All signs indicate Red Gendron will be introduced as the next head hockey coach at the University of Maine at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon in Orono. Some Maine fans will be disappointed Athletic Director Steve Abbott didn't lure Jim Montgomery or George Gwozdecky to lead the state's flagship team.
What Gendron lacks in terms of pizazz, he'll make up for in getting down to the business of restoring the Black Bears hockey program.
Let's take a look at four reasons Red Gendron will succeed in Orono.
1. Gendron will demand perfection out of his players. According to several former UMass players, where he was an assistant prior to his recent stint at Yale, he was demanding, but very well respected by the team. Each former UMass player I spoke with said he was a great x's and o's coach and really knew the intracasies of the game.
2. Gendron can tell his players and prospective players he knows what it takes to develop their games to get them to the next level. He can boast having Stanley Cup rings and NCAA Championship rings. Gendron has experience as a head coach in the USHL and AHL so all of his time wasn't just as an assistant. He is fluent in French, which could be a positive in recruiting Quebec and other areas of Canada.
3. Players will come to Maine. The atmosphere has fallen a little with the tough times recently, but it is still a great arena to play college hockey. Think back to some of the terrific weekends in the past few years when Maine has big weekend sweeps over North Dakota and Boston College. The tradition speaks for itself. It also helps to have alums such as Jimmy Howard, Gustav Nyquist, Dustin Penner, Teddy Purcell and Brian Flynn, just to name a few, playing in the NHL Don't underestimate the power of Howard, Nyquist and Penner being on national television in the Stanley Cup Playoffs every night.
4. The team slated to take to the Alfond Arena ice in October has more promise than some casual observers might see. Devin Shore, Ryan Lomberg and Will Merchant lead a group of returning scorers while there is some potential in the incoming recruits. Some of the freshmen forwards could make an impact if given the opportunity. Martin Ouellette proved himself to be a legitimate number one goaltender in this league. Jake Rutt and Ben Hutton will lead the blue line.