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Johnny_rudeboy

Randy Cunneyworth

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Hamilton Bulldogs have their coaching staff in place and it appears the experience they have should make for a seamless transition from the Boucher staff. So the development of our prospects shouldn't become a problem, actually their development should be enhanced. The experience that Cunneyworth and Ladoceur will have the prospects more than ready to take the next step up to the Habs.

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Mixed reaction in Hamilton......

On the plus side his Rochester American teams mostly dominated the Bulldogs (but then again we had Jarvis as head coach before he was ready......but that's another story.....) - I was always impressed with Rochester's lightning fast transition game and as i said they killed us in the playoffs a few years - they also had a guy called Ryan Miller then though.......

On the negative side many here see/saw Cunneyworth's Americans as cheap shot artists and dirty players - playing an intimidation game rather than an honest "pay the price' physical game as espoused by Boucher - here's hoping he uses our guys the way they were last year and sticks to good honest physical hockey with hard work!

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Mixed reaction in Hamilton......

On the plus side his Rochester American teams mostly dominated the Bulldogs (but then again we had Jarvis as head coach before he was ready......but that's another story.....) - I was always impressed with Rochester's lightning fast transition game and as i said they killed us in the playoffs a few years - they also had a guy called Ryan Miller then though.......

On the negative side many here see/saw Cunneyworth's Americans as cheap shot artists and dirty players - playing an intimidation game rather than an honest "pay the price' physical game as espoused by Boucher - here's hoping he uses our guys the way they were last year and sticks to good honest physical hockey with hard work!

If the farm team is supposed to emulate the big club then there should be no dirty stuff.

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im worried about the last coach we lost i was sure we were moulding him for the big job

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Mixed reaction in Hamilton......

On the plus side his Rochester American teams mostly dominated the Bulldogs (but then again we had Jarvis as head coach before he was ready......but that's another story.....) - I was always impressed with Rochester's lightning fast transition game and as i said they killed us in the playoffs a few years - they also had a guy called Ryan Miller then though.......

On the negative side many here see/saw Cunneyworth's Americans as cheap shot artists and dirty players - playing an intimidation game rather than an honest "pay the price' physical game as espoused by Boucher - here's hoping he uses our guys the way they were last year and sticks to good honest physical hockey with hard work!

Hamilton is gearing up for a run at the Calder Trophy the AHL equivalent to the NHL's Stanley Cup, and I think they have all the ingredients necessary to win it.

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Great article by Scott Radley in today's Hamilton Spectator, might add that none of the early fears came true - Cunneyworth has continued to stress a skilled hard working game and has brought the most out of all the players he has been given.

All Cunneyworth does is win

Most teams have that one guy who’s always last off the ice. Long after the rest of the team has headed to the dressing room, he’s still out there skating and shooting and just generally lost in his own hockey world.

The Hamilton Bulldogs have a guy like that. Except in their case, he’s the head coach.

It’d be easier to get a tongue off a frozen metal pole than it is to get Randy Cunneyworth off the ice after practice. Not with the requisite 3-on-3 game between the coaches and some straggling players to finish first.

And when he finally exits, sweating and sniffling, it’s rarely without a smile on his face. After a two-year OHL career, a 20-year pro career that included a stint as captain of the Ottawa Senators, and now an 11-year coaching career, he can’t hide the fact he still loves the game. Which is something that’s showed in his work this season.

With the Dogs now through to the AHL semifinals and one of just four teams remaining in the race for the Calder Cup, perhaps it’s time — or more fairly, past time — to direct a little credit to the guy behind the bench.

There’s little doubt Cunneyworth stepped into an almost no-win situation this season. The guy he was replacing was not only being touted as the hottest NHL coaching prospect in a generation, but a psychological and motivational genius of sorts about whom not a single player had a bad thing to say.

It wasn’t all hot air either. Guy Boucher was a special case. Anyone who doubted has surely become a believer this spring, as he’s taken his Tampa Bay Lightning to the semifinals, knocking off the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals — only HBO’s two favourite teams — along the way.

That’s who Cunneyworth was going to be compared to, no matter what he said or did.

If that was unfair, it got worse. Because, before Boucher, the guy running the show was Don Lever. While never fully appreciated by the Montreal Canadiens organization, it was difficult to argue with his success, particularly the Calder Cup victory he brought to town in 2007. Which was only the first-ever professional hockey championship in this city’s history.

Hard acts to follow? Yeah. And there’s more, as The Spec’s Steve Milton pointed out the other day.

