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Up To The Minute 7/6

Today was a quiet day for the UMass hockey coaching search, or at least when compared to most other days this week.  The only relevant news that come out today was that Jim Montgomery signed a two year extension to remain coach/GM of the Dubuque Saints of the USHL.  While he was speculated by many to be a potential candidate, there were never any concrete reports of whether he was ever contacted by the school.  Personally I received conflicting reports of whether he was even interested in the position.  Interestingly he was in the Boston area over the past week, observing Bruins Development Camp, so he would’ve been available to interview if such a thing developed.  But again it’s unknown if he was ever pursued and with today’s news of an extension it likely doesn’t matter anymore.

With Montgomery signing an extension, Darren Yopyk reportedly not interested in the position, and Mark Dennehy a longshot to begin with I’m now 0 for 3 on my top three picks to replace Toot Cahoon.

Here’s the Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s article about Paul Pearl turning down UMass’ offer.

The Eagle-Tribune’s Mike McMahon has an update on the coaching search, including a current UMass player saying there is a segment of the team wanting for former assistant Red Gendron to be head coach.  While I can confirm that Gendron has interviewed it’s unknown where he ranks on McCutcheon’s list of candidates.  Last night after talking with the player McMahon tweeted “The player also answered the phone with, ‘funny you’re calling me because you probably know more than I do.'”  You have to wonder if that suggests that the team has not had regular updates as to the state of the search.  McMahon also confirms via a source close to the search committee that head coaching experience has been a main focus of the search process early on.

Count the Republican’s Harry Plumer as another person who thinks this coaching search is being handled poorly and that John McCutcheon needs to completely change up the way he’s approaching it.

You can see Joel Hanley (#75) skating during some of the Blue Jackets Development Camp testing yesterday.

Lastly just want to bring attention to a charity event being held at the end of the month in Worcester.  Skating For Hope is a cause that’s dear to UMass beat writer Matt Vautour and features a 24 hour skate-a-thon to benefit the American Cancer Society.  The event was featured in this article from USCHO.   Rumor is there may even be some rare UMass hockey memorabilia auctioned off during the event.

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34 Comments

  1. Anonymous

     /  July 6, 2012

    It looks like neither coach who pulled out was actually offered the job according to Steve Sullivan, who certainly would appear to be someone in the know. If we believe him, maybe they’re still preparing to actually offer it to a viable candidate, as opposed to the pretenders we’ve talked about this far.. Read BC ..

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    • For the record, reputable media outlets like the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and the New Haven Register as well as college hockey media websites like College Hockey News and USCHO have all reported that UMass offered Pearl and Pecknold. My own sources have confirmed the same. You can choose to believe what you wish, but the reports of offers are not without merit. I do my best to post the most accurate information available here at FTT and I’m sorry that “in the know” commenters are suggesting otherwise.

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      • Steven R. Sullivan, Secretary of the Pond Club

         /  July 7, 2012

        Rocks:
        I am by no means, questioning your information and sources, and did not try to discredit your blog story. My point was that there has been large amounts inaccurate information floating around. As a matter of fact you have played and will continue to play an integral role in this process. I truly appreciate all you do for the program. The fact is that I am trying to protect the program, as you ultimately are. I just heard a different version of what took place. Let’s all stay together and cross our fingers that we get great coach!

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        • Thanks for the clarification. I think at the end of the day, no matter how we feel the search has gone to this point, we’re all just hoping for the best for UMass hockey.

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  2. Anonymous

     /  July 6, 2012

    Why does the new head coach have to have ties to New England? Can anyone think out of the box here?

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    • I personally am not against considering some of the top assistants out west. Seth Appert led RPI to the NCAAs after being a longtime Denver assistant.

