Jim MacEachern steps down; head coach Trent McClement given additional title
By Pat Payton
St. Marys native Greg Smale is the new Director of Hockey Operations and General Manager of the St. Marys Jr. ‘B’ Lincolns. Head coach Trent McClement has also been given more responsibility after being named Vice-President of Hockey Operations.
It all happened late last week after Jim MacEachern, of Kitchener, informed the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) club that he was stepping down as Director of Hockey Operations.
“We thank Jim for his passion and dedication to the club over the past year,” Lincs’ president Brandon Boyd said in a press release. “We are excited to advance Greg and Trent into their new roles with the Jr. ‘B’ Hockey Club. Families can expect the continued level of professionalism and commitment to player development going forward.”
Smale, a strong recruiter, recently served as Lincolns’ assistant GM. Prior to joining the Lincs, he was an assistant coach and GM with Mitchell Jr. ‘C’ Hawks. He also coached about 15 seasons in the St. Marys minor system, where his Midget teams always gained a high level of success.
“After several years of Junior hockey experience, Greg has proven to be an effective evaluator, communicator and leader for the hockey club,” Boyd said. “We look forward to Greg assuming his new role, and he will continue to effectively work alongside the rest of the Hockey Operations staff.
“The way Greg sees an organization, I think he’s the right guy to deal with the people and put in place a strategy to build a team here.”
Looking forward to the challenge
Smale, 37, said he’s excited and looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s a little overwhelming right now to think that you’re the top hockey operations guy of your home-town Junior team,” Smale said last Friday. “It’s kind of a unique situation that Trent and I are both from town. When was the last time that two guys from town were coach and general manager of the St. Marys Lincolns?
“You couldn’t ask for a better job, being a Lincoln fan growing up in this town. I’ve worked really hard to be a part of this organization. To reach this goal, it’s really exciting for me.”
McClement spent his first full season behind the Lincs’ bench in 2018-19. Originally from Palmerston, McClement now makes his home in St. Marys. Like Smale, he’s a man who wants to build a championship team.
“Having won multiple Jr. ‘C’ division titles with Mount Forest Patriots, Trent has moved to St. Marys and has been a seamless fit within the Hockey Club and the community,” Boyd said. “Trent’s relentless work ethic and relationships skills will be valued assets in his additional responsibilities moving forward.”
Paul Gaudet, also from Kitchener, came to St. Marys with MacEachern about 18 months ago. Gaudet will continue in his current role as Lincolns’ Director of Player Personnel.
“Paul’s commitment to player development and organizational skills will continue to bolster the hockey club,” Boyd said.
Cites huge time commitment
MacEachern, meanwhile, was hired by the team in mid-January of 2018.
“As of today (May 3), I’m stepping down from my position,” MacEachern told the Independent last Friday morning. “It’s just a personal decision. There’s no reason as far as negativity or anything along those lines. It’s a time commitment; it’s a huge commitment from where I live.
“I think it’s in my best interests to step away and let people who live in the area and have more time than me run the hockey club. I’m an hour away. It’s a huge commitment and deserves a lot of attention.”
MacEachern enjoyed his short stint with the Lincolns.
“I loved every minute of it,” he said. “I personally believe that we’ve changed the way people see St. Marys now. I think it’s a respected organization at this time; we’ve changed the culture in St. Marys. And I think there’s going to be a really good hockey team in St. Marys next season.”
MacEachern said he has no plans to join another hockey team.
Lincolns’ Annual General Meeting May 13 at PRC
By Pat Payton
The Jr. ‘B’ Lincolns will hold their Annual General Meeting next Monday, May 13 in the PRC’s End Zone room, starting at 7 p.m.
A membership fee of $25 gives people voting rights at the AGM, as well as monthly meeting invitations and they are also included on the monthly email list.
“If you have any interest in game day operations, marketing/promotions, fundraising, sponsorship, hockey operations, or just want to learn more about the St. Marys Lincolns, come on out,” club president Brandon Boyd says. The club meets on the second Monday of every month.
–Lincolns are holding their annual golf tournament on Saturday, May 25 at St. Marys Golf and Country Club. The title sponsor is Herald Haus Brewing Company.
Cost is $155 per golfer or $620 per team, and golfers can register their teams by contacting email@example.com prior to May 15. The Lincs’ fundraiser is again a four-person, Texas Scramble format, with a shotgun start at 11 a.m.
–Lincolns have also unveiled their new season ticket prices. For Super Early Bird pricing before May 25, you can purchase your season ticket for $75 with purchase of a $100 elimination draw ticket as well. Otherwise, the regular Early Bird deal of $99 applies, and only available before the regular season starts.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase your ticket. With the new price structure, Lincs now have the cheapest season tickets in all of Junior ‘B’ hockey, which includes 24 home games ($240 value).
–Lincolns were pleased with their recent spring mini-camp at the PRC. Just over 90 prospects attended the three-day camp.
“It was a positive weekend for the hockey club,” Greg Smale said. “We feel we’re going to have a competitive main camp, where kids are going to be challenging for spots. We feel we’ve built some depth within our organization.”
Lincs project inviting 10 to 20 prospects from their Apr. 26-28 spring camp to their main camp, which starts in mid-August.