The Blog is back after some time off, and it doesn't look like much has changed around these parts -- namely, UAA is still looking for a new head hockey coach, 11 weeks after firing Dave Shyiak.
An announcement of Shyiak's replacement is expected as soon as early next week, and whoever it is -- all six finalists have come through town in the last week or so -- will have a ton of work on his hands. The Seawolves could use a least a couple more bodies, a new assistant coach will have to be hired, the new head coach will have to touch base with all the returning players, get to know his new co-workers in the athletic department, immediately beginning healing the massive disconnect between UAA and the hockey community, begin becoming familiar with alumni, find a home, move his family, learn his way around Anchorage and UAA, and likely make some recruiting trips at some point in the offseason.
So, it ain't like the new guy will be able to simply ease into his gig.
And once the new guy is on board, UAA has to get on with the business of hiring a new athletic director after Steve Cobb was fired two weeks ago.
Lot of work ahead for everyone connected to UAA's athletic department.
Doesn't look like a whole lot has happened with Alaska-connected players since The Blog traveled and missed a bunch of killer-awesome weather in Anchorage (not to worry, every day was blue skies on The Blog's three-city journey south, though that 109 degrees in Phoenix was a bit much for an aging ginger -- good to have friends with a pool, a patio fridge within reach of the couch on the shaded patio, not to mention cable and a sweet TV on said patio). Got to relax for a couple days upon returning home, which was especially nice when it seemed like Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals was gonna take three days; turned out three overtimes sufficed.
In any event, we see that former UAA winger Josh Lunden, who split time between AHL St. John's and ECHL Las Vegas last season, has signed a deal with St. John's for next season.
Lunden in 31 games with the IceCaps went 8-10--18 last season -- remember, the bench boss in St. John's is former Alaska Aces captain and head coach Keith McCambridge -- and in 24 games with Vegas went 7-12--19. Lunden will be a fourth-year pro in the fall.
By DOYLE WOODY