Butch Goring is going to Disneyland.
As soon as a contract is negotiated, the Utah Grizzlies coach will make the time-consuming journey from his summer home in Lake Dauphin, Manitoba, to Anaheim, where he'll be introduced as the new bench boss for the NHL's Mighty Ducks.Goring confirmed he's been offered the job, which could double his current salary of approximately $200,000 per year. Terms were being negotiated Tuesday, but all indications are Goring will become the third head coach in the Disney-owned franchise's history. A press conference could be scheduled as early as Thursday.
"He knows the game as well as anybody I've played for," said Mighty Ducks center Travis Green, who played for Goring at other levels. "He is a very solid coach and I've always enjoyed playing for him. I don't know too many guys who don't."
Though Anaheim officials have yet to confirm the hiring, Goring's chief competition for the job has already thrown in the towel.
"Of course, I'm disappointed," former Canadian National Team coach Andy Murray told the Orange County Register. "But Butch is a quality person and outstanding coach. I'm sure I surprised a lot of people to get this far. The process was very fair and thorough. I was happy to have the opportunity to present my case. But this is his good fortune."
For Goring, it marks a return to the NHL after nearly a dozen years away. He coached the Boston Bruins for 96 games (going 42-41-13) from 1985-87 before being fired. Goring has since labored in the minors, spending the past four years with the Grizzlies - winning the Turner Cup twice.
"The thing I want most is to coach in the NHL again," said Goring, who was also considered a finalist for the Florida Panthers' recent opening.
The time has come. And Goring sees a tremendous upside to the situation in Anaheim. Pierre Page was fired as head coach of the Mighty Ducks after the team finished an injury-plagued regular season 26-43-13. The year prior, Anaheim reached postseason play for the first-time ever.
Utah Grizzlies team president Tim Mouser said a search for a newcoach would begin in earnest as soon as he returns from a week's vacation. His list of potential replacements for Goring reportedly includes: former Salt Lake Golden Eagles star Rick Bowness; Chicago Blackhawks assistant Newell Brown; former Calgary and Tampa Bay (NHL) coach Terry Crisp; ex-Blackhawks coach Craig Hartsburg; Anaheim assistant Walt Kyle; Los Angeles Kings scout Rob Laird; former Buffalo (NHL) coach Ted Nolan; and Chris McSorley, former coach of Utah's IHL rival Las Vegas.
Mouser hopes to begin interviewing candidates by the end of the month and have a new coach in place as soon as possible. The Grizzlies open training camp on Sept. 20.