Photo Credit: Stockton Heat

Cail MacLean named new Stockton head coach

Following the promotion of Ryan Huska to the National Hockey League, questions surrounded who his successor would be as head coach of the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat. The answer turned out to be a fairly simple one: his assistant. Huska’s right-hand-man, assistant coach Cail MacLean, has been named the new bench boss in Stockton.

MacLean, 41, is originally from Middleton, Nova Scotia and has had a pretty quick progression in his coaching career.

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He played four years with the Ontario Hockey League’s Kingston Frontenacs, then bounced around minor-pro for 11 seasons. In those 11 seasons, he played for 14 different teams spread across three leagues:

  • The American Hockey League’s Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, Lowell Lock Monsters, Philadelphia Phantoms, Hershey Bears, Hartford Wolf Pack and Bridgeport Sound Tigers
  • The International Hockey League’s Cleveland Lumberjacks, Indianapolis Ice, Michigan K-Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins
  • The ECHL’s Jacksonville Lizard Kings, Trenton Titans, Reading Royals and South Carolina Stingrays

He retired in 2008 and took a gig as assistant coach with the Stingrays, then was promoted to head coach there in 2009 when previous head coach Jared Bednar was hired by the Abbotsford Heat. MacLean made his way to Abbotsford in 2010 (replacing Bednar there), serving two seasons as an assistant under Troy Ward. Following a brief hiatus from coaching pro hockey, the Flames hired him to run their ECHL affiliate in Adirondack. Two years later the Flames sold their interest in that club, but were impressed enough with him to move him to Stockton to work under Huska.

Barely a decade after hanging up his skates, he’s a head coach one level below the NHL.

    • CalgaryBornandRaised

      Well, they traded a MVP finalist for a second pairing defensemen and Jordan Eberle (1st line winger) for a third line centre, so I’m expecting no less than Mcdavid

      • deantheraven

        Har, har! Good stuff, but let’s be realistic… What would Tre be able to flip McDavid for? He’d better get it done before the draft so we can at least get some potential…

      • Bob Hartley

        Adam Larson since becoming an Oiler is a +33. (Hamonic -33 Lol)Plays with grit and heart. Hall doesn’t make players around him better and has accomplished nothing in his career except for being a role model player in losing. Name one person in an interview who has ever said Hall was a good teammate? Ever see Hall stick up for a teammate? Nope. Ever seen him play mean like monohan? Lol nope. But this is hockey stuff so I wouldn’t expect shames fans to know lol. I mean you guys think the Lazar extension and raise for 1 goal and 5 assists was warranted lol Just like thinking Eberle is a 1st line player on a playoff team lol Ever seen ebs win a puck battle? Ya me either. Ever see him get scared and give it away like little Johnny? Yup a million times. You just don’t win with guys like that. Hockey Stuff.

        • Still no edit button?

          Lol hall dragged New Jersey into the playoffs by himself. Easily made his linemates better. And everyone knows plus minus doesn’t matter. Your one of the few people that have said those trades were not terrible.

          • Bob Hartley

            Jealous of?????? LoL
            Jealous of your oldest arena in the league?
            Jealous of your star powered roster?
            Jealous of all the relocation talks within your franchise?
            Jealous that you have the best player in the world?

            lol shames fans

          • CalgaryBornandRaised

            Are you defending Chiarelli, Bob Hartley?

            I am not saying Adam Larsson isn’t good, but considering that the common theme coming from up north was “need a fast scoring winger to play with Mcdavid” and you had one, that might win the MVP this year, all I’m saying is Chiarelli is garbage at trades

            Treliving hasn’t been without his failures, Brouwer and Lazar stand out, and it can be argued he overpaid for Hamonic, but he’s made some good ones as well

            Can you name a good thing Chiarelli has done for the Oilers? The Lucic signing for waaaaaay too much money, bringing in Strome (who’s been a middling centre at best)

  • Jobu

    Jobu wants to take a stab at what the starting farm might look like (making some assumptions on contracts and big club signings).

    Mangiapane – Dube – Foo
    Klimchuk – Gawdin – Lazar
    Shinkaruk – Pollock – Phillips
    Lomberg – PLUG/Mattson – Fischer/Hathaway

    Kylington – T-spoon/Goloubef
    Valimaki – PLUG/Prout
    Bruce – PLUG


    Looks pretty good. Would look much better if Fox was with the club.

    • Stockton's Finest

      I see it more like this:

      Mangiapane Colin Smith Dube
      Klimchuk Gawdin Foo
      Pollock McMurtry Phillips
      Lomberg (Hrivik??) Shinkaruk (?)

      Kylington Goloubef
      Valamaki / Healey
      Robak/ Prout (?)

      Gillies or Rittich (whichever loses the backup role)
      Ryan Faragher (Parsons needs ice time in KC)

      • freethe flames

        Both of you have not included Poirier. Have the Flames announced they are moving on from him and I missed it? (I know they are not resignig AOM) After the end to last season I would hav Poirier ahead of Shinkaruk.

        • Stockton's Finest

          I put a question mark by Shinkaruk. Thought I already had Poirier in there. Both have their issues. Poirier lacks defensive skills while Shinkaruk is either really good or really bad. No middle ground.

