Bobby Smith

A Present For The Fans

The future is certainly bright for Frk and Abeltshauser.

By: Henry Whitfield

Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune

The Mooseheads are getting a Head Coach.

And no, it’s not a late April Fool’s joke.


Christmas came early for Moose Country this weekend, with Owner Bobby Smith announcing that the Halifax Mooseheads Organization would be clearing house behind the bench and stepping away from Head Coaching duties.

This will be exciting news for Mooseheads fans who have seen their last two Head Coaches start with little to no experience in their role.

After a disappointing start to the season Smith took over behind the bench, but never got the team playing to it’s potential.

Frustration was felt by the fans all season as they watched a young, talented core of players fail to develop and progress under an inexperienced and clearly ineffective coaching staff.

With Smith’s announcement that the team will be starting fresh, both Assistant Coaches Chris Donnelly and Jason Troini will be leaving and General Manager Cam Russell will be staying upstairs, the organization can look forward to a bright future.

While the team showed flashes of brilliance at times this past season, a stunning win over Drummondville stands out, the team lacked consistency and failed to pick up any momentum.

It is now time for the Moose Country Head Coach Watch.

Get excited Moose Fans.

Henry is a contributor to and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Tuesday Mornings at 11. You can follow him on twitter at HenryWhitfield, where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads games

Give us a break Bobby

By: Henry Whitfield

(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

With the Halifax Mooseheads down 3 games to none against the nationally fourth ranked Montreal Juniors, it’s safe to say the writing is on the wall for this season and probably was before the Moose limped into the playoffs.

That being said, it’s not enough to just mail in these games and the Mooseheads showed for three periods that they were willing to work against all the odds.

It’s a shame then that their head coach let them down in the final few minutes and showed once again why this franchise can’t move forward without the right personal behind the bench.

With less than two minutes left in the game, Captain Travis Randell rang a hard shot off the crossbar before Luca Ciampini was then denied seconds later.

Whether the Randell shot went in or not, it was clear when the play was stopped that the Mooseheads were both exhausted and emotionally spent. Charles Bety had his head hung low and the players on the bench were slumped over, knowing that they had missed stealing this game by a matter of inches.

With no review called on the play, Smith had one responsibility and that was to call a timeout and regroup his players, making sure they had their heads on right and were ready for that last minute and a half.

Instead of doing what a Head Coach should do, Smith adjusted his tie and the game moved on and with momentum swung the other way Trevor Parkes raced down the ice and scored the game winner seconds later.

While it is impossible to tell whether the Mooseheads would have won, it’s up to the coaching staff to make the right decisions and do their jobs.

The boys on the ice played one of their best complete games of the season only to be let down inexperienced coach.

With one, maybe two games left for this year, let’s hope that Bobby is done with his little experiment and gets someone with experience to lead this team next year.

Hopefully much deeper into the playoffs.


So, Do We Cut Sawyer Hannay Now?


Time to get rid of Hannay... Right?

(Photo Credit: Richard Lafortune)

By: Henry Whitfield

Summerside native Darcy Ashley was the standout for the Mooseheads, as Mathieu Corbeil made 29 saves and the Moose cleared out the Chicoutimi Sagueneens 6-2 on Friday night.

Although they won by four goals, the final few minutes of the game were infused with badblood and a few nasty fights that saw a number of penalties and fights go down.

With less than forty-five seconds left on the clock, Sawyer Hannay dropped his gloves after the whistle and went for Vermette, and was assessed an instigator penalty, five minutes for fighting and a game misconduct for fighting in the final five minutes.

And despite the 3-inch height advantaged, Hannay proved once again, that he is only good as a punching bag for the opposition.

My question is this: If the Mooseheads cut Garrett Clarke for taking dumb, needless penalties then what discipline should be given to Hannay when he has been suspended once and could see himself suspended once again for his latest bonehead move.

Hannay is probably half the athlete that Clarke was, has shown himself liable to bad defensive give aways and is facing his second suspension of the season.

So why let him stick around and take up space, when a player like Trey Lewis has proven himself a far more formidable fighter and far more responsible in his own zone.

If Bobby Smith and Cam Russell want to continue with their current path of logic, we should see Hannay packing his bags this week.

But then again this is Moose Country and anything can happen, right?

Henry Whitfield is an avid Mooseheads fan and you can find his thoughts on sports and more on his blog, or follow him on twitter @HenryWhitfield. You can also listen to him on air as a regular contributor to the Bill McLean Sports show on 88.1 CKDU.

Cam Russell Gone.. But wait.. What?!


Bobby Smith is going behind the bench.


By: Henry Whitfield

Monday morning my world was rocked and fans were left with a mixed feeling of euphoria and the feeling you get after being punched in the stomach.

Bobby Smith had finally stood up and rid Moose Country of Head Coach Cam Russell, or so we thought.

In a move that would shock the most outlandish sports fan, Smith demoted Cam Russell to an assistant coach in charge of the defense, while keeping  the former NHL player as his General manager.The punch in the stomach? Majority owner Bobby Smith himself taking over behind the bench as Head Coach.

Many fans had hoped that when Russell was booted out of Moose Country, that not only would be gone for good, but the team would bring in a proven coach with real pedigree.

Don’t get me wrong, Bobby Smith has a wealth of experience, with his 15 years in the NHL split between the Minnesota North Stars and Montreal Canadiens combined with 5 season’s as the General Manager of the Phoenix Coyotes, just none behind the bench.

So while many fans were hoping for a proven coach behind the bench, we’re getting an owner who thinks the time is right for him to step behind the bench.

To be fair, he can’t do much worse than the last two seasons with the team finishing last in the league and has shown lacklustre performances over that time period.

Chris Cochrane of the Chronicle heralds wrote today that he though that this may be a needless distraction and that the results on the ice were largely not Cam Russell’s fault, however someone has to be held accountable for the lack of passion on the ice.

Whether or not the roster was thin, there is no excuse for a team to continually come out flat in a third period, no excuse for continually making the same defensive mistakes and no excuse for a lack of passion on the bench.

One thing is clear, Bobby Smith is a passionate owner who cares about this club and if it means that we finally have someone behind the bench that won’t just stand with his arms crossed and ignore his players during a TV timeout, then I’ll be a happy fan sitting in the bench.

Smith will bring that fire into the dressing room and one can only hope that the fire and energy from the owner will show in the play of the team on the ice.


Henry Whitfield is an avid Mooseheads fan and you can find his thoughts on sports and more on his blog, or follow him on twitter @HenryWhitfield. You can also listen to him on air as a regular contributor to the Bill McLean Sports show on 88.1 CKDU.