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  3. George

     /  July 6, 2012

    I’m going believe Rocks over Steve Sullivan. If you just increased or enhanced your duration of contract and the amount of it at Quinnipiac, then at LEAST Rand Pecknold was offered the job. Just my view. And other people’s: http://www.ctpostchronicle.com/articles/2012/07/02/sports/doc4ff229b2b59df122685981.txt

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    • Anonymous

       /  July 7, 2012

      I heard that the players received a mass email from the AD telling them that no offers have been turned down because none were offered ? I also understand that most of the players didn’t want RED to leave , he was the one who recruited them and they were going to UMASS because of him , something happen back a few years ago when he left to take another backup roll at Yale .. Ask him to cleanup his act and come back before its to late .. ALSO … Toot you should have hanged in there and not walk out on your players so late in the up coming season , you should have let it be known that this was your last year that you were going out a winner , but you just walked out , Good coach would have know better

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  4. Mark,
    Has Gene Reilly been to campus yet for interview?
    Tom

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  5. Jim Briggs

     /  July 7, 2012

    latest info it is my understanding that Reilly has been contacted to interview, very reputable source

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  6. George

     /  July 7, 2012

    Let’s take a shot at a few things above. Something did happen that pushed Red to leave. Toot Cahoon signed ANOTHER contarct extension and Red got sick of waiting. Keith Allain at Yale is a close friend of Red’s. 1+2=3. That’s publicly known. Toot was forced out. He didn’t leave. He and the hockey program if you haven’t been following UMass hockey or at least reading FTT is third on the administrations depth chart. But NOTHING is thrown the team’s way. In fact, the story about McCurcheon asking “can Jon bring the Cup up for a early season football game?” story shows they want something FROM hockey. That and not announcing a radio contract with another area station would be forthcoming just snapped Toot. That’s what I hear and can pretty much say is logical. I’m certain there are people closer to the situation that could fine tune this.

    I’m all for Gene Reilly getting a real hard look from UMass.

    http://hockeyrecruits4u.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/gene-reilly-should-be-seriously-considered-to-be-the-next-head-coach-of-the-university-of-massachusetts-minutemen/

    But like Mike Cavanaugh at BC, you have to wonder are there skilled assistants and recruiters that are lifers?

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    • For the record I heard Red left because Yale gave him a shot at better job security. If Toot retired early there was worry he’d be left without a job.

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      • Anonymous

         /  July 7, 2012

        You heard it here first RED is going to be the coach , Lenny and him are going to take this team to the top ..let’s make sure that the AD doesn’t take any credit .. This is going to be a team that will be talked about for years to come .. Let’s get the pond club in on this and have a pre season party in the parking lot , I can’t wait GO UMASS HOCKEY , save my seat .. I beat you to this one Rocks ..

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        • Anonymous

           /  July 7, 2012

          With no draft picks on this years team !!

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  7. Anonymous

     /  July 7, 2012

    What about Eric Rud at Colorado College or Brian Renfrew from UNO?

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  8. 1999 Minuteman

     /  July 7, 2012

    Gentlemen,

    I am a UMASS grad and former player under Toot and Mark Dennehy. I have given this alot of thought before posting, but my time has come. This pains me to write, but I need to let it out. The top team in our league has been BC with BU being a distant second. BC was a turnaround when we used to play them, In the mid 90’s, they were terrible. When Jerry York arrived the first 2 years were nothing special, then came 1998 and they haven’t looked back. Why you ask? As Herb Brooks said, “I recruit the right players not always the best.” Sure they have a few top NHL types, but they all play a specific role. It is similar to how the Pats and Giants are always at the top of the game. They see things differently and teach differently. I have watched dozens of college practices over the years. I learned more by watching 3 BC practices than I did watching all the others combined. Why? – Chess vs Checkers. Cavanaugh knew how to make the gameplan simple for a Friday game and the same for Saturday even against different opponents. Browns’ defensive mind had me reaching for a notebook.

    Boys, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Toot and others say that BC always will win. That is a COP OUT. Their skills are from the stone ages. Toot never maxed out the players because he didnt know how to. Gendron is a good man, but the players want him, which is a no no and his practices were awful.

    So here it goes:

    My vote is Cavanaugh #1, followed by Brown then Bavis.

    Remember, with Cav gone, that is a massive hole for BC to fill.

    Umass Player 1999. After the coach is chosen, I will announce myself publicly.

