QMJHL: Saint John Fires Coach Right Before Memorial Cup

You don’t see this every day.

The Saint John Sea Dogs will host the Memorial Cup in about a month. On Sunday, the team fired head coach Gordie Dwyer.

The Sea Dogs went 47-17-4 this season and fell to Rimouski in the first round of the QMJHL playoffs. Dwyer, 44, is a former NHL forward who was in his first season with the team after coaching in the KHL and in Switzerland.

Sportsnet reported on Sunday evening that University of New Brunswick men’s hockey coach Gardiner MacDougall will be named the team’s interim coach for the tournament. Marek said that MacDougall will coach the Sea Dogs at the Memorial Cup, and then he’ll return to coaching UNB.

Despite being eliminated from the QMHL playoffs, the Sea Dogs have an automatic berth in the Memorial Cup as the host team.

The Memorial Cup begins on June 20.

In addition, Sportsnet reports that the Sea Dogs have brought on Rocky Thompson as a special advisor. Thompson coached the 2017 Windsor Spitfires to a Memorial Cup championship. He was an assistant with the San Jose Sharks last season but was not with any team in a coaching role this season.