Maple Leafs Assistant Coach Candidates: Ted Dent and Mark Morris

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Photo: circlingthewagon.wordpress.com

It’s likely that Dave Nonis and Brendan Shanahan will want some prior head coaching experience in one of the three upcoming assistant coaching hires, knowing the leash is tight on head coach Randy Carlyle headed into next season. There have been a few AHL candidates mentioned, however, a discussion which has included Marlies head coach Steve Spott, who just completed a successful first season coaching pro hockey, and his assistant Derek King, who has been with the team since 2009-10. Two other names mentioned by Elliotte Friedman in his 30 Thoughts column this week were the head coaches of Rockford IceHogs and Manchester Monarchs respectively, Ted Dent and Mark Morris.

Ted Dent

The Toronto native has worked with an NHL team before in Washington from 1999-2004 — which is his connection to Randy Carlyle — when he was a video coordinator for the Capitals. According to his Blackhawks.com bio, Dent “assisted coaches on the penalty kill, prepared and broke down all team videos for system meetings and was responsible for pre-scouting upcoming opponents.”

Dent joined the Hawks’ AHL affiliate – then the Norfolk Admirals, became the Rockford IceHogs after his first season – in 2006-07 as an assistant coach and was promoted to head coach in 2011-12. The IceHogs have not made the playoffs in three season with Dent as the bench boss, but ultimately we evaluate the success of an AHL coach by the number of useful future NHLers who have spent some time developing under his tutelage.

[quote_box_center]It’s a challenge at times. We’re all competitive and wired to compete and try to win. The players and staff here in Rockford aren’t different. It’s not the be-all and win-all. The message from management down to us is to make the young players better and get them ready for the NHL. Our team isn’t built, we don’t sign players to win the Calder Cup. We’re a development team trying to get 2-3-4 players ready for the end of the year and get to the Blackhawks. We do the best we can night in and night out. To the start of the year to the finish every year, our teams get better. That’s all we can ask for. Try to get better every day and compete.
– Ted Dent[/quote_box_center]

If we look at the development of players in Chicago who have spent time in the AHL since 2006-07:

  • There were a couple of first-round duds in the mix with Jack Skille and Cam Barker — both top 10 picks.
  • The likes of Dave Bolland, Nick Hjalmarsson, Dustin Byfgulien and Kris Versteeg spent a season and change each with Norfolk/Rockford; all successfully graduated and were ready to make an impact quickly – Versteeg posted 57 points in his first 92 NHL games, Bolland posted 64 points in his first 120 NHL games, Byfuglien posted 19 goals in his first full season (as a converted winger).
  • Some of the success cases who spent significant time in the AHL include Troy Brouwer, Bryan Bickell, Corey Crawford, Ben Smith and Brandon Bollig. We can likely put Brandon Pirri (traded to FLA) on this list as well.
  • While serving as head coach the past three seasons, Dent has coached Andrew Shaw, Nick Leddy and Brandon Saad for quick stops in the AHL, and Pirri and Smith for longer stays with Rockford.

When it comes to manufacturing useful NHLers drafted out of rounds 2-9 especially, development in the AHL is a part of the puzzle. The Hawks have done a good job of supplementing their high-end draft and trade-acquired talent with the successful drafting and developing of players out of the lower rounds, of which Dent has played a role.

It doesn’t mean he’s the reason these players became quality NHLers or even that he’ll make a good NHL assistant coach, but if you’re looking for a fresh-blood up-and-comer type of candidate who has spent some time working for a team with a successful player development system, Dent qualifies.

Mark Morris

Along those same lines is the Manchester Monarchs’ Mark Morris, except he’s been a head coach in the AHL for longer, since 2006-07 to be exact. Having received a one-year contract extension last summer, it’s since expired and Dean Lombardi has said he is respecting Morris’ wishes to take the next step with his career. Just this past season, Morris became the first coach to record 300 career wins at both the collegiate (Clarkson University) and professional level. The Monarchs made the playoffs in all eight seasons under his watch, twice reaching the Conference Finals  and most recently bowing out in the first round after finishing first in the Eastern Conference during the regular season with a 48-19-3 record.

Morris briefly held an NHL post in 2003 when he served, under head coach Marc Crawford, as the Special Assistant Coach/Interim Strength and Conditioning Coach for  the Vancouver Canucks. Dave Nonis was the senior Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations of the Canucks at the time.

