Time was of the essence for Medvescak to hire a new Head Coach and they moved swiftly to appoint the well travelled Doug Shedden.
The former NHL Centreman spent eight seasons in North America representing Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, Quebec Nordiques and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Shedden has been coaching for over twenty years now, with a variety of experiences and some noteworthy success along the way.
In six seasons coaching in the CHL, he led two different teams to a total of four championships and in between times won a championship with UHL side Flint Generals.
He would also garner vital experience in the ECHL and then with the Toronto Maple Leafs AHL affiliate in St. Johns before heading to Europe in 2005.
It was not his first taste of European hockey, having played two seasons in Italy.
Hired by Finnish SM-liiga team HIFK to replace Dave King, who left to join Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Shedden’s solitary season at the helm was a relative success as he led the team to a Bronze medal game, which unfortunately they lost.
His European coaching debut caught the eye of Jokerit, and he would spend two seasons with the fellow Finnish club, who have just recently joined the KHL.
During his second year with Jokerit, Shedden was hired as Finnish National Team Head Coach and they would win a Bronze medal at the 2008 World Championships.
Since then Shedden has spent his time in charge Swiss team EV Zug and being a part of the Team Canada coaching staff at the Spengler Cup.
I intimated in my article which spoke about Weber’s departure that Medvescak would do well to go along the lines of hiring someone with more European hockey know how.
It’s not an easy task to find a coach at this time of the year when most leagues are well under way, but I believe this is a positive appoint by Medvescak.
Shedden may not have any KHL experience as yet but he’ll be well versed and looking to prove himself in his first shot at the league.
His cross-over knowledge of North American hockey with the contacts to boot should prove an asset with so many of Medvescak’s players from that part of the world.
His task will not be an easy one, with Medvescak six points back of a playoff place, with teams ahead of them having games in hand at this point.
However Medvescak responded well to the firing of Weber, with a gutsy victory against third placed Jokerit in Finland and then pushing SKA hard in defeat, in two very much improved performances under the guidance of Dean Fedorchuk.
Shedden’s first six games will be on the road, which hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Bears.
In saying that, they are all winnable fixtures to my mind and if he can galvanise Medvescak, then it’s possible by the end of October that they could well and truly be in the playoff race.