Vancouver Province article (Bonner rumours bubbling again)March 14 2008 at 7:04 AM
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|N. W. Bruin (Login NW_Bruin_GM)|
Bonner rumours bubbling again
It won't be a playoff-time distraction, team officials insist
Steve Ewen, The Province
Published: Friday, March 14, 2008
The Vancouver Giants' winning record against distractions gets another test this weekend.
The rumours about assistant coach/assistant general manager Craig Bonner jumping to the Kamloops Blazers this summer to become general manager are percolating again.
With Vancouver visiting Kamloops Saturday in the final weekend of the regular season, and possibly matching up with the Blazers in the first round of the playoffs, Giants coach Don Hay knows the inquiring minds are coming.
Assistant coach/assistant GM Craig Bonner is a valued member of the organization.
Jason Payne, The Province
"It's not a question for the players because their major concerns are how they play as individuals and how we play as a team," said Hay. "The questions to Craig will be all fair.
"Craig is a really valuable member to our organization and our group. We'd hate to lose him, but if that's what he wants to do and he gets an opportunity we'll all be there to support him."
Bonner declined comment on the matter Thursday, saying that he's focused on this season. He has said several times in the past that he'd like to become a Western Hockey League general manager.
A former Kamloops defenceman and assistant coach, Bonner is close with NHLer Darryl Sydor, one of four former Blazers who have an ownership stake in the team.
Bonner and Sydor were teammates in Kamloops. Giants owner Ron Toigo said earlier this month that he's given the Blazers permission to talk to Bonner once the WHL playoffs are over.
The Blazers fired general manager/head coach Dean Clark in November and then gave interim tags to the two people who replaced him, Brian Fortin and Greg Hawgood.
Vancouver has been in similarly odd situations before.
Consider that they had to deal with speculation on whether Gilbert Brule would come back from the NHL two seasons ago, and then the same type of uncertainty earlier this season with Milan Lucic.
This is a team that saw 20-year-old goalie Dustin Slade walk out midway through last season and had highly skilled veteran Tim Kraus benched during the Memorial Cup.
The Giants added gifted forward Adam Basford from the BCHL late last month. Most teams would be hesitant to do that, worried about chemistry. With the Giants, it seemed to barely register on the diversion metre.
"It's leadership," explained general manager Scott Bonner, Craig's brother.
"The old guys don't get rattled, so the young guys say, 'If they're not rattled, I'm not going to be rattled.'
"And Don is consistent. Just work hard and everything else will work out.
"There will be questions Saturday, but Don tells all the players all the time, 'Just worry about yourself.' That is the one thing they can control. If they take care of that, everything else will work out." firstname.lastname@example.org
© The Vancouver Province 2008
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