Red Leaving For Ivy Green?

Back from vacation means back to writing about UMass hockey.  I had a great trip down to the  mid-Atlantic area.  I got to visit three breweries (Dogfish Head, Ram’s Head/Fordham, Victory), see countless national treasures like the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, and hung out with a few of the original Section U inhabitants dating back to the triangle days.

So did anything happen hockey-wise in this area while I was gone?  Oh yeah, the Bruins won the Stanley Cup!!  What a run.  I’m definitely a college hockey fan first, as that’s how I first got into the game, but seeing the black and gold as the owners of Lord Stanley’s chalice is beyond thrilling.  New England is now the center of the hockey world, let’s hope that continues next fall when UMass and the rest of Hockey East return to the ice.

Of course there was some UMass news during last week as well.  USHR reported that Red Gendron will be leaving Amherst to take an assistant coaching position at Yale under Keith Allain.  Gendron does have a relationship already with Allain from when they previously coached for the US program.  From everything I’ve heard, this report appears to be true even though it’s not official yet.  I’ll be sorry to see Red go.  He’s done a lot for the program from recruiting many of the talented players on the ice to all the hard work he does for things like the annual golf outing.  He’s also been very friendly to fans and supporters of the program.  Whatever the future holds for him, I’ll be rooting for him (except of course when Yale comes to town this fall).

Also in the USHR report was the statement that they’re “hearing” that Red will be replaced by former Lowell coach Blaise MacDonald.  Besides being colleagues in the Hockey East coaching ranks, MacDonald and Toot Cahoon were also assistants together at BU.  First off, I have not been able to confirm that the report that MacDonald is about to be hired is true, but makes sense that he’d be in the mix.  Secondly, I’m not sure I like this news.  I have a lot of respect for the job that Blaise did at Lowell.  Against all of the challenges that surrounded that program, even when it was on the verge of getting mothballed by the Board of Trustees, he was able to consistently recruit some top talent in the league.  However, he was just fired from that job because he was never able to get that talent to its full potential.  At Lowell he had a history of his very best teams underperforming regularly and sometimes dramatically.  Problem is, in recent years UMass has also suffered from that same charge of underperforming compared to its potential.  If Toot is going to bring in someone new to the staff, I would rather the person have a record of addressing some of the team’s recent deficiencies.

My ideal replacement for Red?  Hire alum and current ECHL coach Dean Stork and groom him to replace Toot in a couple years when he likely retires.

In other Hockey East coaching news, remember how friend of FTT Ryan S. Clark reported a couple months ago that Greg Cronin was leaving Northeastern for the NHL and Cronin vehemently denied the report?  Well Cronin was hired today as an assistant coach for Toronto.  Maple Leafs or Northeastern?  Hmm…lateral move at best.  It should be interesting to see if any recruits or current Husky players look to leave with their coach on the move.

UMass has lost out to Providence for the services of South Kent defenseman Anthony Florentino.  Florentino is a talented defenseman who has participated in past US national development camps previously.  This one hurts a little because he has some close ties to the Minuteman program and from what I’ve read is highly regarded.

Congratulations to Conor Allen, Mike Lecomte, Kevin Moore, Colin Shea, and Jeff Teglia who were named to the Hockey East All-Academic Team for this past season.  Lecomte was named to the team for all four of his years at UMass.

Stuff the ballot box!  Vote for Paul Dainton for UMass Play of the Year!

Speaking of voting, don’t forget to take the survey for which UMass license plate you like best.

With the Cup awarded, that means the NHL Draft is just around the corner.  Hockey’s Future has Mike Pereira as one of the top 10 draft eligible players in the NCAA.  Pereira will also be featured in a pre-draft article in the New England Hockey Journal that I’ll be sure to pass along when it’s published.

Dick Baker of the Republican caught up with Greg Mauldin and Justin Braun at last week’s Golf Outing.

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  1. Bullmoose

     /  June 20, 2011

    You titled the article just to confuse me, right? 🙂

    Red will be missed.


    • Nah, if that was the case I would’ve went with the more simple “Red Goes Green”.


  2. Looks like PC getting Leaman is already paying off on the recruiting front.

    I don’t mind Blaise coming in…gives Toot one more shot at putting together his kind of program with someone who knows where he’s coming from and what he’s looking for. Heck, maybe he can help you with Beer the Triangle recommendations! (sorry)
    If Stork comes back to Amherst, I’d like him to have a bit more experience, make a few more recruiting connections, and be a clean break from the previous regime. He’s certainly had a nice start to his coaching career though, and has made himself a longer term target for the program.


    • Interestingly USHR is pushing Blaise as a solid candidate for Northeastern. I have to assume Husky fans would disagree.


      • Seeing some of the names Husky fans have been throwing around leads me to believe that yeah, they’d be pissed with Blaise.


  3. Anonymous

     /  June 22, 2011

    why go to yale – stuffed shirts and an inferior league – maybe red wants yales’
    weak schedule so he can make the ncaa tourney
    no blaise….umass needs a big time recruiter who demands toughness in the players as well…or a loyal umie w/ connections…interesting to see who will be the


  4. The Boss

     /  July 28, 2011

    I know I’m real late but just saw this. Red went because he has a guaranteed 8 year contract under Keith Allian. With toot it’s only guaranteed 2 years what. Who knows what their plan is after toot so that’s why he left. Blaise recruited tough kids at lowell so I figure he will do the same here. Lastly, very dissapointig in losing Florentino. He’s my best friend and I really thought he was coming here. It came down to school size and coaches.


    • Yep, I think you’re right on about the long term stability the Yale opportunity offered for Red. I don’t blame him at all for jumping at the chance.

      Agreed about Florentino, I’d heard a lot of good things about him. But we all have to go where we feel most comfortable.


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