Tons of uncertainty surround the Moncton Wildcats.
The organization was dealt two big blows with injuries to star rookie forward Zachary L’Heureux and captain and “Mr Everything”Jakob Pelletier.
Pelletier’s upper body injury is truly heart breaking because the highly skilled versatile forward will now miss Canada’s World Junior Selection Camp.
In my opinion Pelletier had a very strong shot at cracking the lineup this season.
Pelletier’s versatility and compete level is world class.
After a solid start the Wildcats Captain was playing some of his best of hockey of the year as of late.
Pelletier was trying to carry the Cats early on this season and in my opinion was trying to do a little too much. As mentioned Pelletier was playing the best hockey of his career and was outstanding during the CIBC Canada Russia Series.
It appears Pelletier’s injury isn’t too serious and he will be back soon, but one can only imagine how devastating the news is for arguably the most complete player in the QMJHL and his family.
The dream to play and represent his country is now put on hold.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know
“The truth will set you free” or maybe it won’t.
I’ve learned that a lot of people have a deep passion and connection to the game of hockey in this city and an unwavering desire to hear the story. Nevertheless, inquiring minds want to know.
I’ve learned more than ever before this week that there are some stories I just can’t write, but most of all I’ve learned that there are many layers to any story.
Rumour, Speculation and The Truth
We may know more in 48 hours, with regards to John Torchetti’s leave of absence and uncertainty surrounding the Moncton Wildcats coaching situation or maybe we won’t.
You see there’s a massive difference between rumours, speculation and the truth.
Right now all we know is that John Torchetti is on a leave absence for personal reasons.
It’s been very quiet, eerily quiet with regards to this story and rightfully so.
As of right now John Torchetti is still the Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations of the Moncton Wildcats.
Nonetheless, when the story first broke roughly a week ago the rumour mill was running rampant.
There are tons of “what if” scenarios surrounding the current situation. Nevertheless, those in the hockey world are asking other questions like why?
Why didn’t John Torchetti go on the road trip to Cape Breton?
Answer: personal reasons
Fact: We know Torchetti was back on the ice for practice on Tuesday afternoon at the Avenir Centre.
Stephane Leroux of RDS tweeted out that he had messaged Torchetti asking if he was going to be on the road in which Torchetti replied “yes.”
If Torchetti was back on the ice on Tuesday, why didn’t he go on the road trip on Wednesday morning Quebec?
Answer: personal reasons
If John Torchetti returns to the Moncton Wildcats obviously everything will go back to normal.
Business as usual.
Torchetti has done a phenomenal job with the team this season and had them on a championship trajectory. However, the biggest “what if” scenario surrounding this situation is what if John Torchetti doesn’t return to the Moncton Wildcats?
Let’s re-enter the speculation side of all of this.
Last Sunday I wrote Who’s Next? looking at possible replacements if in fact Torchetti was fired. Obviously, we didn’t know the situation until that night at 9:30pm when the Wildcats issued the statement.
If Torchetti doesn’t return behind the bench, which we have no indication that will occur, the organization would likely try to resolve the coaching situation expediently.
So who would they consider as a replacement?
Ted Nolan? Guy Boucher? or stay status quo?
What about former NHLer, Spengler Cup Champion Head Coach PEI product Gordie Dwyer?
Dwyer would be a very intriguing high profile candidate if in fact the Wildcats decide to move on from Torchetti.
Dwyer’s coaching resume really speaks for itself.
The Dalhousie, New Brunswick product’s international coaching experience and success coupled with his knowledge of the game, the business side and the QMJHL is really second to none.
Dwyer’s coaching philosophy and identity would be an ideal fit for the Cats if in fact they decide to move on from John Torchetti which again we have no indication at this time that is the case.
Rumour, Speculation and the Truth all add up to more uncertainty for the Moncton Wildcats.