Alumni tournament, Lamb thoughts

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There are still some spots available in the annual MNP Broncos Alumni Golf Tournament at Elmwood Golf Club this Saturday. You can click here for my article on what is coming up on Saturday.

You can sign up to get one of the remaining spots by e-mailing jeremy.rondeau@MNP.ca. I talked to Jeremy a few weeks ago to get some information on how the tournament had changed.

Interview with tournament co-chair Jeremy Rondeau:

It’s one of the most fun days of the year. There are only a few spots left so check it out.

lamb conference

Mark Lamb

With the news that the Broncos will announce their new head coach in the morning it now actually marks the end of the Mark Lamb era in Swift Current. After Lamb accepted his job in Tuscon he has still been helping in the transition and even did an interview with me on their import draft pick. It felt like nothing had really changed yet.

Now it’s really time to turn the page.

Obviously there will be a lot of remnants of Lamb’s tenure with the Broncos. He has offered repeatedly to help the new management team, there are several years of players here that he helped bring to the Broncos, there are several key staff members that he hired and he was a big part in building the team’s strategic plan. However, a new management team is taking over and they will now put their own stamp on the franchise.

At different times I’ve considered writing a long look back at the Lamb era. I’m not sure that’s really necessary. We’ve been through the state of the organization in our year-end chats pretty extensively. If you care to look at the big picture of what he was able to do in Swift Current you probably already have a pretty good idea. I’ve probably debated it with some of you at different times. Minds are mostly made up one way or another.

I think the biggest thing that stuck with me in Lamb’s departure is how emotional he was at his media conference. What I hope some people took from that was how much he cared and took ownership of this team. I don’t think he and his family ever expected to be here seven years… and yet as they committed to the process of building something here they got more and more immersed in it. You can tell that it is incredibly difficult for him to leave and that even when he does leave he will still feel like a part of the Broncos. This wasn’t just a job.

Fans don’t really see behind the scenes much. They see a coach on the bench or hear him in interviews. That can really lead to some misconceptions. I can tell you whether you were a fan of the on-ice product here over the last seven years or not that the coach behind it gave everything he had to it. I can also tell you that he is someone who cared deeply about the people that worked with him and about his players. I know some of the people that worked for him well and heard many stories about how he would go out of his way even during the busiest times to make sure they were heard. I know some of the players he went to bat for and stayed with during rough times. I know he paid attention and it mattered to him even what my experience was like with the team when I travelled with them. He made the people that worked closest to him see that. I heard that from many staff members and players.

Leaders aren’t always loud showmen. They don’t have to give rousing speeches and constantly wear their emotions on their face. Leadership is being committed to and delivering for the people you lead. I believe Mark Lamb was a true leader here for seven years. Even if you’re a fan who is ready to turn the page you have to respect how much of himself he gave.

I think outside of one big win it’s an ideal ending for Coach Lamb in Swift Current. Obviously everyone would have preferred a long playoff run or even a championship. Failing that he gets to leave on very good terms feeling he has the team in the best position it has been in years with the ability to still contribute some assistance to the Broncos here and there. At the same time after seven years some fans were looking for a fresh start. They’ll get that, but only after a lot of work building a foundation that should give the next coach a head start.

Now fans can only hope the new boss comes to care as much or more about the team he’s taking over. Details of that coming at 9:30 on Thursday morning.

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About shawnmullin

Play by Play Broadcaster for the WHL's Swift Current Broncos on 94.1 FM The Eagle.
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