          If Foo makes the Flames out of camp, you can slide Phillips in to that second line and put Poirier as 3rd line RW.

    • The GREAT WW

      The Oilers have 3 NHL caliber forwards.
      Two first overall picks and a third overall.
      All 3 play C but only one can drive his own line.
      Total cap hit: $27……

      The Oilers D is crap and they don’t have a starting goalie….

      Good times!


  • The GREAT WW

    Trade proposal:
    GG loves Brouwer (for standing up for GG when he was brave enough to go into the room those few times…) and GG is passionate about bringing his favourites with him to his next team.

    So realistically who do we trade Brouwer to the Oilers for?
    The Oilers will want to unload one of their bad contracts, and they have plenty.

    Oilers fans will say Lucic, after all he is signed to the worst contract in the NHL right now. So that’s a no-go.

    Realistically the trade I can see happening is Brouwer for Kassian.
    Both sucked last year and could use (yet another) fresh start.


    • The GREAT WW

      And Brouwer would actually pick the Oilers as one of the teams he would accept a trade to because its close to home, his buddy GG is there, and the Oilers have actually less depth on the right side than the Flames….


      • Mickey O

        Actually thought about that as a realistic trade as well. Calgary would likely have to eat maybe $1M in salary, which is cheaper than buying out Brouwer.

        Calgary gets a true 4th liner who becomes the designated hitter on the team, something the team still hasn’t addressed since Engelland left.
        Edmonton gets a project who their new assistant coach obviously values as a player, and who can play up the line-up.

        If a trade like that comes down, then Hathaway is even more expendable than he is now. The Kassian for Brouwer trade actually makes sense from both team’s perspective. That’s a little frightening when typed out, but it is true.

        • Off the wall

          Since we’re having fun with this, why don’t we trade Brouwer for Strome?

          All the Oilers fans do is complain about Strome and he’s a RFA this year.
          Currently at $2.5 M.
          He was supposed to replace Eberle’s scoring touch and we can see that didn’t work out.

          We retain 1.5 M of Brouwer’s salary and call it a day…

          • Mickey O

            Watched a lot of Oilers games this year, and Strome did get better as the season went on. But man, his skating isn’t that great, and the Flames would play him on the wing. He doesn’t do anything for me to be honest, I’d rather have Kassian who would at least have a defined role.

            Let Edmonton pay Strome too much, and for too long, for what he brings to the team. Great to see that Troy Brouwer is now such a hot commodity with GG in Edmonton that Brouw is a wanted man!

  • freethe flames

    How and why does a discussion about the Heat hiring a head coach become a discussion about Brouwer and the Oilers; yuk.

    Here’s a question? Which GM is going to fall in love with Smith-Pelly and pay to much money and to much term?

    • Mickey O

      Smith-Pelly is a RFA though. Washington probably brings him back on an overpay contract.

      Wonder what Vegas intends to do with Ryan Reaves as a UFA. His next contract has drastic overpay written all over it – but if you are going to blow a position on a pure fighter, you may as well go out and get one of the best. He makes everyone on the team play braver. Calgary could do worse.

    • FL?MES

      This is one of the funniest comments I have ever seen on FN….and you got cheered for it.

      “How and why does a discussion about the Heat hiring a head coach…”

      “Here’s a question…”

      So you complain about derailing a blog conversation by detailing a blog conversation?

      • Stockton's Finest

        Off the top of my head, I don’t know. Need to do a little research. Know Kylington, Healey, Foo, Mangiapane, Lomberg, and a few others who I can’t think of right now are on NHL contracts. Some RFA’s still around. The only AHL contract I can think of maybe Kayle Doetzel.

    • Off the wall

      I hope so SF.
      He had a really good record in the ECHL.
      As a Head Coach in the ECHL, MacLean has posted a 157-96-35 record and made the playoffs in all four seasons he’s been at the helm.

      From what I understand he’s quite the motivator, so I think it will be a great season for Stockton!

  • Bob Hartley

    All this oilers talk on flamesnation…. I love it 🙂

    Look out for mcdavid and the oilers to be prepared out of the gates this year. Maybe this is the year Money man and Philly Boy carry this team deep into the playoffs LOL riiiiiiiiiiigghhhttttt

  • The GREAT WW

    On topic: I’m very happy with the Cail promotion!
    I brought his name up months ago for a Huska replacement after Huska got canned…..

    I honestly don’t think Huska can do much harm with the big club.
    Rebar is in charge.
    Ward is second in charge.
    Huska is really there to make the Stockton D transition into the NHL. I doubt he has much to do with running the team on the ice.
    Possinly the PK; let’s see how he does at that….


        • The Real Slim Brodie

          Yup it’s close to draft time….oilers fans are starting to yap on fn.. how has the “best player in the world helped the oilers lately? He’s carried the caps to within one game of a Stanley cup. Last year’s best player won his second 3rd cup with Pittsburg. Mcdavid hasn’t carried a team yet or his hype

          • Kevin R

            Holy smokes buddy, if you are going to troll try not come up with fictio & get your facts. Your boy is 21 & McDavid may be a pretty good player until he’s 40, I certainly would not take that bet against him, it certainly wont be with that gong show team you pull for. Thought I would just remind you of that.