Go back a little further and the three head coaches of the team who preceded Lever are still alive in the NHL playoffs, along with Boucher. Claude Julien is head coach of the Boston Bruins, while Geoff Ward and Doug Jarvis are his assistants.

Of that entire group of five, only Jarvis never took the Dogs to the AHL semifinals or further. Big shoes to fill? For Cunneyworth it was like stepping into Shaquille O’Neal’s size 23s. Yet he’s done it.

Not only did the 50-year-old have his team atop the North Division for much of the season, but he did that with a lineup that by Christmas was being eviscerated by call-ups to the Canadiens, and injuries. He lost the league’s top goalie, three of his top forwards and the defenceman who was the quarterback of his power play. But he kept winning.

Critics can argue that, even with these subtractions, Cunneyworth wasn’t completely left with table scraps. He gained another top goalie when the Dogs acquired Drew MacIntyre. He was given perhaps the best sniper in the league when the Habs traded for Nigel Dawes. And he still had some pretty darn good players with whom to work. Which is all true.

Those who wish to dissect his resumé can also point to the special teams, which are one of those areas that fall on the coach. The Dogs were merely middle of the pack all season and nothing particularly special.

Yet, for every pin you can poke into his balloon, there’s one thing that stands out from these playoffs. His team has started fast in nearly every game and played hard.

Over the course of a long, gruelling season filled with endless bus rides and the drudgery of doing the same thing day-after-day when you’re tired and sore and occasionally bored, finding ways to motivate players is surely the toughest part of a modern coach’s job. One of the surest signs he’s been successful at that — and still has his players’ ears — is a team coming out of the dressing room ready to compete.

In all seven games of the past series, the Dogs outshot the Manitoba Moose in the first period. The gap in those frames was an astounding 94-50.

In every game, but the inexplicably putrid sixth, the Dogs won most of the battles for the puck. Their body positioning for those battles was superior and it demonstrated a willingness to work hard. They were almost always first to loose pucks. They threw themselves in front of shots constantly. And most of the time they showed the discipline that made them one of the least-penalized teams in the league.

That all comes from somewhere.

If you’re still not sure where, ask yourself who’d be getting blamed if the Dogs were coming out of the gate flat? You know the answer. And if that’s the case, the reverse must mean Cunneyworth gets the credit when they’re showing up ready to play every night.

In the coaching realm, that’s a huge accomplishment.

Yet, even with that going on, what does he want to talk about when he comes off the ice after practice Wednesday? Friday’s game against Houston? Nope. The triple-overtime Game 7 thriller against Manitoba? Wrong again. The chance to win a Calder Cup. Uh uh.

First topic of conversation as he plops onto a bench and begins dabbing sweat off his forehead is how he drove home to Rochester the night before, and got in a fantastic game of ball hockey with his son and some other guys in a men’s league. It was great, except for one part.

“We lost,” he smiles.

Yeah, he loves this game.

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Big congratulations should go to Mr Cunneyworth and Mr Ladoceur - against all odds they took us far! and developed players for the habs!

Job well done -

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Great article by Scott Radley in today's Hamilton Spectator, might add that none of the early fears came true - Cunneyworth has continued to stress a skilled hard working game and has brought the most out of all the players he has been given.

All Cunneyworth does is win

Most teams have that one guy who’s always last off the ice. Long after the rest of the team has headed to the dressing room, he’s still out there skating and shooting and just generally lost in his own hockey world.

The Hamilton Bulldogs have a guy like that. Except in their case, he’s the head coach.

It’d be easier to get a tongue off a frozen metal pole than it is to get Randy Cunneyworth off the ice after practice. Not with the requisite 3-on-3 game between the coaches and some straggling players to finish first.

And when he finally exits, sweating and sniffling, it’s rarely without a smile on his face. After a two-year OHL career, a 20-year pro career that included a stint as captain of the Ottawa Senators, and now an 11-year coaching career, he can’t hide the fact he still loves the game. Which is something that’s showed in his work this season.

With the Dogs now through to the AHL semifinals and one of just four teams remaining in the race for the Calder Cup, perhaps it’s time — or more fairly, past time — to direct a little credit to the guy behind the bench.

There’s little doubt Cunneyworth stepped into an almost no-win situation this season. The guy he was replacing was not only being touted as the hottest NHL coaching prospect in a generation, but a psychological and motivational genius of sorts about whom not a single player had a bad thing to say.

It wasn’t all hot air either. Guy Boucher was a special case. Anyone who doubted has surely become a believer this spring, as he’s taken his Tampa Bay Lightning to the semifinals, knocking off the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals — only HBO’s two favourite teams — along the way.