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    • Justin

       /  July 8, 2012

      Well said. I’ve heard much the same about Red, and I have the utmost respect for his hockey acumen, but he’s not a head coach at this level. Every hockey coach I know who has witnessed Jerry York in action speaks highly of his skill as a communicator, motivator, and teacher. For years the UMass program has been run more in the mold of York’s rival down the street, and clearly that has not been the answer. As much as I’d like the home run ‘gamble’ of going with a young relatively unknown coach, stealing a page from the Jerry York playbook would probably be the best thing for the University at this point.

      The most heartening thing for me to see in this whole messy debacle is how many people love and care about the University of Massachusetts and its hockey team. Makes me proud to be an alum.

      Justin DeSorgher
      Class of 1999

      Like

    • Interesting perspective. Thanks for posting.

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  9. RIght Shot Dman

     /  July 8, 2012

    UMASS should go after a candidate with a “story”….. Go after an NHL/AHL caliber coach; Greg Cronin, Scott Gordon, Dave Quinn, John Hynes or go after an assistant at a huge program that has a well respected name; Greg Brown, Mike Cavanaugh, Mike Bavis, Paul Pooley (Notre Dame). This is a good paying job at a school/program that should attract good high end players and compete hard in HE every year!

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    • Anonymous

       /  July 8, 2012

      Cronin would be good. Players do not like him yet love playing for him. Also he seemed to enjoy it when the administration kept away from the rink and let him do his own thing. That could work here.

      Also one more point about the current players. An earlier comment mentioned they should not have input. This is absolutely true. Current players will always lean towards the good cop assistant. Former players and coaches can look at it from a long term perspective which current ones will not.

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  10. George

     /  July 8, 2012

    Cronin got run from Northeastern which means this administration will not look at him. Maybe not a bad thing.

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  11. Bob

     /  July 9, 2012

    According to USHR: Mike Cavanaugh has told UMass he’s not interested in the job. Apparently he was frustrated with the process.

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    • Anonymous

       /  July 9, 2012

      At this point it’s gotta be red or Q right? Team would be a mess if a new coach
      came in at this point and tried to implement a brand new style. Too much talent on the roster right now to shake things up too much. Don’t wanna waste what could be the last year the entire junior class is all together.

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      • ICEWEST

         /  July 9, 2012

        As much as it would be nice to keep this positive (Steve Sullivan), now we hear the Cavanaugh has removed himself from consideration due to frustration with the process. This is turning into a nightmare! I think Quesnelle, if he’s want it, is their best bet at this point. Given that the “ship be sinking” and the fact that two guys from lower tier programs have declined, stability would seem to be the best course moving forward at this late date. Players know him and the system that was in place; They say they want Red but I think that would be a mistake. He seems to be better suited as an assistant; never had much success as a head coach and would seem to be returning to the same old same old…Quesnelle is still young and at least would infuse some enthusiasm. What other program in the country has this type of difficulty filling a D-1 position in the best hockey conference in the nation, top notch facilities, decent talent base? How long did it take PC to hire Leaman last yr? Seemed like minutes… Obviously the organization, process of interviewing, etc has been a major failure thus far. What now? What must the players be thinking?

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        • Anonymous

           /  July 9, 2012

          trying to find out if they can go to another school without sitting out a year .. maybe umass can cancel the year and let the players go ..and continue looking for a head coach for next year , with all of the new coaches players ? .. Steve / TD help us if you can

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        • Players are hanging in there and rallying around each. “Us against the world”.

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      • Anonymous

         /  July 9, 2012

        We need a new system! The old one was not working and didn’t use talent to full potential.

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  12. Anonymous

     /  July 9, 2012

    That’s for sure Rocks , now if we can find a new AD and a new coach , our summer would then be complete , but right now it’s a mess for everyone …

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  13. Anonymous

     /  July 9, 2012

    Hey rocks heres a good question that somebody brought to my attention this week when talking about this…. Does the coach make the program? Does the program make the coach?

    We suck at Both right now..

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    • I would say about 60% coach/40% program. Right now most of the big name programs like Michigan, BC, BU, also have larger than life coaches. Maybe Minnesota and North Dakota are to a lesser degree. But then you have places like Miami and Notre Dame where the programs are only relelvant because of the coaches. I think the coach has a lot to do with it.

      Like

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