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Six Questions with Leaf head coach and GM, Frank Maida

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
September 16th, 2011

Frank Maida spent five seasons along side of Simon Wheeldon as the dynamic coaching duo of the Nelson Leafs.

As coach of the defence, Maida and Wheeldon were part of a KIJHL pennant winner in 2009 as well as helping the Leafs to the league finals in 2010.

During the magical 2009 run the Leafs came within a game of winning the Cyclone Taylor Cup, emblematic as the top Junior B team in B.C.

When Wheeldon decided to resign from coach/GM position everyone in local hockey scene thought Maida was move up to the skipper’s position.

However, the manager Rona Building Centre in Castlegar and father of two grown children decided the best place was a spot somewhere other than the NDCC Arena to enjoy life.

That all changed when last year’s boss Chris Shaw decided to abruptly jump ship to the BCHL and the Leaf brass came calling.

Now Maida, 47, is ready, even though he got a late start on the recruiting process having taken the job in July, to lead the Leaf back to the success experienced when he was an assistant.

Maida, assisted by Stuart Linnen on the Leaf staff, sat down with The Nelson Daily Sports Editor Bruce Fuhr for a feature called Six Questions prior to the start of the 2011-12 KIJHL season.

TND: You’re back in the saddle, this time as the skipper of the Good Skip Leaf. How does it feel?

FM: It feels really good. But to help with the transition from assistant to head coach and GM, I’ve been talking to Simon all the time.
TND: Last season was a little bit of a disappointment for Leaf fans after the exciting five-year success run by you and Simon Wheeldon. How do you return the Leafs to the upper echelon of the KIJHL?

FM: I hope to have us playing an entertaining game for our fans, working hard game in and game out and show respect for the game and other teams in the KIJHL.

Has your philosophy changed from when you were the assistant coach to Simon Wheeldon? If not, why?

FM: Not at all. Our team will work hard and play HOCKEY and continue a commitment to the players because our commitment on and off the ice was successful for us.
TND: What has been your biggest challenge to start this season?

FM: Getting ready in a very short time.

TND: When Simon and you were coaching, many a player was recruited from the Okanagan, especially the Kelowna area. Now that Kelowna has a team of its own, where will the players come from?

FM: Starting in the last week of July this has been hard to recruit. But we have players from the Okanagan, USA, Northern BC Lower Mainland to name a few.
: Have you set any goals for your rookie season? If so, what are they?

FM: For the first 15 games to become the hardest working team and playing our systems.

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