New Coach in Cowtownby Matt Burch | January 4, 2018, 4:09 PM ET
To say the Mustangs' season thus far has been tumultuous would be an understatement. With the team expected to capitalize on their success from last season and walk into the playoffs, they find themselves on the outside looking in with 54 games remaining. This, needless to say, is not what the fans, pundits, random passersby, and the team expected.
Coach Winnfield was the man running the bench, and he was hired with much skepticism and paranoia considering he did not have the exact sort of qualifications and experience one would expect of a hockey coach. Nevertheless, he spurred the Mustangs on to a glorious first round victory against the heavily favored Golden Bears, followed by an equally unlikely and thoroughly dramatic second round victory against the Huskies. After some solid acquisitions in the off-season, the team's aspirations were that of a Cup, and not of the golfing variety.
They say history repeats itself, and this is assuredly what is happening in Calgary. After a surprisingly dominant season by Calgary a few seasons back thanks to the explosion of production by center Tyler Bozak, the Mustangs improved their roster wholesale, only to barely squeak into the playoff picture on the final day and then bow out in 4 games against eventual champ Acadia.
Those with long memories might recall that the Mustangs had hung them up for that season, and were selling assets and rebuilding despite being within earshot of the playoffs. Suddenly, after the selloff, the Mustangs began winning and miraculously made the playoffs despite the GM's best efforts to burn the barn with the animals inside. Could we see history repeat itself yet again?
Well we might have our first hint as coach Winnfield was relieved of his duties "effective immediately" and will be replaced by interim head coach Jay Baruchel. When asked about the selection, GM Burch said, "why the hell not? The guy WROTE and directed Goon."
One has to wonder if this sudden but expected change doesn't go well, what will the GM do next? My magic 8 ball says, "Ask again later".......forgot they only answered yes or no quesitons.