It’s closing time. Get your coat. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.
It’s time to call it a night for Maine hockey coach Red Gendron.
The worst hockey era since pre-Shawn Walsh needs to come to a quick end. No reason to wait until the end of this epic failure of a season. Maine needs to make a change.
Based on what I see on the ice, this Black Bear team would rather take a four hour calculus exam with no bathroom break than play another game for Gendron.
Maine never fires coaches mid season, but in this case there is no reason not to do so.
Gendron’s Black Bears are a disappointing 7-11-2 in his sixth year at the helm. Only two of the wins have come against teams above .500. UMaine is 3-5-2 in a conference where only four of the eleven teams have winning records.
“The best fans in college hockey” have been treated to a 4-5-0 record at the Alfond. Maine is 38 out of 60 in RPI, 52 in scoring and 55 on the power play. They stink. And they shouldn’t.
You can put Red’s dismal six year record at 74-109-23. Good gawd.
Gendron’s annual salary is more than $213,000, making him the highest-paid coach at the school.
He agreed to a two-year contract extension in March of 2018 that will run through June 30, 2021.
When he did this he was coming off a somewhat fraudulent 18-16-3 record. As I told anyone that would listen, it was a soft 18 wins. There were very few victories against teams with winning records and last year Maine went 0-7 against Boston College, Northeastern and Providence.
The reason Maine scraped out a winning record was in large part the play of the great young goaltender, Jeremy Swayman.
So, I guess there is one reason to keep Red employed: The Benjamins. Maine would need to buy out just one of the two remaining years I am told. But that cost along with paying a new coach might be too much for UMaine to swallow.
But maybe not. Maine plays to a ton if empty seats nightly. Season ticket holders have run away from the Alfond in recent years like someone called in a bomb threat. Maybe a new coach would stop more from doing so after this bomb of a season with a change at the top.
And I am told that many of the players are tired of Red’s act. The yelling at practice. The confrontations. Talented players leaving the team.
Maybe there are players coming to make it better? I don’t think so.
Perhaps the low point in the recent history of the program was the loss to the USA Under 18 team this year. If you look at that roster of talented young players many are going to Boston College, Boston University and Providence. None are coming to Orono.
Many Maine fans hang their heads and whine that it’s not all the coach’s fault. We don’t have the facilities, or the money, and the college landscape has changed since the championship years. Boo hoo.
Then I guess it’s going to take an amazing coach to turn things around. And that is not what we have right now.
Escort Mr. Gendron to the door. This party is over.