McCAMBRIDGE NAMED NEW WOLF PACK HEAD COACH
BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings
HARTFORD, CT: Well that didn’t take long.
Last year’s assistant coach, Keith McCambridge, was named the sixth head coach in Hartford Wolf Pack history on Monday just three weeks after long-time head Ken Gernander as relieved of his duties.
McCambridge is ready to go but was careful not to step on Gernander’s skates.
“It’s a very tough part of the hockey business,” McCambridge said. “Kenny gave a lot to Hartford and I can’t be anyone other than myself and I’m looking forward to getting at it. I have been in this situation before in Manitoba following popular coaches like Scott Arniel, and Claude Noel. I really believe in and demand hard work in practice as much as games and I think we have a lot of young talented prospects here.”
McCambridge, 43, joined the Rangers organization as the Wolf Pack’s Assistant Coach on August 3, 2016. Prior to working with the Wolf Pack, McCambridge served the previous five seasons (2011-12 – 2015-16) as Head Coach of the Winnipeg Jets’ AHL affiliate (St. John’s IceCaps from 2011-12 – 2014-15 and Manitoba Moose in 2015-16). He posted a 179-158-23-20 record (wins-losses-overtime losses-shootout losses) during his five seasons as Head Coach of the IceCaps/Moose and guided the team to a playoff berth twice over the span.
With back-to-back losing seasons and finishing dead last in the AHL with Manitoba and Hartford, McCambridge isn’t gun shy.
“It’s tough. I like the challenge and the have changed and the speed of the game is so much different than when I played. Then you would have three or four speedy guys now its everybody. We’re going to do our best to mimic the Rangers systems and have these guys ready to help in New York,” McCambridge stated.
In his first season with the team in 2011-12, McCambridge helped St. John’s finish in first place in the Atlantic Division with a 43-25-5-3 record and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. The IceCaps earned 99 points during the regular season in 2013-14 (46-23-2-5 record), and McCambridge helped the team advance to the Calder Cup Finals. In addition, McCambridge served as the Head Coach of the Eastern Conference All-Stars at the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic.
Prior to becoming Head Coach of the Winnipeg’s AHL affiliate, the Thompson, Manitoba, native served as an Assistant Coach with the Manitoba Moose for two seasons (2009-10 and 2010-11). In 2009-10, McCambridge worked alongside current Rangers Associate Coach Scott Arniel (former New Haven Senator), who was the Head Coach of the Moose.
McCambridge also spent six seasons with the Alaska Aces of the ECHL (2003-04 – 2008-09), serving three seasons as a player/Assistant Coach (2003-04 – 2005-06), one season as an Assistant Coach after finishing his playing career (2006-07), and two seasons as the Aces’ Head Coach (2007-08 and 2008-09). Continue reading