Cory Stillman named as Wolves 30th head coach
by Randy Pascal
There is a lot to like about the hockey resume that Cory Stillman has compiled over the years.
With more than 1000 NHL games and a pair of
Stanley Cup rings to his credit, in addition to a well-deserved reputation as a veteran who could mentor young talent, Stillman transitioned seamlessly to a
role in player development immediately after his retirement from the game in 2011.
It is that pedigree that attracted the attention of Sudbury Wolves' General Manager Rob Papineau, despite the fact that Stillman has no
previous head coaching experience to speak of, beyond minor hockey.
If understanding how to win can be taught, then Stillman will prove Papineau made a wise choice indeed, as the local juniors confirmed the 30th coach in
the history of the franchise on Thursday.
"Cory is a high quality person with a winning track record," said Papineau. "His passion for the game and his ability to teach and develop are
unquestioned." In fact, it was through their mutual working relationship with the Carolina Hurricanes that Stillman really made an impression on
the local GM.
"It's amazing, if you look back at his time in Carolina, all of the mid to later round picks that have signed NHL contracts," stated Papineau. "At the
end of the day, I believe that winning starts with development."
And while he has yet to tackle the reigns behind the bench at this level, Stillman will have no lack of mentors upon which to draw. Over the course of
16 year NHL career, the 43 year old enjoyed the opportunity to play for a list of coaches that included Joel Quenneville, John Tortorella, Peter
Laviolette, Peter DeBoer and Paul Maurice.
That's not to mention that fact that his father-in-law is none other than Bud Stefanski, a seven year coaching veteran of the OHL with the
Barrie Colts and St Michael's Majors.
"As much as he's a teacher, he's also a student," said Papineau of his new hiring. "You look at some of the coaches he has played for. The ability to
adjust, the ability to move forward is something that he has been demonstrating all of his life. I'm not worried at all about that (his lack of coaching
experience at this level)."
"I'm going to take a little bit from everybody and hopefully make it our own Wolves game here," said Stillman. A graduate of the league in which he will
now coach, the father of current Oshawa Generals' defenceman Riley Stillman knows all too well this is not the same OHL that he lit up for 271
points in three years spent with the Windsor Spitfires and Peterborough Petes from 1990 to 1993.
"A lot has changed in 25 years," he said with a laugh. "Today is an exciting game. Everybody can play, everybody can skate. And the old school of yelling
and hollering, that game has changed. The old style is gone, new is in, and the best coaches adapt."
The Wolves confirmed yesterday that they had retained the services of assistant coach Darryl Moxam, a teammate of Stillman's with the 1992-1993
Petes. "I realized early on in our relationship the leadership that he brings," said Moxam.
"I think that we've started something great last year, and I think Cory is the right guy to come in here and build on that momentum." Papineau did
confirm that there will be one more addition to the coaching, well before training camp opens in the fall.
"Cory will be part of the process of selecting his primary associate coach, and that's only fair, and that's all of the discussions that we have had so
far on that issue," said Papineau. "We'll have a third (coach), for sure."