McDonald cites difference with owner over team direction
By Mark Newman, News Staff
John McDonald has resigned as head coach of the Hamilton Red Wings.
Assistant coaches Chris Dunsmuir, Dave McNab, Matt Ianiero and Pat Di Pronio have also quit the team.
There is no word yet as to whom the new head coach will be as the team’s annual rookie camp slated for May 10 and 11 at the Morgan Firestone Arena in Ancaster approaches.
McDonald said the coaches resigned about three weeks ago citing a disagreement with team owner Stu Hyman over the direction the team is heading.
“It wasn’t something I wanted to do,” said McDonald, who returned this past season after the Red Wings posted their worst record in team history one year earlier. “It was a really hard decision.”
McDonald said the Red Wings owner wants to bring in several Toronto area players next season, including one of his sons.
That would be in contrast to McDonald’s move this past season to fill the roster mostly with players from the Hamilton area.
“I’m not about to operate under the pretences that Stu Hyman wants to operate the team under,” McDonald said.
Three other Hyman offspring have had roster spots on the club in past seasons.
McDonald was head coach of the Red Wings previously from 2005 to 2007.
He guided the team a divisional championship in 2007 before leaving the franchise following a disagreement with team management.
Would McDonald be open to returning to the franchise some time in the future?
“Yes, if they had new ownership,” he said.
Hamilton Communtiy News has a call into Hyman for comment.
The Red Wings recently hired former team head coach Scott Elliott as general manager.
Elliott takes over from Robert Turnbull who left the club at the end of this past season after 15 years with the franchise.
“Overall it was time for me to move on,” said Turnbull who owns the Leaside Kings franchise in the GTHL. “I will definitely miss Hamilton for sure.”