The St. John’s Maple Leafs have a new head coach with
Newfoundland connections, and he knows how to win.
Doug Shedden, who Toronto fans may remember from his
24 games with the Blue and White between 1988-89 to
1990-91 is the new bench boss with St. John’s.
Shedden’s grandparents lived in Greenspond,
Newfoundland and his mother grew up there. Shedden is
coming off two championship seasons with Memphis of
the Central Hockey League and over the last three
seasons with them tallied an impressive coaching
record of 128-56-14. He replaces Lou Crawford, who was
fired in April, but Crawford’s assistants Kevin
McClelland and Russ Adam will remain with the team.
Shedden is looking forward to seeing the makeup of
his team, especially with the number of top
prospects the organization has. In an interview he
mentioned the contributions of both goaltender
Sebastien Centomo and Robb Palahnuk to his team in
Memphis, and one wonders if Centomo’s stock, damaged
under Crawford’s reign as Leafs coach, will rise
Shedden also likes to see his team play aggressive hockey and hates the trap. “I want our team to be
entertaining to our fans.”
Another Newfoundlander heading to St. John’s?
The Leafs picked up Shea Heights, NL native
Harold Druken in a trade with Carolina earlier this summer, and it’s possible
another Newfoundlander may join the team. There are
rumours that St. John’s native Dwayne Norris, who was
a pivotal part of the 1990 Canadian World Junior team,
and a former Quebec Nordique, could join the
organization as a free agent. He has played in Germany
with both Cologne and Frankfurt.
The Maple Leafs third round draft pick in 2003, Slovakian forward Martin Sagat, was selected by the Kootenay Ice in the CHL Import Draft on Friday. The Ice management are confident that they can bring Sagat to Kootenay, where they hope he will replace San Jose prospect Tomas Plihal.
The Maple Leafs are holding their second annual prospects camp in Toronto this week. The camp will include on-ice practice sessions and seminars on psychology, strength and conditioning, nutrition, substance abuse and media awareness. Players attending the prospect camp include five players from Canada’s 2003 World Junior Team that have all been signed by the Maple Leafs: Carlo Colaiacovo, Matt Stajan, Brendan Bell, Kyle Wellwood and Ian White. Maxim Kondratiev (Russia) and David Turon (Czech Republic) who also participated at the World Junior Championships will take part. In addition, 2002 prospects Todd Ford, Scott May, Dominic D’Amour and Tyson Marsh will be joined by 2003 Entry Draft selections John Mitchell, Jeremy Williams and Shaun Landolt. The on-ice sessions will be led by Leafs alumni Wendel Clark and assistant coach Keith Acton.