In a move that came from out of nowhere Friday, AHL Calder Cup Champion Head Coach Mike Vellucci announced that he was leaving the team he guided to the Calder Cup and the undisputed number one overall team in the League last season, the Charlotte Checkers.
Strange, that a guy who had as much success that he had in guiding the Category Five, 51-win regular season team that the Checkers were this past season, would just up and leave as quick as he did, weeks removed from winning the Calder Cup championship over the Chicago Wolves in mid-June.
Then, this tweet from an NHL insider got the gears moving.
I saw this, then started to dig deeper. I found this tweet from the AHL which I expounded on via a series of tweets.
I’ll die on that hill that Clark Donatelli was not the problem for the team. It’s been explained here on the blog in the post mortem of the past season. Hell, Donatelli was in Pittsburgh this week for the Penguins Development Camp.
Had no idea that it would take Coal Street three hours and ten minutes later to announce it formally.
Clark Donatelli resigns and J.D. Forrest and Jarrod Skalde stay on with the team as assistants.
Is Vellucci, who has long been rumored as next in line to graduate up to the NHL as a Head Coach one day just waiting in the wings if/when Mike Sullivan gets shown the door one day? Why would Vellucci leave the Carolina organization and take a job in the Pittsburgh organization when it would appear that the two franchises are headed in separate directions?
Those answers to those questions won’t be known for some time, if at all. But it would appear that the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins have acquired the biggest off ice Free Agent this summer.
Time will tell.
Elsewhere, Linus Ölund was loaded to Brynäs in the Swedish League. Press release here if you can read Swedish and the 2019 Offseason Moves List was updated.
The AHL Big Board will get stuck to the top of the blog with this next post succeeding it, probably some time Saturday as this news has to marinate for a bit.