I don’t think many Sea Dogs followers were surprised by yesterday’s parting of ways between the team and head coach Ross Yates.
After the team’s dismal showing in the second half of the season and first round of the playoffs, it seemed everyone I spoke with suggested Yates' time with the Sea Dogs was coming to an end.
The team was definitely weakened after the trade deadline with Olivier LeBlanc sent to Cape Breton, but there were times when they looked good – but they never looked consistently good. In the playoffs, the team simply didn’t look prepared for their home games, and some of the blame for that has to be put on the coaching staff.
Yates was with the Sea Dogs for three seasons and head coach for nearly two of them. According to Buzzing the Net, Yates finished his time with the Dogs with a 46-60-6-7 record, which really isn’t all that bad. Hopefully he finds another coaching job somewhere.
At the end of the day, I'm not sure the Dogs - or the fan base - were 100% sold that Yates was the guy to carry this team back to the promise land. The upcoming 2015-16 season will be a huge one moving forward and the Sea Dogs, no doubt, want the bench being operated by the guy that will carry them to championship contention in 2017.
Who the Sea Dogs hire will be interesting. With so many high-end NHL prospects on the team and the goal of hosting the Memorial Cup already established, this is a team that will be getting plenty of attention over the next few seasons. All this would suggest that some big name coaches with professional experience might be interested in the job.
While the Ted Nolans and Guy Bouchers of the world are appealing, it shouldn’t be forgotten that there are plenty of quality coaches elsewhere that are waiting for a head coaching opportunity. Dominque Ducharme has worked out pretty okay in Halifax and he doesn’t have NHL coaching experience.
Anyways, this is going to be quite an off-season.