Wednesday, April 09, 2003


I can't believe "would Doug Shedden take the St. John's job?" is even a discussion, entertaining though it might be. If an organization like the Maple Leafs offers Shedden an AHL head gig and his goal in life is to make the NHL (which it is), he's gonna take it. Period.

More than likely, he'd take it from the Thrashers, Predators or Flames as well. So would Brent Hughes, Ken McRae or any other ambitious CHL coach.

No matter how you slice it, the Baby Leafs job is a plum. Shedden is still young (42). Given his four, possibly five, championships and his success in every single "AA" league without ever moving up, he might even consider an assistant's role if he felt good about the organization's long-term commitment to him. Just being in the league (and in Canada) offers a huge learning experience and networking advantage, and things change quickly -- look at Mike Sullivan and former Iggies coach John Torchetti.

As for the loss of authority, may as well get used to it -- unless your name is Pat Quinn or Glen Sather (and maybe not even then) there's always a GM or owner who controls your roster in the Show. It's a totally different kind of job, one where a Calder Cup is no more or less important than getting players ready for the NHL -- both for the future, and for next week's injuries.

Lots of changes for the Leafs front office this year, and maybe more coming. So the question is, who makes the decision on the AHL job, and who is Shedden's connection to the organization in the first place? Is he even a candidate?

And didn't everybody's favorite former CHL columnist stir this pot first?

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