Marc-Andre Dumont is out as head coach and general manager of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
The QMJHL team relieved him of his duties on Tuesday, along with assistant coach Brent Hughes.
“Through the course of the year, I committed as president along with the new owner (Irwin Simon) to continue evaluating our team and our staff, and now we’ve made changes that we feel will make us successful heading into the future,” said Screaming Eagles president Gerard Shaw.
“We just want to go in a new direction with a different coaching staff. That’s the decision we made and I’m not going to point at anything individually with Marc. He was here for seven years and took the organization from Ron Choules’ direction and brought it to where it is now. It was in dire times then and he did a good job. But we just felt with new ownership it was time to make organizational changes.”
Dumont compiled a 219-219 regular season record during his time in Sydney and was 20-31 in the playoffs. His 438 career games behind the Screaming Eagles bench is second only in franchise history to Pascal Vincent’s 619. Dumont and Hughes both had one year remaining on their contracts.
Shaw said the team doesn’t have a specific time line for the hiring process but he hopes to have someone in place well in advance of the QMJHL draft in early June.
“That would be our ultimate goal, absolutely,” Shaw said. “This is a sign that we want to build a team properly and we are going to start looking at the entire organization, from the business side to the hockey side, to make sure we’re doing things right to build a winner.”
Shaw also said he will consider all options with how to structure his coaching and management staff. The Screaming Eagles are open to going with one person for both jobs but may also opt to split the duties.
“I’ve given lots of considerations to lots of models,” Shaw said. “I think what will dictate where we go will be the candidates that we have. We don’t have a model of preference at this point so we want to see who has interest in the job first. There are pros and cons to both so we’ll evaluate all that once we see who the candidates are.
“We’re immediately putting together a search committee and we’ll post it out there in the coming days that we’re looking for a GM and coach. ... Do we have a list of candidates in mind? No. Are there people we’d like to see apply? Absolutely. Have we had those discussions? No we haven’t.”
The Screaming Eagles were 40-22-1-5 this season and were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Rimouski Oceanic.