When the Regina Pats skated off the ice Sunday night having lost the Mastercard Memorial Cup to Acadie-Bathurst, it was the last time for many wearing the team uniform.
Players like Sam Steel and Josh Mahura are expected to begin their pro careers next season while 20-year-olds Matt Bradley and Cameron Hebig have exhausted their junior eligibility.
It will be a different team that takes the ice when the 2018-19 season starts, but head coach/general manager John Paddock says that team will be a competitive one.
“We will be a very competitive team next year,” said Paddock. “We have lots of good players; Jake Leschyshyn, Nick Henry, Robbie Holmes, we have the possibility of some quality overage defencemen coming back, and we have a top goalie (Max Paddock), we have some other guys you will see a lot more out of, we had a glimpse of Cole Dubinsky as a 15 year old. I’m not overly concerned about next year.”
The question is whether Paddock will be back behind the bench.
He, along with assistant coaches Dave Struch and Brad Herauf, signed four year contract extensions on January 18.
Many expect Paddock to step aside to concentrate on being general manager allowing Struch to take control, but when asked the 63-year-old offered a stern “no comment” and that he was not pursuing any opportunities.
In his four years behind the bench, the Pats have made the playoffs each year with Paddock compiling a record of 165-89-34.