Former UND hockey beat writer Virg Foss has a nice article about former Fighting Sioux hockey coach Dean Blais and his win at the WJC. With his win in the WJC there has been a lot of speculation on the Internet that former Fighting Sioux hockey Dean Blais would be a slam dunk as the next coach of the Minnesota Gophers, while this is not the crux of the article it is a point worth looking at.
Since the Gophers have struggled the last couple of seasons there has been this on going speculation that it's time for a coaching change in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There have been a lot of die hard Gopher fans ready to throw their former Spencer Penrose award winning coach under the bus. Some of these fans calling for a change had been ardent supporters of Lucia in the past.
FSN Hockey personality Kevin Gorg recently said on KFAN 1130AM that Don Lucia would basically go at the time of his choosing and that Lucia is probably safe for now. I think Gorg is right. Breaking it down further; why would a university just up and fire a hockey coach that has won five MacNaughton Cups, three Broadmoor Trophies and two back-to-back NCAA championships in 2001-02 and 2002-03. Add to this impressive resume a Hobey Baker Memorial award winner in Jordan Leopold 2002. Heck the University of Minnesota just re-upped a football coach Tim Brewster that was just begging to be fired.
There's great fear in Grand Forks that if the University of Minnesota makes a coaching change with its struggling program, Blais will return to his alma mater to coach the Gophers.
I'm not convinced the freedom-loving Blais would jump into that pressure cooker at his age. Blais cherishes the time to hunt and fish whenever possible. The demands of the Minnesota program would cut into that.
Nor am I convinced that Gopher athletics director Joel Maturi would change hockey coaches in a program that at least wins, while offering an extension to football coach Tim Brewster. How does that make sense?
There's a saying in sports that a great coach can take his players and beat yours, or take your players and beat his.
I think of Blais in those terms. Many others do, too. That's why there's rampant speculation and fear that he'll end up coaching the Gophers, even though Blais once said "a big city isn't for me."
But if they cut a big enough check, maybe it might be. If that happens, so be it. I love Dean Blais and wish him nothing but success and good fortune. If that happens to be at the tail end of his coaching career with Minnesota, my heart will be with him. [Read the res of the article]
Cross posted @ Goon's World.