UMass coach Greg Carvel gets to work on offseason tasks

By Ross Gienieczko

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(Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian)

(Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian)

The introductory phase of his job is over, and after a whirlwind first week, Massachusetts hockey coach Greg Carvel is settling down and getting to work on several offseason tasks.

Carvel said he hopes to have the rest of his staff “hired and working” in time for the American Hockey Coaches Association convention from April 27 to May 1 in Naples, Florida.

Ryan Miller and Joey Gasparini, assistant coaches for the Minutemen under former coach John Micheletto, announced last week they would be moving on from the program.

Micheletto was fired the day after the season ended, but Miller and Gasparini remained under contract until a new coach was hired. Their announcements were made five days after Carvel was officially introduced as UMass coach at an introductory press conference.

Carvel declined to name specific candidates for the openings, but said he has a short list that’s narrowing down.

Carvel also said former Minutemen coach Don ‘Toot’ Cahoon will be involved in some capacity with the program going forward.

“I asked him to become involved if I took the job, and he said absolutely. He loved the time here. I texted to him (a few days ago) and told him we’d have to get together soon,” Carvel told the Massachusetts Daily Collegian.

Cahoon coached UMass from 2000 to 2012 before agreeing to resign after the 2011-2012 season. He led the Minutemen to their only NCAA tournament berth in program history in 2007 and finished his UMass career with a record of 165-231-40.

A hockey lifer, Cahoon previously coached at Princeton and also had brief stints coaching in Europe and as an NHL scout. He played at Boston University from 1969 to 1972, winning two national championships under coach Jack Kelly. He later became an assistant for the Terriers on Jack Parker’s staff for five seasons, winning an additional national title in 1978.

“An iconic guy like that, you want him involved,” Carvel continued. “His personality is infectious. He’s funny and he’s fun to be around. I’d be crazy not to want him around.”

Carvel also said he’s spoken to many current UMass recruits and there would “inevitably” be changes in the team’s recruiting landscape.

“Yeah, I’ve spoken to most of them. When players commit to programs, the number one reason is usually the coach or the coaching staff and the connection that they made with them, the trust that they have,” Carvel said. “I left St. Lawrence and there’s a lot of kids there who need to figure things out, and there’s a lot of kids here. So there’s inevitably going to be changes.”

One recruit, Ty Pelton-Byce, has already changed his plans. Pelton-Byce had signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Minutemen, but will attend Harvard instead, according to a College Hockey Inc. database of commitments.

“It’s not for me to give names, but certain kids are going to move on to other schools and other kids are going to move on to UMass that weren’t originally. It’s just the way it goes,” Carvel said. “Recruiting is very much a game of familiarity and trust and connections. So I’m sure there will probably be some shakeups.”

Ross Gienieczko can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @RossGien.