That’s who Cunneyworth was going to be compared to, no matter what he said or did.

If that was unfair, it got worse. Because, before Boucher, the guy running the show was Don Lever. While never fully appreciated by the Montreal Canadiens organization, it was difficult to argue with his success, particularly the Calder Cup victory he brought to town in 2007. Which was only the first-ever professional hockey championship in this city’s history.

Hard acts to follow? Yeah. And there’s more, as The Spec’s Steve Milton pointed out the other day.

Go back a little further and the three head coaches of the team who preceded Lever are still alive in the NHL playoffs, along with Boucher. Claude Julien is head coach of the Boston Bruins, while Geoff Ward and Doug Jarvis are his assistants.

Of that entire group of five, only Jarvis never took the Dogs to the AHL semifinals or further. Big shoes to fill? For Cunneyworth it was like stepping into Shaquille O’Neal’s size 23s. Yet he’s done it.

Not only did the 50-year-old have his team atop the North Division for much of the season, but he did that with a lineup that by Christmas was being eviscerated by call-ups to the Canadiens, and injuries. He lost the league’s top goalie, three of his top forwards and the defenceman who was the quarterback of his power play. But he kept winning.

Critics can argue that, even with these subtractions, Cunneyworth wasn’t completely left with table scraps. He gained another top goalie when the Dogs acquired Drew MacIntyre. He was given perhaps the best sniper in the league when the Habs traded for Nigel Dawes. And he still had some pretty darn good players with whom to work. Which is all true.

Those who wish to dissect his resumé can also point to the special teams, which are one of those areas that fall on the coach. The Dogs were merely middle of the pack all season and nothing particularly special.

Yet, for every pin you can poke into his balloon, there’s one thing that stands out from these playoffs. His team has started fast in nearly every game and played hard.

Over the course of a long, gruelling season filled with endless bus rides and the drudgery of doing the same thing day-after-day when you’re tired and sore and occasionally bored, finding ways to motivate players is surely the toughest part of a modern coach’s job. One of the surest signs he’s been successful at that — and still has his players’ ears — is a team coming out of the dressing room ready to compete.

In all seven games of the past series, the Dogs outshot the Manitoba Moose in the first period. The gap in those frames was an astounding 94-50.

In every game, but the inexplicably putrid sixth, the Dogs won most of the battles for the puck. Their body positioning for those battles was superior and it demonstrated a willingness to work hard. They were almost always first to loose pucks. They threw themselves in front of shots constantly. And most of the time they showed the discipline that made them one of the least-penalized teams in the league.

That all comes from somewhere.

If you’re still not sure where, ask yourself who’d be getting blamed if the Dogs were coming out of the gate flat? You know the answer. And if that’s the case, the reverse must mean Cunneyworth gets the credit when they’re showing up ready to play every night.

In the coaching realm, that’s a huge accomplishment.

Yet, even with that going on, what does he want to talk about when he comes off the ice after practice Wednesday? Friday’s game against Houston? Nope. The triple-overtime Game 7 thriller against Manitoba? Wrong again. The chance to win a Calder Cup. Uh uh.

First topic of conversation as he plops onto a bench and begins dabbing sweat off his forehead is how he drove home to Rochester the night before, and got in a fantastic game of ball hockey with his son and some other guys in a men’s league. It was great, except for one part.

“We lost,” he smiles.

Yeah, he loves this game.

Truly a winner,his enthusiasm spreads through the team like a wildfire in summer.His players coming out of the gates like thoroughbreds at Churchill Downs,Hab fans treated to a long playoff run after the parent team lost by a nose to the Bruins.The Habs organization back to the successful teams that made them powerhouses in the NHL/AHL in the 70's.Thanks to the two Randy's and all our prospects in Hamilton for making a long and tedious wait for the next season a little shorter.With the players that will join the Bulldogs in September,we can all look forward to another winning season in Hamilton.

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I have full confidence that Cunneyworth can aid in the development of our prospects, and can lead our dogs to another long and successful playoff run. However the Dogs goaltending does raise some questions IMO.

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Welcome to your new coaching duties as an assistant with our Habs!

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I was just going to do that,thanks HTL.

Can a mod change the thread from head coach in Hamilton to assistant in MTL? Also is there a thread for Ladoucer or will both now be filed under asst. coaches?

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I was just going to do that,thanks HTL.

No sweat........... Unlike yesterday. :P

Can a mod change the thread from head coach in Hamilton to assistant in MTL? Also is there a thread for Ladoucer or will both now be filed under asst. coaches?

Both can be discussed in the "assistants" thread HRF.

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