Remember when at-the-time Admirals Head Coach Eric Veilleux decided to leave the team for a job with the Victoriaville Tigres of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League? Well, he’s gone. Veilleux has now taken the reigns of the San Antonio Rampage (AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche), replacing the departed Dean Chynoweth. San Antonio missed the playoffs, and a had drastic move to make. It’s still very odd.
Veilleux appeared to be making a lot of headway in the ECHL. He was a bit lost in his first year, but turned a corner near the end of the season. Players stayed on the team, they were healthy, and they were starting to win games. Veilleux claimed players off of waivers like Paul Rodrigues and Maxime St-Cyr to build for the future. Instead of taking the next step in the process, he went back to the Q. Going back to old successes made some sense, despite the jarring timing of the move. Norfolk (and Edmonton) accepted their fate and moved on with a coaching search. Brass selected Rod Aldoff, a coach with an incredibly high rate of success at the SPHL level. The Admirals are in a decent position, with player signings lined up for sometime this summer. None have been named yet, but those should come soon.
Veilleux being chosen by the Avalanche organization is questionable. Adding a coach with a bottom-five record from an inferior league doesn’t happen much. Veilleux’s AHL experience is limited to his one season as an assistant under Jarrod Skalde, when the Anaheim Ducks essentially abandoned the Admirals before puck drop. Now, he moves up to the world’s best developmental league (or so it touts itself). Patrick Roy coached against him in the QMJHL, and may have recommended him. All that is left is boilerplate press releases, so there’s no telling.