VIP Insider Post #85 (3/22)


Exclusively for our VIP supporters, TMR editor Mike McMahon brings you these “insider” posts, where he’ll discuss the news and give some insight and perspective on the stories we’re covering here at The Mack Report.

— There’s not much to update on the coaching front. The search is about a week old, and I believe the college is still in the process of taking applications; there were more coaches who applied this week.

I’m told that there have been about 50 candidates who have reached out to express interest. No interviews have been scheduled yet. Merrimack AD Jeremy Gibson was in Florida this week for Merrimack board of trustee meetings. It’s possible the process could speed up in the next week, after he returns to North Andover.

As for some names, there have been several who are reportedly interested, including Northeastern associate head coach Jerry Keefe, Quinnipiac associate head coach Bill Riga and BU associate head coach Albie O’Connell. Other names that I know have reached out include former Quinnipiac assistant Reid Cashman, who is currently with the Hershey Bears (AHL) as well as Kris Mayotte, the associate head coach at Providence. Scott Borek, the other assistant at Providence, is also interested in the job.

Paul Pearl, who might be the frontrunner, has also expressed interest.

According to one source, former Rockford (AHL) head coach Ted Dent has applied as has longtime assistant Kyle Wallack. Merrimack associate head coach Curtis Carr — who I maintain would be a very good hire — has also applied. Another source said that Cornell associate head coach Ben Syer could be interested and former Merrimack (and current UNH assistant) Glenn Stewart also has expressed interest in the position.

As for alumni, Bobby Jay reached out to the college and Chuck Linkenheld has as well.

There are other names who I’m sure have reached out to either apply or express interest … those are just the names I’ve been able to independently confirm through sources close to those individuals.

— To follow up on last week’s non-conference schedule update, it appears Merrimack could be close to coming to an agreement with Brown on two games. No offense to the Bears, but they’re projected as one of the worst teams in college hockey next year. I don’t think that’s a problem, though. I’ve long maintained that Hockey East is good enough, as far as strength of schedule, that Merrimack should be looking to schedule the most winnable games possible in their non-conference slate. Look at the 2010-11 schedule; the Warriors played mostly cupcakes in the non-conference schedule, but were good enough in Hockey East that it made up for it. Going 8-2 in non-conference games, even against all Atlantic Hockey opponents, is FAR BETTER than going 5-5-0 against NCHC and Big Ten teams.

In a model I’ve come up with to look at next year’s 1-60 rankings, I have Brown at No. 56. That takes into account returning save percentage, goals lost, returning goals (with a rate of improvement factored in) as well as freshman goals added, relative to previous freshman success. The model doesn’t account for ties, but projects Brown to go 7-27-0 next season … by the way, it projects Merrimack to go 11-23-0, which shouldn’t be a big surprise considering the number of seniors Merrimack loses this season.

— Aside from the coaching search, it was good to see Brett Seney, Jared Kolquist and Alfred Larsson all sign professional contracts last weekend. Seney especially, inking his ELC with New Jersey, is a great step for him. In today’s game, Seney does have the potential to make the NHL even with his size, whereas 15 years ago that would have been very difficult.

Kolquist reportedly looked really good in his ECHL debut with Manchester last weekend as well.

About Mike McMahon

Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: If you would like to re-distribute our content, please e-mail for permission.