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Volstate

Ice Bears coach Craigen not returning

84 posts in this topic

Cole left in January/February, he wasn't replaced. So that's a big part of your hockey operations gone and nit replaced. Sources have said that Mike Murray was asked to hire someone to replace him but didn't. Mike Murray is the problem with the organization. Whether it be on the ice or off the ice, until he is out as President the IceBears will never be the product that they could be. Craigen coached his butt off, but if you don't have support from the front office you're not gonna do very well. 

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6 hours ago, MusicCityMannn said:

Cole left in January/February, he wasn't replaced. So that's a big part of your hockey operations gone and nit replaced. Sources have said that Mike Murray was asked to hire someone to replace him but didn't. Mike Murray is the problem with the organization. Whether it be on the ice or off the ice, until he is out as President the IceBears will never be the product that they could be. Craigen coached his butt off, but if you don't have support from the front office you're not gonna do very well. 

I tend to agree that Murray is the problem.  I'm not certain that he truly manages the organization to its fullest potential, and I think the last year or two he has gotten worse.  In all fairness, though, Craigen was not finding elite (for this league) talent, he was not managing his roster well, he was not developing the younger players that well, he had a failed defensive and power play philosophy; so I'm not sure this is an either/or argument.  Craigen is a nice guy, and I hope he lands somewhere and adjusts his philosophy and prospers, or hangs around the Knoxville community and finds something lucrative if he leaves hockey.  If your coach is very good, you should not need a Director of Hockey Development, or whatever Cole was.  With some of the happenings of last year, it does seem plausible that Craigen's support structure in the organization eroded.  I hope it gets back on track soon.  It is obvious that Murray is going nowhere.  I thought he would lay low after his incident, but the Ice Bears paraded him all over town shortly afterwards.  I thought it was the wrong move, but it appears they were testing the waters, and I haven't heard a huge backlash.  It'll be interesting how he's treated by the season ticket holders and fans once hockey resumes.  The new coach announcement next week should go a long way towards telling which direction this organization is headed.

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Elite talent? You do realize this is a developmental league right? Look at the call ups and injuries for this past year. No one could have a good season with the way that went. For crying out loud, we had Jon Marshall from cool sports playing defense for an emergency situation. This past year isn't on Craigen, you can argue other years. But this past year no way. Murray is a huge part of the problem, no one likes him. When your players don't like the GM they're not gonna play to their potential. Point blank period. 

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2 hours ago, MusicCityMannn said:

Elite talent? You do realize this is a developmental league right? Look at the call ups and injuries for this past year. No one could have a good season with the way that went. For crying out loud, we had Jon Marshall from cool sports playing defense for an emergency situation. This past year isn't on Craigen, you can argue other years. But this past year no way. Murray is a huge part of the problem, no one likes him. When your players don't like the GM they're not gonna play to their potential. Point blank period. 

You may want to read in the parentheses while you are going.  If you can't get them in while going left to right and top to bottom, you can go back and review them at the end.  There are elite players in this league (meaning they are elite within this league, i.e. Kevin Swider), and Berkley Scott is not one of those.  Craigen outsmarted himself on the veteran situation last year.  Anyone that thinks Kyle McNeil should be a veteran part of a successful team is crazy.  All you have to do is look at his history on the teams where he's played (primarily big losing seasons).  Rookie players go to Knoxville and can't do much of anything, and they wind up at other places doing well.  Jon Marshall was playing because of Craigen's mismanagement of the roster.  Call-ups are not always automatic.  They are often more readily accepted by a player when they realize they are in a losing situation or being poorly coached.  Craigen mishandled Adam Stuart, Jon Clewlow, multiple goalies, and multiple defensemen.

Murray does seem quite different.  He appears to believe he's some fabric of Knoxville/elite citizen lately, primarily because of "Leadership Knoxville" and "Dancing with the Knoxville Stars", I guess.  There's some good people working for him, so I hate to see them having to put up with whatever is happening.  I don't think Murray's situation helped Craigen, but Craigen had his own set of issues; and it's hard to argue against his fate.  If the assertion that they had lots of quality applicants turns out to not be true and they make an inexperienced or cheap hire, then that will be a clear signal of whether the needle of blame points to coaching or the front office.  If they hire cheap, it will tell you quickly that losing Cole and other personnel matters are being influenced solely by finances.  That will also be a clear signal that Craigen was scapegoated to some degree, but that still doesn't clear up why his power play is consistently atrocious while the defense leaves the backside post open 100% of the time.

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Omg I'm done before you give me an aneurysm. Call ups means more money and one step closer to the nhl. Call ups are certainly accepted the majority of the time. After all these guys do want to make somewhat decent money. SPHL is a developmental league, there is not elite talent anywhere in the league and there never will be. They will be called up. It's single A hockey for crying out loud. There's a reason 90% of last years team isn't returning, and it's not because of the coach. It's because that nut job in the GM seat.

