It’s going to be a year of change for the Nelson Leafs.
After an incredibly successful season that saw the local squad win the Neil Murdoch Division title, head coach Frank Maida has announced his resignation from the squad.
“I just feel it’s time to step aside and spend more time with family and work my other job,” said Maida.
After serving as head coach for three years and assistant coach for five, Maida said he has nothing but great memories to look back on.
“It was a great run, a great year. I thought the boys had a super year. We had a great record this season and I was very proud of the boys.”
Despite the success, the coach said it was time to move on.
“At this point it is just time to step away and enjoy some of the other things that I’ve wanted to do and put on hold.”
But that doesn’t mean he won’t be following the Leafs next year.
“I’m definitely a Leafs’ fan. You’ll see me around.”
But come September, it will be a different leader running training camp.
“It definitely will be strange, but I’m looking forward to it, doing some other things in September,” he said.
Leafs assistant coach Sean Dooley said he was a “bit surprised” at the announcement, adding that he had “no idea” that it was coming.
“It seemed to happen so quick, right after the Cyclone (Taylor Cup). Frank never said anything all year about whether he wanted to come back, or if he was going to call it a day,” said Dooley.
He said Maida was a great coach that has done a lot for Nelson.
With Maida stepping down, the Leafs need to find a new head coach, a position Dooley admits is tempting.
“Obviously I love coaching the team and I enjoy hockey and this is my home town… growing up watching the Leafs and then playing for the Leafs, the next step is maybe one day coaching them. It’s something that has been in the back of my mind.”
But Dooley admitted that the time commitment can make it difficult, especially when you have a full-time job.
He hasn’t made any decision one way or the other regarding applying for the position,
Along with Maida’s departure, Russell Stocks, Leafs’ president, has also announced his resignation.
“This has been a decision long in the making, over this past year. Before we entered the season I was considering backing away,” said Stocks.
However, he changed his mind once the announcement came that Cyclone Taylor Cup was coming to Nelson. Stocks decided to stay on for one more year.
“Now that the season is over, it’s time for me to take a break and focus on some other priorities.”
Stocks was president of the Leafs for four years and vice-president the year before that.
“I will certainly miss it. It has been a big part of my life for those years. But there are so many other things that I need to get done and want to accomplish.”
He will still be part of the Leafs board of directors, as past-president.