Leader-Post article (Lang begins hunt for new head coach)June 21 2011 at 7:46 AM
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Response to Van Sun article (Lucic repeats championship calibre play at home, this time on rival side)
Lang begins hunt for new head coach
By Greg Harder, Leader-Post
June 18, 2011
Regina Pats GM Chad Lang plans to leave no stone unturned in his pursuit of a new head coach.
The search formally began Thursday after the firing of Curtis Hunt, but it won't really heat up until Lang arrives in Minneapolis late next week for the 2011 NHL entry draft. The annual draft is the largest congregation of hockey people on the calendar, making it a popular event for out-ofwork coaches as well as general managers looking to fill positions.
"I'll make some initial contacts and see what I can get lined up to have some one-on-one meetings with some guys down there," said Lang. "A lot of times in these situations it's a flurry of coaches. There's a coaching seminar the day prior (to the start of the draft). Those guys will all be huddling around. I'll start pulling guys aside and having some conversations. There is a list right now in my mind of guys who I want to call and see where their interest level is. Hopefully they're attending the draft."
Asked what he's looking for in a coach, Lang covered most of the familiar bases.
"At the end of the day we're gonna have a young hockey club and I need someone who can communicate, I need someone who can motivate, someone who's going to be patient with the process," he said. "I want someone who has had some success. Those are the things I feel real strongly about. You need a guy who can wear many hats. He has to be a teacher, role model, almost a father figure to these players. I want to make sure there's a comfort (level) with myself and I want to make sure he's committed to the (rebuilding) process and the plan moving forward."
In these situations, it's customary for armchair GM's to call for the hiring of a "big name" who in most cases has worked at the NHL level. Lang, on the other hand, has a history of working with individuals whose primary head-coaching experience was at the junior A level.
As the GM of the Moose Jaw Warriors, Lang promoted assistant Steve Young (formerly of the SJHL's Melville Millionaires) in 2004-05. Three years later, Lang fired Young and brought in Dave Hunchak, an assistant with the Swift Current Broncos who had a successful run as the bench boss of the SJHL's Kindersley Klippers.
"I think you have to be real sensitive with the socalled persona of a bigger name," noted Lang, a former SJHL player with Kindersley. "I'm not going to allow myself to get caught up on what the guy's previous title was. There's no question I want to bring someone in who has experience, has had some success, and yet you've seen it (in Moose Jaw) where I wasn't opposed to giving a guy an opportunity. Is there going to be another guy like (Hunchak)? Time will tell. Do I think there's going to be pro guys who express interest in our organization? There's no question. It's a matter of us sorting through it and making sure it's the right fit for our group."
Among the high-profile names currently on the open market are Ryan McGill and Cory Clouston, both of whom won championships with the WHL's Kootenay Ice before moving on to the pro ranks. Clouston recently lost his job as the head coach of the Ottawa Senators while McGill was let go from his assistant's post by the Calgary Flames.
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