Aces' coaching connections are first-rate, Cup(s) worthy

Doyle Woody,Adn Staff

Hmm -- guess the Alaska Aces have done a pretty swell job of picking their coaches in their 11 seasons.

Former Aces bench boss Davis Payne, who went on to coach the NHL's St. Louis Blues, is in the Stanley Cup Finals as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings, who open the Finals Wednesday against the New York Rangers. He coached the Aces to the 2006 Kelly Cup.

Of course, current coach Rob Murray has the Aces in the ECHL Kelly Cup Finals.

And now former Aces coach and captain Keith McCambridge has guided the St. John's IceCaps into the AHL's Calder Cup Finals. St. John's beat Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 5-0 on Tuesday to take the Eastern Conference title in six games. McCambridge coached the Aces to the 2009 Kelly Cup Finals, where they lost in seven games to South Carolina. He captained the Aces in 2006, when they won the first of two Kelly Cups in franchise history.

Playing for McCambridge is former UAA winger Josh Lunden.

The IceCaps will play Western Conference champion Texas. The Stars, who beat Toronto 6-2 in Tuesday's Game 7, include defenseman William Wrenn of Anchorage. He's a former Aces blueliner.