Among the players to emerge under Morris’ watch who have spent significant time with the Monarchs: Forwards Trevor Lewis, Matt Moulson, Brian Boyle, Teddy Purcell, Dwight King, Jordan Nolan, Tyler Tiffoli and Tanner Pearson; defencemen Vyacheslav Voynov, Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin (less successful with Colton Teubert, now in Europe, and jury’s out re: Thomas Hickey); goaltenders Jonathan Bernier and Martin Jones. Linden Vey, a fourth round draft choice of LA, received a few callup stints with LA this past season and has been putting up big-time numbers in the AHL.

[quote_box_center]“He definitely made me earn everything that I got – my ice time, my power play and penalty kill. He just made sure he was on me all the time, and it was just trying to get me better every day.”

“He tries to make everybody feel comfortable. He always has a really young team, and I think he has a core group of guys that have been there. I think the players definitely help out and are always there for each other if you need anything, but at the same time he’s always there to talk to. Obviously he’s got to be hard on everyone, so he kind of plays both sides.”
– Tyler Tiffoli[/quote_box_center]

 

  • Burtonboy

    Just because these guys have some connection with Carlyle or Nonis doesn’t mean they are useless or Carlyle clones . All AHL teams use the same systems as the parent club . Last I saw The Kings and Hawks play nothing like the Leafs. :)  Either of these guys look to be very good hires IMO

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    If these two jamokes are in consideration, then most of us on here better be getting a fuckin phone call.

  • MaxwellHowe

    So the texas Stars laid the hammer to the St. John’s Ice Caps, 6-3.  Looks like the Marlies may soon be comforted by the fact they were beaten by the best team in the AHL.
    Interestingly, the Texas Stars and St. John’s Ice caps had never played against each other before.  Guess the AHL is not interested in wasting a penny on travel.

  • Uncle Otis

    TheCanucksnaphook 
    Id rather they didn’t for fear of being called a jamoke too 😉
    Is that some kind of urban hobby farmer horse slang?

  • Mind Bomb

    It makes sense they want some expirience for their assistance.

    Maybe 1 ) Marlie coach
               1) one AHL Head Coach
                 1) Vet NHL former Head/assistant coach 

    ?

  • Burtonboy

    Mind Bomb Maybe they are looking to pick some of the brains of 2 very successful organizations . Makes sense No ?

  • Yaknowwhat

    Good Morning Gents and Gent-ettes….

    I would really like to see Dineen and Boucher considered for the assistant coach positions…..so if (when) Carlyle gets fired we have somebody who can step in and grab the reigns….

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    I see all of these coaches, management levels, scouts etc etc added to our beloved MLSE and wonder…..how the FUCK did they manage to win Cups in the 50’s and 60s without all of these layers?

    Enough bullshit.

  • Yaknowwhat

    I really hope the Leafs don’t start chasing and trading young players for old has beens…in my opinion we need to send our older vet players packing and load up on young talent, prospects and draft picks….we’ve been down that failed road too many times already…

  • Yaknowwhat

    TheCanucksnaphook  6 teams instead of 30 had something to do with it…

  • MaxwellHowe

    TheCanucksnaphook This is what governments do when they don’t know what to do.  Hire a lot of people to make it look like they’re doling something

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    MaxwellHowe TheCanucksnaphook 100% what I was thinking.  Many levels of people sucking off the corporate teat that is MLSE.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Man, this place is going to be a hoot between June 27 and July 1.

  • Yaknowwhat

    MaxwellHowe TheCanucksnaphook  Yep….only difference is MLSE doesn’t have to go in debt to pay their salaries..

  • Yaknowwhat

    Dewy Keon Hogturd 

    Dewy Keon Hogturd? lol…

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Yaknowwhat TheCanucksnaphook That has ZERO to do with how much redundancy and excuse making that goes on within our organization.

  • Uncle Otis

    Dewy Keon Hogturd 
    Ehlers! Ritchie!
    #Ekblad

  • Yaknowwhat

    TheCanucksnaphook Yaknowwhat  That wasn’t your original question though..

