Nova Scotia

Cape Breton Eagles seeking new bench boss after head coach quits

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Cape Breton Eagles are looking for a new head coach after Chadd Cassidy resigned for family reasons.

Chadd Cassidy joined the team in January, but has resigned for family reasons

The Cape Breton Eagles return to the ice for training camp on Aug. 16. (Getty Images)

The Cape Breton Eagles have started looking for a new bench boss after head coach Chadd Cassidy resigned suddenly.

He had joined the major junior hockey team in January from his home in Lake Placid, N.Y., after the previous head coach resigned for personal reasons.

Cassidy said in a release on Wednesday that the decision to quit was a difficult one.

"It was my every intention that my family would be moving with me to Cape Breton when I took the job, but my family situation has changed and we are unable to relocate to Cape Breton," he said.

Chadd Cassidy resigned suddenly from the Cape Breton Eagles junior hockey team. (Submitted by Cape Breton Eagles)

"After getting back home with my family, it became more and more clear to me that I can't be without them."

Eagles general manager Sylvain Couturier told Mainstreet Cape Breton the team was surprised, but personnel move around a lot in hockey.

"We have to respect his decision and move on," Couturier said.

"We're not worried that we're going to have a good, qualified guy behind the bench when the season [starts]. We're not in a panic mode or anything right now. We're going to start our search ... and try to get the best candidate available."

Training camp opens Aug. 16

Training camp for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team doesn't open until Aug. 16, so there is time to find a replacement, Couturier said.

"The players are summer training and stuff like that. Nothing that a head coach has to do at this time of the year so no, like I said the timing is not the best one, but it's not the worst one, either, so we will be fine. Don't worry."

Eagles assistant coach Chris Culligan, a former powerhouse player whose hometown is Howie Centre, just outside Sydney, also resigned a couple of weeks ago, saying he wanted to pursue new opportunities.

The Eagles just retired Culligan's jersey last year.

Couturier said the team is close to making an announcement on a new assistant coach.

20 new players drafted

On Monday, the Eagles made three first-round selections on the first day of the Q-league draft and followed that up with 17 more selections on Tuesday.

Couturier said the team appreciated Cassidy's decision to wait until after the draft to resign. "I think Chadd was just waiting for us to do our thing. I think he did it like a pro."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Ayers

Reporter/Editor

Tom Ayers has been a reporter and editor for 36 years. He has spent half of them covering Cape Breton and Nova Scotia stories. You can reach him at tom.ayers@cbc.ca.

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