This is Don Lever. He was a quality 2-way forward over a fairly long career, scoring 20 or more nine different times.
Lever entered the coaching profession in the late 1980′s, and has been an assistant in Buffalo, St. Louis and now Montreal.
Actually, why don’t I just lift his coaching info from the Habs press release: A native of South Porcupine, Ontario, the 56-year old Lever has been Head Coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs since the 2005-06 season. A 17-season NHL player, Lever began his coaching career in the Buffalo Sabres organization back in 1987-88. After two seasons as an assistant to Sabres head coach Ted Sator, Lever was hired to coach the Sabres’ farm team in Rochester. In his first season as Head Coach of the Rochester Americans in 1990-91, Lever led his team to the Calder Cup final and was voted AHL Coach-of-the-Year with a regular-season record of 45 wins, 26 losses and 9 ties. Before taking on the head coaching job of the Hamilton Bulldogs, Lever had spent 14 seasons (1,154 games) as an assistant coach in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres and the St. Louis Blues. The longest serving coach in Bulldogs history (305 games) has a record of 235 wins, 184 losses, 21 ties and 25 overtime/shootout losses in 465 regular-season games in the AHL.
I think he’s probably a good candidate for an NHL coaching job, and wish the Oilers would consider him and others who didn’t play some of their career in copper and blue. Habs fans are moaning about Lever not being named the next coach in Montreal because of his inability to speak French and deal with the powerful Montreal media in both languages. A reasonable alternative (like having a strong assistant like Jacques Laperierre) may be in the cards, but I’ve also heard Patrick Roy is the next man up in Habstown.
Those kinds of restrictions on hiring are baffling. Your head coach is an extremely important job, why limit the candidates for any superfluous reason? It happens a lot, though. It may happen in our town later this year.
I’ve always wanted to build an info-pak on all NHL (and other) coaches. Track their strengths, their weaknesses, their preferences. I made an attempt with MacTavish here. Wouldn’t it be nice to know as much (going in) about our next coach?
The Oilers play Vancouver tonight. The Canucks are a steamroller, the Oilers a house divided. I can’t predict much, but am fairly certain it’ll be a porridge pre-game show on the radio.