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RiverKings Coach Accepts St. John's AHL Job

June 24, 2003 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Mississippi RiverKings News Release

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – Memphis RiverKings head coach Doug Shedden has accepted the head coaching position with the St. John’s Maple Leafs in the American Hockey League, an affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. Shedden, who led the ‘Kings to back-to-back CHL President’s Cup titles, compiled a 128-56-14 record with the RiverKings in three seasons and reached the conference finals all three years. Shedden takes over a St. John’s team that went 32-40-6-2 and missed the AHL playoffs this past season.

Pat Quinn, General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, made the announcement today that Shedden will be the new head coach of St. John’s. Shedden becomes the sixth head coach in St. John’s franchise history. Terms of the contract were not announced.

“I like the way he deals with men and I think he has an ability to be a guy who can influence players in how they play the game and how they are as people as well,” Quinn said in the Toronto Sun on June 22nd.

In his first season with Memphis in 2000-01, Shedden posted a 43-21-6 record and led the franchise into the conference finals for the first time since the 1996-97 season.

“My time in the Mid-South has been very special to me,” said Shedden. “It’s tough to leave the RiverKings organization, but this is a great opportunity for me and my family, especially with an organization like Toronto that has meant so much to me over the years.”

Shedden has ties to the province of Newfoundland, where St. John’s is located, as his mother grew up there.

“My brothers and sisters are very excited about this,” Shedden said. “My grandparents are from St. John’s and I’ve been out there several times. It’s a beautiful area to raise a family.”

Overall in 11 seasons of coaching Shedden has compiled a 452-203-61 record and captured five championships. In his ten full seasons as a head coach he has never missed the playoffs. Shedden is the only coach in CHL history to win back-to-back championships, a feat he has accomplished twice (Wichita 1994 and 1995, Memphis 2002 and 2003). This past season with Memphis he won his 450th game as a head coach with a 1-0 victory over New Mexico on March 14th.

“We are very happy for Doug and his family,” said RiverKings owner Robin Grindstaff Costa. “He’s done a tremendous job here and it has been a great working relationship in my first year owning the team. Doug will continue to be involved with the RiverKings as an advisor. Currently we are looking at several candidates to replace Doug with the ‘Kings. They all have head coaching experience and NHL experience.”

The RiverKings are the primary AA affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs and that relationship will continue.

“While we obviously hate to lose Doug, we are thrilled that he is going to be part of the Maple Leafs organization because it will strengthen our affiliation with them,” said Costa.

Before joining the RiverKings, Shedden was the head coach of the Flint Generals in the United Hockey League (UHL) for one season in 1999-2000. His club set UHL regular season records in points (111-tie) and fewest losses (14) en route to winning the playoff championship. He has also had coaching stops with the Louisiana IceGators of the East Coast Hockey League (1995-96 to 1998-99) and the Wichita Thunder of CHL (1992-93 to 1994-95).

“I think it is great for the organization that Doug has gotten the chance to move up,” said RiverKings captain Don Parsons. “I am sure whoever Robin decides to hire will do a great job for the RiverKings organization and the community.”

Shedden played 416 career NHL games and collected 325 points (139 goals, 186 assists) with 176 penalty minutes. He appeared in 24 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1988-89 to 1990-91 and registered 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) with 12 minutes in penalties.

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