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6 hours ago, MusicCityMannn said:

Omg I'm done before you give me an aneurysm. Call ups means more money and one step closer to the nhl. Call ups are certainly accepted the majority of the time. After all these guys do want to make somewhat decent money. SPHL is a developmental league, there is not elite talent anywhere in the league and there never will be. They will be called up. It's single A hockey for crying out loud. There's a reason 90% of last years team isn't returning, and it's not because of the coach. It's because that nut job in the GM seat.

lmao if your about to have an aneurysm after just one topic since you been a member on the forums.  You better start doubling up on your blood pressure medicine or your going to blow!!!

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13 hours ago, MusicCityMannn said:

Omg I'm done before you give me an aneurysm. Call ups means more money and one step closer to the nhl. Call ups are certainly accepted the majority of the time. After all these guys do want to make somewhat decent money. SPHL is a developmental league, there is not elite talent anywhere in the league and there never will be. They will be called up. It's single A hockey for crying out loud. There's a reason 90% of last years team isn't returning, and it's not because of the coach. It's because that nut job in the GM seat.

Many of these players become entrenched in the local community with their personal and professional lives.  Many also realize they are not going to progress much further up the ladder.  Others have taken call-ups and become disenfranchised with the system (i.e. Bryan Hince and likely Brian Billett after his Swamp Rabbit experience).  So, no, call ups are not always accepted.  The Joe Manno call up was fairly routine, as he is younger and has not tried his hand at ECHL for any extent of time.  The injury he suffered there was highly unfortunate.  The Luke Sandler call up was interesting.  He's not an ECHL player, he's had ample opportunity to realize that, and he went to a team that was an absolute train wreck  that kept him because no one else would play there while they were in the process of folding.  What an opportunity!  The defenseman that came in early wasn't here long enough to even count, and he was not even in the season plan as he was grabbed after ECHL training camp cuts and I assume because of being a former acquaintance of Billett in college (seemed fairly surprising and random to even get him).  So, in conclusion, not all of these guys are seeking the call up.  Many of them are in a city they enjoy squeezing out the final few bits of joy from the sport they love while realizing they aren't going anywhere else.  You absolutely have "call up" kinds of guys and "non-call up" kinds of guys.  More guys are willing to run to the call up when they sense the team is going nowhere.  That money you mentioned is more enticing when you realize you have no championship aspirations, and many of these guys love that championship as much or more than the money.  Longer term SPHL players that form your core do not often take call ups.  The younger guys wanting a shot do so, as well as some of the ECHL fringe guys that get shuffled from rosters but have spent time in the higher league, as well as time in the SPHL formerly.  One guy has made the NHL from this league, and that was a highly unusual circumstance.  The chance of winning a championship in a professional league is greater in the SPHL than most any other.

The GM has very little to do with forming the team in the SPHL.  A general manager in the SPHL runs the business of the team.  I'm not sure why the players would even care about the GM of the team, unless he is taking away hot water and towels after selling the team bus to save money.  The coach of an SPHL team fulfills the traditional role of "general manager" that you associate from major sports leagues.  I tend to think Murray has changed the "tone" of the organization over the past couple of years, but I don't think that permeates the actual team and play on the ice to the degree that a coach does.  Craigen was a mediocre X's and O's coach that appeared to be slipping at roster building  the further he got from his playing day contacts.  He's a great guy, though.  I think someone else should take a chance to see if he's learned a lesson and adjusted.  If they do not hire an experienced and obvious upgrade from him, I would have preferred they let him try to implement the changes he promised in a letter to season ticket holders.

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On 6/23/2017 at 1:28 PM, Carey Mahoney said:

There are elite players in this league (meaning they are elite within this league, i.e. Kevin Swider), and Berkley Scott is not one of those.  

I disagree. He's been one of the more consistent players on this team. Definitely a much needed talent. 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/24/2017 at 9:55 AM, Carey Mahoney said:

Many of them are in a city they enjoy squeezing out the final few bits of joy from the sport they love while realizing they aren't going anywhere else.  You absolutely have "call up" kinds of guys and "non-call up" kinds of guys. 

You hit the nail in the head there. Personally, the SPHL advertising itself as a "developmental" league is BS... I would bet that majority of the guys in the SPHL are there not seeking advancement to the ECHL/AHL but to not have to get a day job for a year or two after college. I think Craigen recognized that and always attempted to get a group of guys who would gel as a team rather than on strictly their development potential. Sometimes we got a fair decent team, sometimes we got a frat party for a season. :-)

Edited by kiblet

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