Cee­bees shuf­fle the deck

New head coach says no one is safe as Jan. 10 ros­ter dead­line nears

The Compass - - PORTHTE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

The new head coach of the Con­cep­tion Bay North Cee­bee Stars, Corey Crocker, said he will be tak­ing a no- non­sense ap­proach in his ef­forts to get the team back to its win­ning ways.

And when the Jan. 10 dead­line comes for sub­mit­ting fi­nal rosters to the New­found­land Se­nior Hockey League, Crocker is mak­ing no guar­an­tees about who will be on the list.

“If that means delet­ing some play­ers … that have been there, then that is what we’ll do,” said Crocker, a Har­bour Grace na­tive. “My job is to put the best play­ers on the ice and ex­e­cute a game plan for the play­ers.”

For the new coach, the play­ers pop­u­lat­ing the cur­rent ros­ter are start­ing out on a clean slate.

“Lead­ing up to Jan. 14, I’ll be in Har­bour Grace for prac­tice and I will be do­ing eval­u­a­tions,” said Crocker. “If you per­form, you will play.” Crocker takes over the reins from out­sted bench boss Steve Power, who was let go by the team last week. As­sis­tant coach Chris Whalen was also re­leased.

Crocker is ex­cited about the op­por­tu­nity to coach the Cee­bees and “get the team rolling” af­ter a

“My job is to put the best

play­ers on the ice and ex­e­cute a game plan for

the play­ers.”

slug­gish first half in the new se­nior league that saw the team win just three games in 12 out­ings.

Crocker is very fa­mil­iar with the team, hav­ing been a coach or team­mate of many of them.

“I know the team, I know the league and I know the op­po­nents, so I ’ m not go­ing into un­charted wa­ters,” said Crocker, who will travel to New­found­land each week­end the team is in ac­tion.

Cul­ture change

The de­ci­sion to re­move Power and Whalen and re­place them with Crocker was made early last week at a meet­ing of the Cee­bees’ ex­ec­u­tive.

Cee­bees As­sis­tant Gen­eral Man­ager Peter Ge­orge said Crocker will bring a lot of en­ergy to the po­si­tion.

“Corey was in­volved with bring­ing the team back a num­ber of years ago and he has a real pas­sion for it,” Ge­orge said. “He saw the team strug­gling and he wants to be in­volved in turn­ing the ship around.”

Cee­bees’ brass felt it was time for a change, Ge­orge added.

Crocker said the play­ers have to re­al­ize it is a provin­cial se­nior hockey league and they “are be­ing paid to play.”

Crocker cap­tured a Herder Me­mo­rial Tro­phy in 2003 with the now-de­funct Fla­trock Fly­ers of the Avalon East Se­nior Hockey League.

Un­der­stand­ing the de­ci­sion

When con­tacted by The Com­pass, Power said be­ing let go was dis­ap­point­ing but he was “not re­ally sur­prised.

“I un­der­stand why the de­ci­sion was made,” he said.

In­ter­est­ingly, Power said he was given the in­di­ca­tion a cou­ple of weeks prior to the de­ci­sion that his job was safe.

Any­time a team is not win­ning, the axe of­ten falls on the coach. Power rec­og­nized this, and said his team needed to get wins.

“When a team isn’t get­ting the wins, changes start and they usu­ally start at the top,” he said.

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