The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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April 17, 2007

Anzalone out?: Chiefs could be searching for new coach soon

Frank Anzalone’s future as coach of the ECHL’s Johnstown Chiefs is in limbo.

In fact, indications are that Anzalone’s two-year tenure in Johnstown will end despite a 63-59-22 record and two straight playoff appearances.

“I’ve been in Tampa. The hockey operations situation is in the hands of (Lightning GM) Jay Feaster,” said Anzalone, who attended the Tampa Bay Lightning’s playoff game against visiting New Jersey on Monday night after meeting with Feaster for his year-end evaluation. “I don’t know 100 percent what they are or are not doing. Obviously I will be affected by hockey operations systems, whether I like it or not.”

Chiefs primary owner Jim Weber bluntly stated in interviews with The Tribune-Democrat that he will make changes prior to next season. While not publicly saying that Anzalone is out as coach, Weber left little room for interpretation in an interview that appeared in Sunday’s Tribune-Democrat, and he didn’t alter his stance on Tuesday.

“I’ve seen a lot of amazing things from Frank. What comes to mind, last year there were a couple clutch wins with only seconds on the clock, and this year the win we had to get ourselves in the playoffs at Reading. But the Johnstown Chiefs have to be a community organization where everyone feels like they belong,” Weber said. “I’m disappointed in myself that we have not been able to cross that barrier.

“After two years I’ve learned what the fans in Johnstown want and I’m going to do what is necessary to deliver that as long as we’re not compromising wins.”

Weber did not comment on whether Tampa Bay’s role with the Chiefs will change next season. The Lightning are a minority owner of the Chiefs and the NHL team handled nearly all player personnel moves.

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