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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

Ireland Home From Italy


By Fred Wallace

Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".


If he hasn't already, in very short order, Southampton resident Greg Ireland will emerge from quarantine.

Ireland who coached the Owen Sound Attack from 2011 to 2015, was sequestered after returning to Canada from Italy where he most recently coached the Bolzano Foxes.

The Foxes who play in the Austrian League had their playoff season truncated by the coronavirus, which also landed Ireland in quarantine when he returned to Canada, not because he tested positive but rather as a precaution on where he had been most recently.

Before departing from Italy, Ireland, I assume, shook hands with the Italian Sport Minister and agreed to take over as the Head Coach of the Italian Men's Hockey team.

On the immediate horizon, at one point, was the 2020 World Hockey Championships at Switzerland, which were eventually cancelled in the face of the pandemic.

To a certain extent, this was a bad news-good news scenario for Ireland, if, and I guess it's a big IF, things unfold now as projected.

Obviously, playing and coaching at the Worlds would have been terrific for Italy and for Ireland who admits the learning process in coaching is never ending, so the cancellation is bad news.

But the cancellation of the Worlds also creates a time space for Ireland to meet his team members, conceivably on two significant occasions, before playing in the Olympic Qualifier scheduled for August in Latvia.


I'm Fred Wallace


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