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Generals hope shake-up initiates a turnaround
The Greensboro Generals try to salvage their season with some major changes.
BY JIM YOUNG
Greensboro News & Record – February 22, 2002
GREENSBORO - Graeme Townshend hadn't completed his first season as the Greensboro Generals' coach, but after two lopsided losses in a five-day span, the ECHL team's management decided not to extend his tenure.
The Generals announced Thursday that Townshend would step down immediately as head coach and become the team's vice president of hockey operations effective March 4.
"After two bad losses in a very short period of time, we just felt it was time to change things," said Rocco Scarfone, the Generals co-owner and president. "We did not want to wait until the end of the season. We still have a way to salvage this season."
The salvage job will be left to Alex Godynyuk, 32, who moves up from assistant coach for the remainder of the season. He will be assisted by Sal Manganaro, who retired from playing right wing for the Generals to move behind the bench.
Godynyuk also will have the services of center Jeff Bes, who was acquired from the Augusta Lynx in a three-way trade with the Johnstown Chiefs on Thursday. The Generals dealt defenseman Rob Sandrock to Johnstown for defenseman Sergei Skrobot and right wing Jim Shepherd. Greensboro then shipped Shepherd to Augusta for Bes, who has 14 goals and 40 assists this season.
The hope is that the flurry of moves will help jump-start a team that was pounded 8-1 at Trenton on Feb. 15 and 7-1 at Charlotte on Tuesday. At 18-28-6, the Generals are last in the Northeast Division standings and 16 points out of the final playoff berth in the Northern Conference with 20 games remaining.
"It was obvious that something was not working," Godynyuk said.
Godynyuk, a native of Kiev, Ukraine, was in his first year of coaching after an 11-year playing career that included 220 games with four teams in the NHL.
Manganaro, Greensboro's third-leading scorer this season (15 goals, 17 assists) was planning to retire at the end of the season.