ECHL.com Note: Doug Shedden coached Louisiana in the ECHL from 1995-99, leading the IceGators to the postseason in each of their first four seasons including the 1997 Kelly Cup Finals and the 1998 Southern Conference Finals.
By Greg Rajan
Corpus Christi Caller-Times
On the surface, Doug Shedden would seem to be the poster boy for upward mobility in the Central Hockey League.
He coached six years in the CHL, won four championships and then moved up two years ago, when he was hired to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs’ American Hockey League affiliate in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
But the former Wichita and Memphis bench boss is quick to tell people that he’s the exception to the rule. For when it comes to making it out of the CHL and to the next level, coaches often come up empty.
Since the 2001 merger between the CHL and Western Professional Hockey League, Shedden is the only coach to make an upward move. Before then, only a few coaches successfully made the leap to a higher league – with just one CHL alumnus making it to the NHL.
“Coaches are like players for the most part,” CHL president Brad Treliving said. “Depending on where they are in their careers, they want to move up the ladder.