Houston Aeros 1994-2013: Thank you for all the great memories and two decades of great hockey and entertainment.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Aeros to name Mike Yeo next head coach

It's way to early to tell if Jim Mill got this right, but Mike Yeo will be named the next Aeros head coach on Wednesday.

It was hard sitting on this most of the day, but all of the other candidates have been notified and now it's time to spread the news. (Mike Russo actually broke the story on his blog earlier tonight, and I will have a story in the Chronicle on it Wednesday.)

I hope to speak to Mike on the phone Wednesday to add a little more color to a story that I am planning for Thursday.

To me this is a great hire. Mike Yeo has been well groomed for a head coaching job, and he has worked with Chuck Fletcher in Pittsburgh. He knows the Wild's (and Todd Richards') style of play and should have the Aeros well-prepared for any call ups to the NHL.

Yeo played for the Aeros in the IHL from 1994 to 1999 and led the team (as captain) to the Turner Cup in his last year as an Aero.

There will be more on this later, but I wanted to get this out there and let everyone know that I think this is the right guy for this job. Sure, the talent around him will ultimately dictate if he succeeds or fails, bit Yeo deserves a chance. And coming "home" to Houston, the place where he spent virtually all of his professional playing career, is a great place to start.

Man, is it really only June 15?

Bears win Cup, Aeros news forthcoming, Daum out in OKC as coach in OKC

I will keep this brief because I have to. But now that the mighty Hershey Bears have won their 11th Calder Cup (and third in five years), expect more news that you care about to start coming and coming and coming.

The Aeros, I think, will have a coach in the next week to 10 days. Maybe before that even. (And one of the Aeros rumored top choices, former Milwaukee Admirals head coach Claude Noel, is being HEAVILY courted by the folks in Vancouver/Manitoba. Now that Arniel has left to pretty much fail (everyone does!) in Columbus, Manitoba is the most attractive job at the AAA level.)

I digress ...

Also, I am pretty sure the league will start sending out news from the board of governors meetings. Soon, Aeros fans will now who they are playing next year and how many times.

The NHL schedule is set to be released early next week, and even the AHL schedule, I predict, will come out a week or so earlier than usual.

And one of my favorite AHL people, former Aeros and Springfield Falcons head coach Rob Daum, has been told that he will not continue with the Oilers' AAA franchise when they move to Oklahoma City in the fall. His contract was up on 7/1 anyway, but I really hope they gave him more than two-weeks notice. I'm sure that will come out in due time.

This has been a painfully long offseason so far, but things will start picking up news-wise. To me the longest part of the summer is the month between the schedule release and the start of NHL training camps.

Anyway, be sure to keep us on your radar as news will start happening quick. We'll have our take and we hope you give us your thoughts on all things Aeros.

Friday, June 11, 2010

AHL Finals on NHL Network & other stuff

Just a heads up, the NHL Network and AHL just announced this afternoon that the network will be picking up the final 3 Calder Cup Finals games starting tonight!

The series is currently 2-2 with Texas winning their two in Hershey and then Hershey taking exception and giving it back to the Stars in Cedar Park. So, we're down to a best of 3, and it appears that Brent "Wrath of" Krahn may be making his debut after cracking his head on the post in a collision a few weeks ago.

Climie's been terrific carrying the load in nets, but they need to stop the skid tonight and take one of these home games. So shake it up, right? Why not.

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Chicago won the Stanley Cup in case you've been lost in the desert and missed that.

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Still no coach named for Houston yet. A while back, Mike Russo up in Minnesota threw out some names of folks who have been in the mix. Check that out here.

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Former Aero Ryan Hamilton signed up with the Toronto organization for another year. He's full of truculence so I'm sure he'll do well. Congrats to him for that and for his impending nuptials this summer. 

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Lots of "new" teams in the AHL next year. Count 'em:
  1. Oklahoma City Barons - Baby Oilers
  2. Charlotte Checkers - Baby Hurricanes
  3. Albany Devils - Baby Devils
Lowell lost the Devils due to abysmal attendance for years on end. Here's hoping the organization can do better in Albany.

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I'm sure there's more, but I've gotta get back to work. Iron Maiden tonight. I would pretend I'm excited, but I'm not a big fan, so it's more like, "The old man better keep the beer cup in my hand full." Pfft.

John, Andrew, if you have stuff to add, feel free.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Malcom Cameron hired by ECHL Elmira

Someone started a rumor earlier this Spring that Malcolm Cameron was going to get a job in Houston as an assistant or head coach at the AHL level.

Then, when Cameron stepped down from Florida, the reporter there asked the prudent question about Cameron's future prospects in the AHL.

There was no clear-cut answer given, but Cameron was considered for *a* job in Houston. Well, now we don't have to worry about debating this any longer. Cameron, a good AA coach and recruiter, was hired as the next head coach of the Elmira Jackals.

He has found ECHL success in Long Beach, Beaumont, Estero, Fla., and Cameron will do in the New York countryside.

Some players hated playing for him, but his teams always made the playoffs. His teams are ALWAYS hurt by AHL call-ups and second-round playoff failures because of that. He has been known to close his locker and not allow reporters to speak to his players for various reasons.

While I don't necessarily agree with this, I respect that way of thinking in some cases. So with that, I say best of luck coach ... and good luck with the Jackals.