The latest example is a conversation I had with former Kelowna Rockets head coach Marc Habscheid Monday. Habscheid was sitting back and relaxing at his home near Lac Pellitier in Southern Saskatchewan, contemplating what his future holds in the coaching ranks. Habscheid is clearly interested in moving back to the pro game, and would have to be in consideration of joining his buddy Wayne Gretzky as an assistant with the Phoenix Coyotes. Habscheid says he is open to a junior job, but the circumstances would have to be ideal for him and his family. Habscheid told me he won't move back to junior if it's just as a coach. Why would he? Been there, done that. Habscheid wants to move forward in his coaching career, and a move back to junior to hold the single title as head coach, will have him sitting on his farm for a cold winter on the prairies. Habscheid has two kids, including a son who is entering high school, so moving just for the sake of moving and transplanting his two kids and wife while avoiding sitting idle this winter won't happen.
Habscheid says he has already made plans to rent a home in Swift Current for the winter, and his kids are already enrolled in school in Swift Current for the fall.
Habscheid confirmed something I believed all along. Ownership at the junior level intrigues him. Shares would certainly sweeten the pot. When I asked him if he'd consider coaching in Portland, he said "It would have to be a home run". Read into that statement any way you want.
His agent will be busy over the next couple of weeks, with the main priority of getting his client back in the pro game. But Habscheid won't just jump at any opportunity that comes his way. It will have to be the right fit, the right fit for Habscheid and more importantly the right fit for his family.
Brent Howarth has decided where he will be playing this season.
The former Kelowna Rocket will be playing this fall in the Central Hockey League with the Corpus Christi Rayz. Howarth says he will get paid about 500 bucks a week. Sure it's not great cash, but he is still playing the game of hockey (and getting paid) at the tender age of 21, while enjoying the experience of playing South of the border. Howarth was a member of the 2004 Memorial Cup championships Kelowna Rockets, and played this past season as an overage with the Selkirk Steelers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.