Ceebees shuffle the deck
New head coach says no one is safe as Jan. 10 roster deadline nears
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
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.
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.