Strachan deserved a better fate

Do you get the feeling the Borderland Thunder really are hoping to make next season count?
Signing local hockey mind Dave Allison as head coach for next season may be seen as something of a coup, considering the 12-year coach was in the American Hockey League—the second big-gest pro hockey league in North America—this past season.
With the team set to get an automatic berth as host of the Dudley Hewitt Cup (the final qualifier for the Royal Bank Cup) in the spring, team owners at Couchi-ching First Nation aren’t messing around in trying to improve this team.
However, it is unfortunate this had to come at the expense of first-year head coach Wayne Strachan, who was all set to return behind the bench.
Let’s face it, the guy had a heck of a season considering this was his first big break in coaching.
He and a generally young coaching staff took the Thunder to the SIJHL final. Sure, they were swept by Dryden but Strachan showed the poise and sportsmanship of an experienced coach in defeat and was honoured as the league’s coach-of-the-year last month.
The job of assistant coach was offered to Strachan by the Thun-der upon Allison’s signing. As of yesterday he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. He didn’t even know the Thunder were shopping for another coach.
He deserves better than that.
Assistant coach Shane Bliss, who told me he won’t return with the Thunder next season, said the lack of communication between owners and the coaching staff left a bad taste in his mouth.
“I hope the program does well but I just wish they’d learn to deal with people a little better,” he said.
In the end, I guess no one is to blame. It’s the business of the sport in full action, folks—something you’ll have to get used to in seeing a successful junior team.
• • •
Hype is never right.
This weekend was supposed to be the ultimate in sporting events. Look at this lineup: two NBA Finals games, Mike Tyson versus Lennox Lewis for the heavyweight championship, a Stanley Cup final game, the Belmont Stakes with “War Emblem” going for the coveted Triple Crown, the Senior PGA Championship, an LPGA major, the Buick Classic (PGA), the French Open men’s, women’s, and doubles’ finals, and continuing coverage of the World Cup of soccer.
But what did we get? Lewis dismantles Tyson, “War Emblem” gets tripped up at the gates, the basketball games were barely interesting at best, and, unfortunately, the lead highlights of the World Cup came from Russia, where people rioted over their team’s loss to Japan.
The only redeeming event was probably the triple-overtime game between Detroit and Carolina on Saturday.
So what’s a sports fan to do. If this weekend didn’t deliver for us, what then? Go outside for fresh air? Jobs?
Er, maybe it’s time to get The Movie Channel.

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