Not surprising in the least, given rumblings from Amerks players, fans, and management alike regarding the affiliation, but Benoit Groulx - Rochester's head coach the past two seasons - has left the organization to rejoin the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The Democrat and Chronicle's Kevin Oklobzija relayed the apparently still-strained relationship between Florida and Rochester has not lost any steam:
"As of 2 p.m. (Monday, May 31st), Amerks team president Lewis Staats, V.P. of hockey operations Ted Nolan and Nolan’s hockey ops assistant, Jody Gage, all said they hadn’t heard a peep from the parent Panthers about any resignation by Groulx."
C'mon...nothing? What's the deal with that? Even still-under-contract Randy Sexton could have made a call - if of course he was given The Call from above. Dear Dale: remedy this amateur-hour crap ASAP. Your club looks foolish, and none of it is your doing.
Whatever. The vacancy left open by Groulx's departure can only be seen as a blessing to the Tallon Administration, who 1) now does not have to perform the obvious by firing him, and 2) allows for Dale to bring in his own man. And GMs tend to like that little perk.
What say you, kids...who's in line
as Pete DeBoer's eventual replacement for the Amerks' open bench boss spot?
UPDATE: Keith at LGA has local reaction to the news.