July 1 signals the start of a one-month, so-called off season in the Ontario Hockey League. But the fact is that there are plum coaching vacancies in the OHL that will be filled at some point this month.
So much for vacation time.
Kingston Frontenacs and Owen Sound Attack are both looking for new head coaches while the Sudbury Wolves are working on bringing in an associate coach to newly-hired bench boss Cory Stillman.
Names of potential candidates for the available jobs in Kingston, Owen Sound and Sudbury are numerous and notable.
Long-time OHL assistant Jake Grimes, formerly of the Belleville Bulls and now with Peterborough Petes, always seems to have his name linked to openings.
To be sure, the OHL way often follows a path of assistant coaches moving up to head coaching positions. Thus as Grimes is a credible candidate for a promotion, so too are current assistant coaches Chris Lazary of the Saginaw Spirit and Greg Nemisz and Nathan McIver of the Oshawa Generals.
Other names out there are former Kitchener Rangers associate Jason Fortier, former North Bay Battalion and Kingston assistant John Goodwin and former OHL defenseman Mike Dawson, who scouts for the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League.
A regular candidate for an OHL assistant job is Jordan Smith, head coach (and general manager) of the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League. Smith has twice prior been linked to assistant positions with the Soo Greyhounds and was a candidate for an assistant job in Oshawa a year ago only to be bypassed.