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/Hope_Smoke https://twitter.com/Hope_Smoke/status/475970125158301697
    Dreger “I think the Leafs would be apprehensive on the package that it would take to acquire Thornton & you have to look at the salary cap”

  • Mind Bomb

    Burtonboy Mind Bomb I would, remember I wanted Jeff Blashil, Lets get some fresh outlooks

  • Mind Bomb

    Yaknowwhat Morning Yak

  • MaxwellHowe

    Dewy Keon Hogturd You’re losing it and we’re still over 2 weeks until the frenzy begins

  • Mind Bomb

    Yaknowwhat Dewy Keon Hogturd Hhaha Whaaa T lol

  • Mind Bomb

    Yaknowwhat I can see one or two, but through UFA. I , like you, would not want to give up youth for say Jumbo Joe

  • Mind Bomb

    Uncle Otis Dewy Keon Hogturd  Iginla, Komorov, Benoit Pouliot , Sprinkle Marlies as needed :)

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto Yaknowwhat He has a connection with Rutherford for sure

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto Burtonboy Mind Bomb Give Shanny some time . Still think Blake will be with the Leafs within a yr

  • Cameron19

    Yaknowwhat Well, Dineen already came out and said he thinks Carlyle’s system is a joke, so I doubt he want to work under him now.

  • Mind Bomb

    Cameron19 Yaknowwhat Sounds like a Perfect Mapleleaf Fit, Dysfunction is Key bro !

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Dewy Keon Hogturd Yeah I should never have brought it up.  My brain it just hurting from reading about it in the media.

  • Yaknowwhat

    Burtonboy  package for Thornton?? screw off!

  • Uncle Otis

    Dewy Keon Hogturd 
    With nothing but losers to pick from
    #abstaining…for Ekblad

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Dewy Keon Hogturd Each year, I hope for something more fun.  It doesnt HAVE to be our team, but I would prefer it.

  • Mind Bomb

    Yaknowwhat Burtonboy Sad Part is, its better than the Spezza rumor lol  People have lost their ever lovin minds

  • MaxwellHowe

    Dewy Keon Hogturd IDK, the last few years have been very eventful.  And if nothing happens, the wailing and  gnashing of teeth will be just as loud

  • MaxwellHowe

    Dewy Keon Hogturd Yes, sorry Mr. Hogturd

  • Mind Bomb

    Dewy Keon Hogturd OK I was off last week, and I have a Hockey Question, Did I read that the leafs admitted that they have only 4 protected players, and Bozak is one of them and JVR aint ?

  • Uncle Otis

    Mind Bomb Dewy Keon Hogturd 
    Think it read Bozie,Kess,Reilly and Bernie…
    Id only protect one

  • MaxwellHowe

    TheCanucksnaphook Dewy Keon Hogturd Fabbri or Ritchie.  That will be the choice Phook.  You have strong opinions about this.  I expect a break down.

  • Yaknowwhat

    Just looking at the draft ranking on the side of this page….looks like we’re in line for some guy named http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2014/05/22/robby-fabbri-draft-profile/ …

  • traNsplantEdneWfie

    Burtonboy Perhaps if the package included getting rid of Clarkson it would be worth it.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Mind Bomb Dewy Keon Hogturd The Leafs didnt say that….the media did.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    MaxwellHowe TheCanucksnaphook Dewy Keon Hogturd Fabbri is Kadri LIGHT.  Ritchie has so much upside, I worry about his injuries from the past and the fact he is going to be challenged to fight by cement heads in this league.  I would love for the staff to tell him he is NOT allowed to fight for the first year of his career and focus on honing his one-timer.  That could be a HUGE benefit to the powerplay which is going to get nothing but more opportunities in this pussy league.

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook Mind Bomb Dewy Keon Hogturd The media also didn’t say they were protected. I believe it was Kypreos, and he just said these were the only 4 not actively involved in trade talks. Doesn’t mean they wouldn’t consider moving them.

  • Mind Bomb

    Uncle Otis Mind Bomb Dewy Keon Hogturd

    2 for Sure Rielly and Bernie.

    If Kes got me Duschene I would trade him, other than that he is protected as well for me

  • Mind Bomb

    TheCanucksnaphook Mind Bomb Dewy Keon Hogturd Ahh that makes more sense then

  • Mind Bomb

    Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook Mind Bomb Dewy Keon Hogturd Funny thought Cam, Kyper is usually right more than the others

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook MaxwellHowe Dewy Keon Hogturd Kadri light or Biggs 2.0?  Just trade the pick for a player further along.

  • Mind Bomb

    Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook MaxwellHowe Dewy Keon Hogturd

    See Cam gets it !

  • Cameron19

    Mind Bomb Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook Dewy Keon Hogturd Yea, been right about a lot of the contract stuff anyways.