The Kalamazoo Wings didn't take too long in their search for a new coach, tabbing Nick Bootland on Thursday. A player with the team for the last four seasons, Bootland seems like a solid choice.
"Priding ourselves on the ability to promote (from) within, Nick, who is a proven leader on and off the ice, (led) us to a championship as a player," general manager Wade Welsh said in press release. "We feel he will do the same as our head coach."
The Wings were coached by Brian Curran last season and he was fired shortly before the Wings missed the playoffs.
There have been a lot of surprised fans on the message boards about this one; I'm not sure why, since I'd been hearing talk of this months ago. Regardless, this seems like a solid hire to me. He knows the city, knows the league, knows the players at this level. I've also heard that this hiring will get some of the Wings' better players back on board early this summer.
Besides, the Wings can't do much worse than last season, when they didn't play inspired and, more importantly, didn't play particularly well.
Meanwhile, the Bloomington PrairieThunder and Flint Generals are continuing their coaching searches. It's not set that Bruce Ramsay will be back with the Muskegon Fury, though I expect he will be.
According to The Bloomington Pantagraph, there were only 15 resumes submitted for the PrairieThunder job as of last week. Wow, that number sure seems low to me. That should be a relatively attractive job, given the venue anyway.
Meanwhile, it was brought to my attention today that there is a vocal group of Penguins fans reading Ice Chips. I replied, it had to be a minority. You're not all pulling for the cheapshot Pens are you?
-- By Justin A. Cohn, The Journal Gazette