After two seasons full of memorable outbursts and eruptions, the Seattle Sailors have fired coach Stewart “Popeye” Corrigan. The move brings the tenure of the SHL’s most volatile, explosive bench boss to an end.
In two seasons with Seattle, Corrigan compiled a record of 30-84-6. But it wasn’t the Sailors’ on-ice performance that triggered Corrigan’s dismissal; rather, it was the coach’s track record of over-the-top meltdowns when things didn’t go Seattle’s way. Reportedly, the team felt that the coach’s lack of self-control was embarrassing and unprofessional.
“We didn’t have any complaints with the job Stewart was doing, to be honest,” said Sailors GM Jay McKay. “He’s a perfectly fine coach. But we’ve thought a lot about the sort of person we want representing the public face of the Sailors. And as much as I like Stewart, we made the call that he wasn’t the right guy for us going forward.”
Corrigan’s list of temper-fueled incidents is legendary around the league. He threw a roll of athletic tape and shouted an ethnic slur at a referee. He threw punches at an opposing player who had been attacking his team. He threw his bench on the ice to protest a call. He attempted to assault Wolves D Vladimir Beruschko after the player crushed Sailors RW Vince Mango to protest his celebratory on-ice selfie. He swung a hockey stick at Michigan coach Ron Wright during an argument.
“I understand that I did this to myself,” said Corrigan. “I’m a passionate guy, sometimes too much. I’ve always had a temper, and I’ve let it get the better of me on a number of occasions. I can’t say that I agree with this decision, but I do understand it. I wish this team the best of luck. Whoever winds up coaching this team next is going to be a lucky guy. This is going to be a great team.”
McKay said that he intends to “cast a wide net” in searching for Corrigan’s successor. He indicated that both assistant coach Mark Morganhurst and minor-league coach Randy Bergner would be on the list of candidates.