Calling it the “start of a new era,” Halifax Mooseheads owner Bobby Smith fired his general manager yesterday.
Smith, who bought the Mooseheads in 2003, relieved Marcel Patenaude of his duties after nine seasons, saying the decision was based on “six years of this franchise not being what I think it should be.” Head coach Cam Russell has assumed the permanent GM duties, effective immediately.
The Mooseheads are 12-27-2-2 this season, 17th out of 18 teams in the QMJHL. They are coming off a failed run at a championship that ended in a shocking semifinal sweep.
Patenaude, who had a record of 295-233-81 (.484) with Halifax, took the club to the Q final in 2002-03 before Smith bought the team. He took them there again in 2004-05.
“This is not a kneejerk reaction,” Smith said. “In six years, we’ve made the finals once and lost in the semis once. That is as close to what a team can expect.
“But you can’t (say) this has been a superior team, and that’s what I think we should be.”
Russell has been head coach of the Mooseheads since 2006-07, but has no past experience as a general manager. Patenaude declined a request for an interview.