From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:
It was clearly a busy past weekend involving former players and coaches connected with the St. Lawrence University men’s hockey team.
The bustling and scuffling occurred in the Northeast, from Manchester, N.H., to Glens Falls, and to Canton.
First, Saints head coach Mark Morris and the rest of his staff was let go by the school, with two years left on his deal, after successive disastrous seasons on and off the ice.
Morris’ predecessor, Greg Carvel, and his current squad, the University of Massachusetts, won the four-team NCAA Northeast Regional title in Manchester and advanced to the school’s first Frozen Four appearance in Buffalo.
And former SLU goalie Arthur Brey, who left the Saints early to sign a pro contract with the ECHL’s Adirondack Thunder, earned his second and third wins Friday and Saturday in Glens Falls.
Perhaps it was a little surprising the Saints dismissed Morris, 60, and will have to eat the rest of his contract, but the school made the right move. His tumultuous tenure was filled with player defections, an investigation over lengthy practice and video sessions in which he was later cleared except for one minor violation, and poor results on the ice.
The Saints went 17-13-7 overall in Morris’ first season (mostly with Carvel-recruited players) to 8-27-2 in 2017-18 (investigation-laced season) to 6-29-2 this past year.
In his three seasons, SLU’s goals-per-game average fell from 2.8 to 2.2 to 2.0. The goals against soared from 2.4 to 3.3 to 4.0. The differential of shots-per-game rose from -3.2 to -9.8 to -16.4. Yikes!
The Saints were dominated by foes, their regression was getting worse each year and top recruits bypassed Canton.
The Saints should look at a younger, more innovative head coach who can do a better job of relating to players.
Anybody with a last name of Flanagan (Paul who coaches the Syracuse University women or Sean who’s a men’s assistant at Cornell) with hometown Canton ties may be looked at by SLU.
Perhaps someone like Ben Barr, 37, an associate head coach at UMass, is a possible candidate. He assembled UMass’ 2017-18 dynamic freshman class. He also was an assistant at Union, helping recruit the Dutchmen’s senior class that led them to the 2014 NCAA championship.
Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at email@example.com