Monday, August 20, 2007

Beware of Cat

Danny Flynn is no stranger to the Moncton Wildcats’ organization. Two years ago, the Cats hired Ted Nolan to coach the team for the 2005-06 season (which would see the city host the Memorial Cup) and Nova Scotia native Flynn came along for the ride as an assistant coach. The Cats would capture the President’s Cup as the top team in the QMJHL, and would go all the way to the final game of the Memorial Cup Playoffs, losing to Patrick Roy and his Remparts. Nolan and Flynn left Monkey-Town that summer for the big show on Long Island.

Fast forward to 2007, and Flynn is back – this time as the Wildcats’ head coach. He has been spending his days at the Tim Horton’s 4-Ice Centre, evaluating dozens of players who all hope for a coveted spot on the team. He has sent a lot of kids home, but he still has a long way to go before he gets his team. I’m not sure how the team will pan out this year since I’m not familiar with any of the players, but I like how Flynn is not loading up on veterans or rookies – this way, the team will not have to go through periods of ‘rebuilding’ as their veterans move on.

Here’s to the Wildcats bringing home the Memorial Cup in 2008, the first championship trophy for Moncton since the Hawks won the Calder Cup in 1982.

And here’s to the Cats developing the next Grant Fuhr, François Beauchemin, Steve Bernier, or Luc Bourdon – all of whom played in Monkey-Town.

And finally, here’s to Devon MacAusland, a local kid looking to be a rookie Cat this year. I hope that Flynn keeps him around, and I expect that he’ll be a crowd favourite.

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