Friday, May 22, 2009

Pats coach search nearing conclusion?

Greg Harder reports that Brent Parker has narrowed his choice for head coach down to two candidates: Curtis Hunt and Michael Dyck. Link is here... Hunt, Dyck finalists for Pats' coaching job

Hunt, Dyck finalists for Pats' coaching job
By Greg Harder, Leader-PostMay 21, 2009

REGINA -- And then there were two.

The Leader-Post has learned through sources that the Regina Pats' search for a new head coach has been trimmed to two finalists: Ex-Pats bench boss Curtis Hunt and former Lethbridge Hurricanes head coach Michael Dyck.

An announcement on the successful candidate is expected sometime next week.

The process began on May 5 when rookie head coach Dale Derkatch was relieved of his duties after just one season on the job. Hunt has been the front-runner from the start, with Dyck joining the fray on May 8 when Lethbridge announced that his contract wouldn't be renewed.

Derkatch was hired last summer after Hunt left to become an assistant with the NHL's Ottawa Senators. When Ottawa fired head coach Craig Hartsburg just over halfway through the campaign, Hunt remained in the organization as the bench boss of the team's AHL affiliate in Binghamton.

The Regina product, who's heavily weighing family considerations, has an offer on the table to remain in Binghamton. Assuming he turns it down, there are still some loose ends to tie up because he has two years left on his contract. That situation is expected to be sorted out soon.

Hunt has discussed other coaching vacancies with an unnamed AHL club as well as the WHL's Chilliwack Bruins, who reportedly have him on their shortlist. However, Hunt has strongly emphasized that he would welcome the opportunity to take care of some "unfinished business" back in his hometown, where he'd be reunited with GM Brent Parker. Hunt and Parker developed a close working relationship — and friendship — during their four seasons together.

Former Kelowna Rockets head coach Jeff Truitt had also been a candidate for the Pats' job, but he's no longer in the equation.

"You hear that Curtis is coming back," said Truitt. "That's just what I've heard and it's probably a good choice. There's familiarity there."

gharder@leaderpost.canwest.com

© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

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My money is on Huntsy returning to the fold. Most people I have talked to also agree with me. Even though I really don't care who the Pats coach is I would like them to get this over with. I will be a Pats fan no matter what.

It's looking more and more like it will be Hunt's club once again.... But I would like to see Dyck get a chance to guide the Pats.

Even though both coaches played similar styles of game (stay at home rugged d-man roles) their coaching philosophies seemed very different from a fans' perspective. With Hunt you can expect lots of 3-2, 2-1 and 1-0 games just due to the extreme defensive style the teams play. Many people (myself included) find this style of hockey rather boring BUT it brings wins. Dyck's style of coaching seems to be a little more run-and-gun but with a defensive aspect as well. The team might not be as stifling but plays amazing D. In my total honest opinion either guy would be good to have as head coach. I would like "new" blood but the "unfinished business" would be fine too.

KS

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