With a new general manager [Brian MacLellan] and a new coach [Barry Trotz] the next step in the Capitals’ front office rebuild will be the hiring of a new head coach for the AHL Hershey Bears and new assistants for the Capitals and Bears.
Among the top candidates for those positions are former Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel, former Florida Panthers head coach Peter Horachek, Nashville Predators assistant coach Lane Lambert, Toronto Maple Leafs assistant coach Dave Farrish, Syracuse Crunch head coach Rob Zettler, former Team Canada assistant coach Doug Shedden, and former Canucks assistant coach Mike Sullivan.
Over the past five days we’ve been profiling each candidate. Today: Doug Shedden
Hometown: Wallaceburg, Ontario
Current position: head coach, EV Zug [Swiss League]
NHL coaching experience: None
Barry Trotz connection: Served as an assistant coach, along with Trotz, on the Canadian national team for the 2013 World Hockey Championships in Stockholm, Sweden, where Canada placed fifth. Lindy Ruff and Dave Tippett were also on Canada’s coaching staff.
Coaching background: A former center who played parts of seven seasons in the NHL from 1981-91, Shedden began his coaching career with the Wichita Thunder of the Central Hockey League in 1992. He won championships with the Thunder in his second and third seasons behind the bench before taking over the Lousiana IceGators of the East Coast Hockey League in 1995, leading them to the playoffs four straight seasons. In 1999 Shedden took over the Flint Generals of the United Hockey League and won a championship in his only season behind the bench. He won two more Central League championships in three seasons with the Memphis Riverkings and in 2003 he was promoted to head coach of the AHL St. John’s Maple Leafs. After missing the Calder Cup playoffs in his first season in the AHL and losing in the first round in his second, Shedden left for the Finnish League, where he coached HIFK for one season and Jokerit for two before taking a job with EV Zug. Shedden also served as head coach of Team Finland for the 2008 World Championships and head coach of Team Canada in the 2012 Spengler Cup.
Playing experience: A 6-foot, 185-pound center, Shedden was selected 93rd overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1980 NHL draft. He went on to play parts of five seasons in Pittsburgh, two in Detroit, one in Quebec and two in Toronto before leaving the NHL for one season in Europe. He played in 416 NHL games, totaling 139 goals and 186 assists for 325 points. His most productive seasons came in 1984-85 and 1985-86 when he scored 35 goals and 32 goals for the Penguins while playing on a line with a budding superstar named Mario Lemieux.
Quirky facts: Shedden was a childhood friend of former Caps star Mike Gartner and played often against Wayne Gretzky during their junior playing careers. He also played alongside NHL stars Steve Yzerman in Detroit and Peter Stastny in Quebec.