The Cleveland Monsters will start their 10th season with their fifth coach in the history of the organization. Four coaches have come and gone leading up to the 2016-17 season. Some made a big impact on the city of Cleveland, and others left the city wanting more from the team.
After leaving the Monsters, most of the former coaches experienced success at their new clubs.
All of them have ties to the Avalanche organization, even after the Monsters changed affiliations.
In 2007, Cleveland became home to the Lake Erie Monsters. Upon arrival to Cleveland, Joe Sacco was named the first head coach of the organization.
He remained the Monsters’ head coach for two seasons where he led the team to an uninspiring 60-79-21 record.
At the end of the 2008-09 season, Tony Granato was fired from the position of head coach of the Colorado Avalanche. Sacco stepped into the role of head coach after Patrick Roy turned the job down.
During Sacco’s first season as Avalanche head coach, the team finished with a 43-30-9 record and were eliminated by the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
At the end of the season, Sacco was a finalist for the “Jack Adams” award. Dave Tippett of the Phoenix Coyotes would go on to win the coveted coaching award.
After three seasons of missing the playoffs and placing last in the Western Conference, Sacco was let go at the end of the 2013 season.
A few short months later, the Buffalo Sabres hired Sacco in as their assistant coach. At the end of the 2013-14 season, he agreed to be the Bruins’ assistant coach and still resides there today.
Group gathers 'round Assistant Coach Joe Sacco pic.twitter.com/2YybDhIaDh
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) September 20, 2015
After helping coach the Boston Terriers to a National Title in 2009, David Quinn was named the head coach of the Lake Erie Monsters. Quinn stayed with the Monsters for three seasons helping them get into the playoffs during his second season of coaching.
He would finish with an 115-94-27 record.
At the end of the 2011-12 season the Avalanche, yet again, brought a Monsters coach up the system. Quinn would stay the Assistant Coach of the Avalanche for one season before being named the head coach of Boston University.
TODAY IS THE DAY! Coach Quinn starts his career as Terrier head coach tonight against St. Francis Xavier. Hope to see everybody at Agganis!
— BU Men's Hockey (@TerrierHockey) October 5, 2013
Over the course of three seasons, Quinn and Boston University had a record of 59-41-14 and were NCAA championship runner-up in the 2014-15 season.
Dean Chynoweth was named the head coach of the Lake Erie Monsters in June of 2012. Over the course of his three seasons as coach the Monsters seemed to always fall short of incredible. While there were many incredible players on the team, the Monsters constantly floated around average. They were nothing more and nothing less.
When the Avalanche changed affiliation to the San Antonio Rampage, Chynoweth moved with the team. After one season with the Rampage, Chynoweth was relieved of his head coaching position.
UPDATE: San Antonio Rampage head coach Dean Chynoweth has been relieved of his duties.
— San Antonio Rampage (@sarampage) April 26, 2016
Before coming to the Lake Erie Monsters, Jared Bednar was the assistant coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ affiliate, the Springfield Falcons. After two seasons of following in the footsteps of head coach Brad Larsen, Bednar finally had a chance to lead the team for the 2014-15 season.
When the Columbus Blue Jackets changed affiliation from the Springfield Falcons to the Lake Erie Monsters, they took Coach Bednar along for the ride. During the 2015-16 season, Bednar coached the Monsters to an incredible 43-22-11 record and a Calder Cup Championship win.
After coaching the Monsters to a Calder Cup Championship win, the Avalanche picked Jared Bednar up as their head coach.
— Cleveland Monsters (@monstershockey) August 25, 2016
Now it’s John Madden’s turn to grab the helm of the Monsters’ ship. He has big shoes to fill in the wake of Bednar. Will the city of Cleveland see a repeat championship, or will they fall back into the heartbreak they know so well? Only time will tell.