells me he can do any better at UMass than Cahoon did and we know that a good amount of the fans were unhappy with the recent results under him.

Pearl is a highly regarded coach and with good reason.  He has been at the reigns of his alma mater for 17 years and given Holy Cross fans some memorable wins, two Atlantic Hockey crowns, and two tournament appearances.  But I don’t think he’s what UMass needs.  He’s a nice safe pick with plenty of head coaching experience.  But safe picks aren’t going to get UMass out of the 7th place rut in Hockey East.  Safe picks are not going to give the Minutemen the chance to bust through the glass ceiling in the league and directly compete with BC, BU, UNH, and Maine.  The program needs someone dynamic and energetic who has experience recruiting top notch talent, preferably to a school in the same position as UMass.  So far it seems like those type of candidates haven’t made it onto John McCutcheon’s list which to me is a huge disappointment.  No matter who is named coach I’ll support him and hope for the best, but I’d feel a lot better with a candidate with whom I could expect the best instead of just hope.

The Canucks have extensive coverage of their Development Camp which just wrapped up. It’s an interesting read if you want to see what Conor Allen has been up to for the past week.

FTT reader “Lil Bit Special” passed along that the scrimmage from Islanders camp featuring Kevin Boyle, Mike Pereira, Oleg Yevenko, and K.J. Tiefenwerth is available online.

Happy Birthday America!  U! S! A! U! S! A!

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  1. Puck Pagan

     /  July 4, 2012

    Very sad that this is the direction the AD is going. I think this will be a terrible hire for Umass Hockey. If this is the way they are going it not only states Hockey is a 2nd class citizen but a 3rd class citizen in the athletic dept. I think Red would be a great hire from watching the way the players listen and relate to him. My hope is that the Hockey Alumni would lobby McDouche heavily to hire Red.

  2. Anonymous

     /  July 4, 2012

    Gendron is the way to go. See support from current and old players. Players must know something.

  3. Anonymous

     /  July 4, 2012

    Don’t forget the beatdown HC laid on Boston University last year, where they outplayed a far superior, yet poorly motivated Terrier team at Agganis.

    • Good point. Missed that one.

      • ICEWEST

         /  July 4, 2012

        Has Cavanaugh interviewed? There seems to be very little said about him. Seems to me from afar that he would be the type of rejuvenating leader the =program needs…Not guys who have had some success 10-15 years ago.., ie Pearl, Anzalone, Pecknold, Gendron. Not to be a broken record, but what type of high quality guy are you thinking you’re going to get at this point in the summer? Someone who’s far down the lists of most other schools who were looking for a head man. By the way, re HC beating BU last year… UMASS beat BC twice last year..Doesn’t mean they were a good team or that they were well coached. One game doesn’t make the savior of the UMASS program.

        • Cav definitely interviewed. I have that from a pretty good source.

  4. Anonymous

     /  July 4, 2012

    When Gendron was here we had some of the best seasons in Umass hockey history. He set up a very successful power play. He also brought in studs during that period. He knows how to recruit and be successful in hockey east. He will lead this program in the right direction and to new heights.

  5. I personally think Red Gendron should be named our new coach. Mark I am hearing the players want Red Gendron. Mark I maybe naive because I feel like I should give John McCutcheon the benefit of the doubt. Holy Cross Coach Paul Pearl is a very well respected coach around the Country. My instincts are telling me I should give Paul Pearl the benefit of the doubt that he can take UMass to new heights in Hockey East because I am an optimist and optimistic. Mark please feel free to tell me that I am being naive. AFTER SAYING ALL THAT I THINK RED GENDRON SHOULD BE OUR NEW COACH AND I WANT RED GENDRON TO BE OUR NEW COACH!


     /  July 4, 2012

    anonymous – best seasons in UMASS hockey history? During Gendron’s time at UMASS they had one winning season. Brought in studs? The best players they’ve had in the past 5-6 years were already on board after he arrived in 2005 – J. Marcou, Braun; Dainton; I believe he, along with Len Quesnelle, brought Irwin and Wellman who were both very good college players. His recruits have proven to be mostly great young men who were pretty good hockey players, not studs. Look at the list of recruits since he arrived…tells you everything you need to know.


       /  July 4, 2012

      Just rechecked the old recruiting lists..Dainton commited after Gendron arrived (2007) so he could have been recruited by Gendron, but Len Quesnelle also had a hand in bringing him in as well.

  7. Anonymous

     /  July 4, 2012

    there is a very vocal UMass hockey booster (not a local fan, but he is at all the games) that is spreading wild rumors about the search process and suggesting that it was done without proper input. he is sour that he was not asked to participate on the committee and he is trying to sabotage the process. he is feeding blogs and news stories with inaccurate information and trying his very hardest to show-up john mccutcheon. he is a large toot cahoon supporter and an even bigger supporter of red gendorn. he’s requesting that former players call into the school and ask for gendron. most players have refused to get involved.

    • Always easy to lob accusations anonymously on the Internet isn’t it? Next time have some guts and put your name to something like that.

  8. George

     /  July 4, 2012

    “and trying his very hardest to show-up john mccutcheon”.

    Well that’s something you can do in your spare time it’s so easy.

  9. Ganderson

     /  July 4, 2012

    Steve Lappas busy?

  10. John

     /  July 5, 2012

    When someone says that the hockey team is not getting the necessary support that it deserves, what does that mean? I know that the radio contract is part of it. But does it also mean recruiting budget, marketing, transporation budget? I am curious to know how different the hockey team is? And what should it be?

    • Outside Fan

       /  July 5, 2012

      I don’t follow Umass hockey as much as other teams , but marketing and transportation budget alone is different than every other school in its league. you could clearly see that when you head to boston and see billboards and things of BU. Take a look outside the umass arena itself, it is gowned with basketball players rather than hockey players. More students/fans i’m sure go to the hockey games as it seems on the blog reading after you guys. It’s something your AD needs to run with.

      As for the actual team itself not helping out with the process, i believe that is a joke. It has gone on long enough where the AD needs to hear some sort of outside advice (espcially if he doesn’t know hockey as much as your saying). teams do it all the time as their captains sit in on interviews. Looking at the roster, there are guys around the Mass and even Connecticut area (depending how far) that could actually come in and just listen to give a sense of what’s going on. THIS TEAM HAS TO BE SO LOST. i’ll repeat it, THIS TEAM MUST BE LOST . every leadership position is unfilled. That doesn’t mean they are not a good team. They can easily be a serious contender in Hockey East with the pieces they have coming back. Both top forwards coming back arguably. Their whole D core and goaltending that can weather the storm. That I can guarantee within the next year or two.

      P.S. Great blog! Keep up the good work!

  11. Bob

     /  July 5, 2012

    It looks like Paul Pearl isn’t interested in the job.


    • Anonymous

       /  July 5, 2012

      Why would someone interview for a job , then turn it down . . Give the job to red for the next couple of years .. Let’s see what red and Lenny can do . They know the players , it’s late in the year ! And if they don’t coach well ,they both go then The team won’t response to someone they don’t know and the coach won’t know them .. This is hockey east , you play the best every week .. So AD do it now , I just hope he won’t turn you down also .. I bet theres a few players just waiting to see you gets it before they make their decision

      • That’s actually an excellent question. My guess? Since Pearl was entering the last year of his contract, he did it to get an extension from Holy Cross.

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