Original Article: Wolves begin associate coach search
The Sudbury Wolves are in no rush to replace associate coach Drake Berehowsky.
The local OHL franchise is determined to get the right person in place behind the bench alongside head coach Dave Matsos and will not be held to a hard deadline to replace Berehowsky.
“For us, there is no specific time frame, it is about finding the right person and the right fit, so that is our priority and we’ll do whatever it takes to find that person and the right fit,” Wolves GM Barclay Branch. “We feel that the person we are looking for has to be a strong communicator and teacher and has to have the ability to work with young people, and that is paramount for us and that is the parameters we are working in right now.”
Branch said the Wolves are excited for Berehowsky to climb the hockey coaching ladder and wish him well.
“Drake is an excellent person and in his short time in Sudbury he did an excellent job and was a strong communicator and teacher and showed an ability to work with and teach young people and we are happy for him in terms of it looks like he was recognized by others in the game and got an opportunity to advance and we wish him the best, he is a good person and did a good job in Sudbury,” Branch said. “The most important thing to note is this league is not just about developing players, but developing coaches, scouts, managers and everything, so that is why it prides itself on being the number one development league in the world, and it stretches beyond the ice.”
Branch said there has already been a ton of interest in the position.
“At any time, these positions are highly valued within the hockey community and this is no different than at any other point of the season,” he said.
Wolves head coach Dave Matsos said he will miss having Berehowsky beside him on the bench, but he is happy for him.
“He liked it here, his family liked it here and I think the opportunity fell on his lap and he has to take it,” he said. “It’s an upgrade in position, and at the end of the day it is not the most ideal situation for us here, but he is such a good man with a tremendous family that you support it and we will figure out our way. This is a development league, not just for players but for coaches as well. Coaches get promoted and that is part of being in the OHL. Personally, I am sad to see him go, I loved his enthusiasm, and Drake and Lori have a heavy workload at home with six kids, and yet they are the happiest, most amazing people.”
Matsos spent half a season behind the bench without an associate coach when he first took over the head coach when Paul Fixter was let go halfway through the 2015-16 season, so he’s is quite willing to do the same again while a replacement for Berehowsky is found.
“It’s not about the pace and speed of getting someone, it’s about getting the right person for the job,” he said. “Obviously there is going to be a process, and we are familiar with that, so that’s good for us.
It didn’t take long for the news of a coaching position up for grabs in Sudbury to travel through the hockey world and land on Matsos’ doorstep.
“I am an early bird, but I didn’t get to bed early Monday because the phones were active and everybody was calling and I was getting resumes and emails,” Matsos said. “There is an opportunity available in a league that is hard to get into and there are a lot of great hockey guys and experience out there and lots of guys who want the job, so we’re very lucky it is so attractive, but we have to respect the process and turn over every stone on every person. There is so much to take into consideration and it’s an attractive position, but you have make sure the fit is perfect.”
Other than the associate coach search, Branch said it is steady as she goes for the local OHL outfit.
“It’s just a case where we’re focusing now on looking forward at the games ahead and getting better as a group,” he said.
The Wolves return to action Thursday night when they travel to Barrie to meet the Central Division rival Colts.