Steve Spott is the new Marlies coach

Steve Spott is the new Marlies coach

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The Toronto Marlies are poised to announce the hiring of Steve Spott as head coach, replacing Dallas Eakins who departed for the Edmonton Oilers. While many candidates were rumored to be in the mix, it appears Spott gets the nod for his reputation as a developmental coach, something Eakins was well respected for, and certainly a top priority quality needed from the new bench boss.

Starting his professional coaching career Seneca College and later moving on to Junior A, Spott spent 11 years as an Assistant Coach under Pete DeBoer both in Plymouth and Kitchener. When DeBoer left for the NHL in 2008, Spott took over as both Head Coach and General Manager of the Rangers. In 4 seasons as Head Coach, Spott has a 148-124 record, but that tenure includes a tough 26-win season in 08-09, the year after the Rangers won the OHL championship and lost a significant number of veteran players – basically a gutted team. In the 3 years after, he coached the Rangers to 42, 38 and 42 wins, considered a very fast turnaround from a rebuild. His team appeared in seven playoff rounds in those 3 years as well.

During his tenure as head coach, the Rangers have produced a number of NHL drafted players including noteables: Jeff Skinner, Gabriel Landeskog, Radek Faksa, Matt Puempel, Ryan Murphy and Tobias Reider.

Spott has and continues to receive a lot of criticism for his handling of Team Canada at the 2013 World Junior Championships, where decisions with goaltenders and defense remain a sore point for many. Not often noted was the gold medal his team won at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. While the WJC certainly an area where critics like to point, thankfully the Marlies won’t be playing in any international tournaments that we are aware of at the time of publishing.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.

To the determent of we are not sure who, Spott is a significant downgrade in the hair department from Eakins, although he will bring a significant boost to the sharp looking suit. Eakins appeared to be fond of the slept-in look in his suits. Eakins had that hair going for him though.

Welcome to the Marlies, Spotter.