Thursday, July 31, 2003

Jim Wiley is the new RiverKings head coach.

Those stats are not complete, as the veteran bench boss once coached in the NHL, and also won the Turner Cup as an assistant with the K.C. Blades. Between K.C., San Jose, the Thoroughblades and Cleveland, he was with the Sharks organization for 11 years (and coincidentally, was replaced in San Jose by his new CHL colleague Al Sims).

Here's official word from Memphis.

Already, a fan has criticized Wiley's coaching stats, which aren't mathematically spectacular.

But there's no denying Robin Costa and Kevin Ryan lived up to their stated goal -- one I was always skeptical of -- for a coach whose resume was on a par with Shedden's. Wiley may not have as many rings, and let's face it, he may not have been the Kings' first choice. But his juniors, NHL, IHL and AHL experience is downright overwhelming.

"It's a great thing for our league," says CHL manager of hockey operations Leon Friedrich. "He's a quality individual whose background and relationships bring a tremendous amount of credibility. Hockey people know Jim Wiley."

I think that long stint with the Sharks is a major point in Wiley's favor. Technically, he's never been fired, and while he's basically gone from IHL to NHL to AHL to ECHL to CHL, the first three moves were voluntary, while the last two were out of his control (the Sharks/Barons got sold; the Men 'O War were put to pasture).

And oh yeah, he's a former Tulsa Oilers all-star.
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