With a coaching change, the Owen Sound Attack is ready to...
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With a coaching change, the Owen Sound Attack is ready to rumble..

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The offensive roster inherited by Barrie native Darren Rumble includes two local products, Colby Barlow and Jake Crawford;

“I’m a players’ coach at heart,” he says Peter Robinson Barrie native Darren Rumble has been named the interim head coach of the Owen Sound Attack.

The 54-year-old former NHLer is in his first season in Owen Sound after three seasons in a similar role as an assistant with the Quebec Junior Major League (QMJHL) Gatineau Olympiques.

Rumble grew up in Barrie and graduated from both the local minor hockey league and the Junior B Colts, the precursor to the major junior versions, before leaving the city to play for the Kitchener Rangers.

Rumble spent three years with the Rangers and will travel to Kitchener on Friday night for his first game as the leader of the offense. The club controls two home games against the Brantford Bulldogs and the Kingston Frontenac.

“My approach is that coaching is a partnership,” Rumble explained when BarrieToday asked how he plans to approach his new role. “I want to create mutual respect between (me) and the players. I’m a player’s coach at heart.”

Rumble’s most notable coaching stint was a six-year stint as head coach of the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats, which followed two seasons on the bench with the American Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning. Rumble also had several stints as a junior assistant in Seattle, Shawinigan, Queen and Saginaw, Mich., over the past decade.

Orillia native Coly Barlow and Barrie native Jake Crawford are both members of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack this season.

Rumble was a professional player for 16 years, including in the NHL with Philadelphia (twice), Ottawa, St. Louis and Tampa Bay, with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2004. He was also named the best defender of the AHL. plays for the Flyers affiliate.

The coaching announcement came Wednesday, two days after the Ontario Hockey League club fired head coach Greg Walters in a surprising move for a team that started 4-2-1 and went 4-0 for the best performance of its young season. away win against Soo Greyhounds.

“I just felt like it was the right time to move on,” said Offense GM Dale DeGray, who, like Rumble, is a former NHL defenseman. “We wanted to go in a different direction in training.”

DeGray and Rumble worked together with the Team Canada U18 program. Walters, a former underdog who was a Leafs draft pick, was in his third season behind the bench for the Attack, which included two first-round playoff exits. A tough guy as a player, Walters also spent two years in Oshawa as the Generals’ head coach, including an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2019.

Walters is known as an old-school coach. When asked if the change could be interpreted as a shift from traditional ways to the more progressive methods represented by Rumble, DeGray declined to elaborate.

“I’m not going to go down that road,” said DeGray, who later added that he still thinks highly of Walters, but that the fit was no longer right in Owen Sound. “He has a very good coaching history … I think he can continue to coach in the American League.”

Before being named head coach in Moncton, Rumble was a finalist for the Halifax Mooseheads head coaching job, which later went to Dom Ducharme.
Rumble has been behind the bench in the playoffs for a long time as a head coach and assistant, but perhaps his most notable success is developing young defensemen.

His former students include Jordan Spence (Los Angeles Kings) in Moncton, Tristan Luneau (Anaheim Ducks) in Gatineau and Shea Theodore (Vegas Golden Knights) in Seattle. All three players are currently on NHL rosters after winning their league’s Defenseman of the Year award while playing in the Rumble Juniors.

“I’ve been very fortunate with the players,” said Rumble, who also helped develop Conor Garland from an undersized, late draft pick of the Wildcats to the QMJHL MVP his senior year. – As a coach, I miss the competition level of the team the most, and also the respect factor, which I think should also always be there, he added.

Rumble takes over the Owen Sound Attack roster with a pair of Simcoe County products in Barrie native Jake Crawford and Orillian Colby Barlow, a first-round pick of the Winnipeg Jets last summer.

Four years ago, Rumble was considered for the Colts’ head coach job when the late Dale Hawerchuk had to step down to receive cancer treatment. The job later went to Warren Rychel, Rumble’s former Kitchener Rangers teammate, which only lasted a few months.

Marty Williamson finally returned to his former role after longtime Hawerchuk assistant Todd Miller was in an interim role before the pandemic shut down the OHL for the season. Miller took over from Walters in Oshawa, but was fired after a few months in the job.

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