Lakers looking to fill the head coach position ASAP

By Natali Trivuncic
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Fort Frances Lakers are in the market for a new head coach for the 2021/22 hockey season. The hiring process comes after former coach Bernie Lynch was suspended and ultimately terminated following allegations that he was inappropriately texting a player on the team.

According to the advertisement posted by the Lakers, the head coach will be responsible for all on ice and off ice training, team and individual skill development, recruiting, game preparation, supervision of the athletes and maintaining the overall success of the program.

Gary Silander, president of the Lakers, said they will be following the same hiring protocol as years’ prior with some help from the league.

“The league is going to help with a little bit of research this year as well, maybe get some background for more people they know to help us out,” Silander said. “Other than that, our process last year, we shortlisted, made some contacts, the criminal sector checks were passed so there is really nothing wrong with our hiring other than we look back now and wonder.”

Silander said they are looking for someone with a passion for the game and works well with the team and others on the board.

While the job posting has only been out for a short period of time, Silander said he already has four applicants; three of which are from out of town.

“There is interest and we’ve had people reaching out to us right from day one when this first started with the suspension part of it, wanting to be involved with us and help to recreate a better image,” Silander said.

The Lakers had around nine applicants last year. Silander said he is expecting the same amount this year, if not a few more.

Silander said a one-year coaching contract is the standard and if things go well, there is the opportunity for extension. If that is not the case, it gives the league the opportunity to opt out without having to terminate, Silander added.

“It’s just an easier way to look after business,” Silander said.

The 2020/21 season has been a bumpy one for the Lakers and Silander said he would like to thank the community for their support this past season and the seasons to come.

Resumes have to be submitted by March 31. Silander said he does not know how long the process will take but he is hoping to have a coach in place by the middle of April so they can begin planning for next season.