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Anzalone Interviews; Pecknold Emerges As Candidate

FTT is hearing that former Lake Superior State coach Frank Anzalone has interviewed with John McCutcheon for the head coaching position.  Anzalone led the Lakers to the 1988 NCAA National Championship.  He actually had two stints in the Soo.  The first from 1982 to 1990 which was highlighted by that championship and multiple NCAA appearances.  He returned to Lake State in 2001 after multiple stops in the minors.  That second visit didn’t go so well as he failed to get to double digit wins in the four years there.  He has coached at many levels of pros from the AHL to the Central Hockey League where he most recently coached Obi Aduba and the Quad City Mallards.  It’s an interesting candidate but considering that the last time he led a college team to the NCAAs was three years before the rebirth of UMass hockey, he’s probably not a good fit.  Frankly, I’m shocked he’s being considered.

Meanwhile Matt Vautour reported that Quinnipiac’s Rand Pecknold has emerged as a candidate.  Pecknold has led Bobcat hockey from Division II to their current affiliation in the ECAC.  He’s 9th all-time in wins among active coaches.  However, he has only one NCAA appearance to his name and that came back when Quinnipiac was playing in the MAAC, Atlantic Hockey’s predecessor.  The Quinnipiac blog All Night Wong has some thoughts on Pecknold and the rumors.  Certainly he’s been the face of Quinnipiac hockey since they decided to make a real program out of it, but you have to cringe when you see things like “many locals have been wanting Rand to take a hike for a few years now, claiming he had taken the team as far as they’d go under his control” and “I am starting to question whether Rand is the guy to bring them to the mountain top” and wonder if he’s the right guy for the job.  After all, isn’t this what a lot of UMass fans have been saying about Toot Cahoon?

Dick Baker of the Republican makes the case for Gene Reilly, a Springfield native with assistant coaching experience at Maine, Northeastern, and Harvard.  He’s currently an assistant coach in the Austrian league.  He certainly has extensive experience and I like the local ties, but I wonder if the lack of head coaching experience would put him at a disadvantage.  Worthy of consideration however.

That’s the latest on the coaching front.  I’ve updated my Coaching Candidate page with some of the new names discussed.  I’ve also linked to their HockeyDB.com page so readers can quickly see for themselves their coaching careers.

The Collegian has a piece with player reactions to Cahoon stepping down.

The AP has this story on brothers Eddie and Tommy Olczyk attending Hurricanes Development Camp.

UConn had their official welcome into Hockey East today.  Coming out of the event College Hockey News’ Scott McLaughlin reported that Hockey East teams will play 20 conference games when Notre Dame joins in 2013-14 and then 22 conference games when the Huskies latch on in 2014-15.  The expansion of non-conference games in coming years with why you’ll start to see UMass play a lot more two game series, like the ones scheduled with Colgate this coming year and Michigan State in the following season.

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13 Comments

  1. Bob

     /  June 29, 2012

    Rocks this is a joke. Hired a top notch candidate. BC assistant or BU assistant or a guy like David Quinn or even the coach from the USA program. These guys are a joke. I like reilly the rest need to get lost

    Like

    • Bob I disagree with you there are a lot of strong candidates in that list you do not know what you are talking about.

      Like

  2. Carson

     /  June 30, 2012

    not sure what could be done about it with 11 HE opponents once UConn and ND join, but i dislike the thought of playing only 22 conference games. probably would be too much but wish they could keep it at 3 games per team and play 33 conference games.

    Like

  3. Kieron

     /  June 30, 2012

    Are we really going with retreads? Such a huge mistake on the part of McCutcheon and the committee. We need someone dynamic not a guy looking to get back or rehabilitate his image.

    Like

  4. George

     /  June 30, 2012

    Pecknold from ECAC to here. Yep the stories are too similar, pass. Gene Reilly??? The local tie is great, but he is the quintessential assistant, not a head guy, but ahead of Pecknold.
    Well nothing new there…14 & 12 non league games, even more good news. Hockey East fools for not going with 2 divisions and 3/2 league games for 27. A bunch of football bowl games in the Fall. Yuck.

    Like

    • ICEWEST

       /  June 30, 2012

      Given the timing of the AD’s announcement of Cahoon’s departure, the program has been put in a terrible position to make such a huge decision. They say they want to do this right but they waited much too long to pull the trigger on Cahoon’s departure. If they cannot get a Cavanaugh or Montgomery, the only two candidates who seem even worth pursuing, they might be better off keeping Len Quesnelle as the head man. He’d provide some stability and he could show what he can do with this group. If he’s not the guy, then next year they’ll be able to give themselves the necessary time to select a long term candidate. I have to believe that most of the worthy candidates would feel odd leaving their current programs at this late date…UMASS may want to look at the AD and make a decision on his future..this is embarrassing. By the way, I don’t think the best candidate, Dennehy, would leave MC in the lurch at this time of the year..he’s got too much class; and they can’t afford him.

      Like

  5. George

     /  June 30, 2012

    Quesnelle=interim. That’s what I hear from everyone for your scenario above Icewest too. The extra year won’t help them find a better coach. This group has never shown an interest in helping the Hockey Program in the past so why would they care now?

    Like

    • Anonymous

       /  June 30, 2012

      no coach , no asst. coach , no team captain or captains , its JULY 1st … toot wasn’t at the end of year banquet , right after the golf outing ,toots out .. enjoy the summer the fall may not be so good ..

      Like

      • If the season does turn out bad at least there is currently no way to listen to the games.

        And for the record Toot didn’t make he banquet because he was working on a new hip

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        • Anonymous

           /  June 30, 2012

          He could have waited a week , I’m thinking .. wonder if any of his family went in his place ,, Toot’s going has been coming and he knew it ,, no radio , no TV for sure this year , the team at the end was playing to save his job , team did a good job at the end but came up a little short .. maybe the AD of umass can go also ? keep up your good work rocks

          Like

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