Ads find their newest bench boss in the SPHL
After weeks of speculation, reports are in that the Norfolk Admirals have hired a new coach. An announcement was confirmed by the Pensacola Ice Flyers. The SPHL team announced its current head coach, Rod Aldoff, will be taking the same position vacated by Eric Veilleux in Norfolk. Aldoff is fresh off an SPHL championship with the Ice Flyers (this is not Ice Pilots, and therefore wrong).
Aldoff played college hockey at the University of Minnesota-Duluth before embarking on a long career in minor pro, international, and roller hockey. After finishing his playing career, he lead the Minnesota Wilderness to the Superior International Junior Hockey League (what a name) to championship as head coach. He has spent the past three seasons with the IceFlyers, netting two championships. Aldoff’s track record certainly makes him a good choice for the Ads.
Spending some time in the “A” level of North American pro hockey might be a bit of an additional bonus for the Ads. Aldoff is likely familiar with the day-to-day personnel operations of a team, which are almost as -if not more-important than coaching the team. I would not be surprised to see an IceFlyer or four make their way to the Admirals next season.
What kind of team can be expected? Pensacola finished 3rd in the SPHL in Power Play percentage, but 6th (out of 9 teams) in terms of penalty killing. A more telling number might be Pensacola finishing first in Shots For/Game, at 35.09, compared to second-place Peoria at 33.98. Pensacola finishing fifth in Shots Against, but did manage to tie for third in goals allowed/game at 2.80, thanks to some very solid goaltending.
It’s a bit of a guess as to who’s coming back next year. Scott Allen is signed up with Bakersfield for next season, and there’s a possibility he could come back to Norfolk. Alford will need to work with whatever Bako and Edmonton hand him, which hopefully includes some stronger 2nd and 3rd year players. Alexandre Ranger and Alexis Loiseau, for instance, could be even better players this upcoming season.