Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wheat Kings part ways with Clouston: Updated

The Brandon Wheat Kings will have a new head coach next season as Cory Clouston was let go today, with a year remaining on his two year contract.  While some reports (including this one yesterday) had Clouston getting paid by the Senators last year, Wheat Kings G.M. Kelly McCrimmon corrected us.  Clouston was promoted from Binghamton, then was hired by the Senators.  He was fired after his 2 year contract expired.

We talked about it earlier in the season on the show and mentioned it last week on this blog that Clouston was on the hot seat in Brandon.  One source told me that he's surprised it didn't happen earlier in the season, and added that if G.M/Owner Kelly McCrimmon hadn't been so busy working out a new lease deal with the Keystone Centre, he might have taken over after Christmas.

Several scouts told us there was a disconnect between Clouston and his players.  Kelly McCrimmon had this to say about the firing on the team's website.

"I have given a great deal of thought to our coaching situation for the upcoming season, I do not want uncertainty with this important position and as a result have decided we will not have Cory return next season. He will perhaps have opportunities to coach professionally, failing that, we will honor the second year of his contract."

McCrimmon hasn't made any decision yet about next year, but there are several possibilities.  Does he had the reins to long time assistant Dwayne Gylowoychuk?  Does he step back behind the bench?  Or does he poach an up and coming assistant like Steve Hamilton in Edmonton or Mike Vandenberghe in Moose Jaw who was an assistant in Brandon for a stint?

As for Clouston, he could end up coaching his alma mater, as the University of Alberta Golden Bears job is up for grabs right now.

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