I’ve been sitting here getting over a cold, and thinking about possible off season coaching moves (yeah, I know, get a life :-). So far we know for sure that Ottawa and B.C. will have new head coaches next year. There could be quite a bit of other movement as well. Here’s some speculation on my part. Remember, this is my opinion, so feel free to present alternate scenarios, and/or reasons why you think I am wrong. And if I am wrong and you are right, I’m quite happy for you to drop a Toadaso on me!
Hamilton, Calgary. IMO, these two coaches will stay put. Coach O is in the first year of his contract and is wildly successful. No brainer. Dave Dickensen is in the second year of a three year contract. He had a rough year this year (by Calgary standards), but his long term success has been phenomenal, and he is a favourite of his GM. I think he’d have to tank pretty bad for Huff to replace him.
Saskatchewan, Montreal. These two coaches should stay put. Craig Dickensen and Khari Jones have both been highly successful in their first years. If either one is not head coach of their respective teams next year, a lot of people will be shocked, me included. If either one moves on, it will shake up all the rest of my speculations.
Edmonton. This is where it starts to get interesting. Jason Maas is under contract for the 2020 season, but there have been rumblings in the local press (and 3DN) that his fiery style rubs some in the organization the wrong way. And a fourth place finish this year sits badly with the fans, although a Grey Cup appearance would mollify a lot of them. He was also an Ed Hervey hire, not a Sunderland hire, and there is that opening with Hervey in B.C. This could lead to a “mutually agreed? parting of the ways. If Maas goes, I’m guessing that Rick Campbell will resurface in Edmonton. He has a lot of ties to the city and the organization, and is familiar with Sunderland from Ottawa.
B.C. If Maas leaves Edmonton, I expect it will be for B.C. Ed Hervey wanted Maas really badly when he hired him away from Ottawa. Hervey clearly likes Maas’ intensity, which seems to match his own us versus the world approach to team management. Maas would probably also appreciate being reunited with Mike Reilly. If Maas stays put, then it is hard to tell which way Hervey goes. He may hire Campbell, but other names should be in the mix. I suspect Hervey wants a more intense individual than he had in Claybrook, and I’m not sure Campbell fits the bill.
Winnipeg. Mike O’Shea is in the last year of his contract, and reports on 3DN are that he has not yet begun new negotiations. This could be a desire to avoid distractions, or achieve greater leverage, but it may also mean that he would like to relocate. The obvious place for him to go is Toronto, based on his past associations with the city. If he goes, there is a local candidates to replace him, in Paul Lapolice.
Toronto. IMO Chamblin is a dead man walking. If O’Shea becomes available, I would expect Chamblin to be out on his ear pretty quickly. The only question is how Pinball feels about O’Shea.
Ottawa. Campbell is already gone. It is hard to say who will replace him. One possibility is Neil Thorpe, who is already in house. He wanted a head coaching job badly enough to leave Montreal when they didn’t let him interview.
Devon Claybrooks. I suspect he will not get another head coaching gig this time around, but will resurface in Calgary, perhaps as defensive coordinator again.
Tommy Condell. There’s a lot of fulminating in the football press about Condell being a prime candidate for various head coaching jobs. In many cases I get the impression said press is actually angling to lure Masoli away from Hamilton to their favourite team. There will be opportunities this time, but how badly does Condell want to be a head coach? We know that Thorpe and LaPo both want it pretty bad. LaPo has experience in the post as well. Condell could end up Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, or B.C., but I’m far from convinced he will. And even though Masoli has had success with Condell this year, he really took off under June Jones. Both Condell and Masoli have good gigs right now, with a very well run organization. Will they want to walk away from that for possible turmoil elsewhere?