It feels like just yesterday that the Kingston Frontenacs announced that they had hired Paul McFarland as the hockey club’s new head coach. Now, the team has announced that McFarland will have a much bigger role as he will also serve as the club’s general manager. McFarland re-joins the Frontenacs after serving as assistant coach of Toronto Maple Leafs last season.
The Frontenacs were rumoured to be looking for a younger mind to lead the organization and they seem to have found that in McFarland. At 37-years-old, McFarland has three full years of NHL coaching experience under his belt. Before joining the Leafs in Toronto, McFarland spent the previous two seasons serving in the same capacity with the Florida Panthers.
McFarland is no stranger to the OHL, especially not to Kingston. Before joining the Florida Panthers in 2017-2018, McFarland spent the previous three seasons serving as head coach of the Frontenacs hockey club. Before that, he spent two seasons as assistant coach with the Oshawa Generals.
In his return to Kingston, McFarland can add GM to his title while also taking back his former role of head coach.
Joining a young Frontenacs team led by rookie phenomenon Shane Wright, McFarland will be tasked with leading the development of his young players, a task which he is accustomed too. While with the Maple Leafs hockey club, he worked closely with young players such as Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander. He did the same while in Florida with Aleksander Barkov, Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Huberdeau.
When asked about how he’ll use what he learned regarding developing young stars in the NHL when approaching his hockey club, McFarland stressed the importance of fundamentals. “I think it goes back to a fundamental level. We are going to work every day on our fundamentals and how important they are to our group to try to do everything we can to improve the skill on our hockey team.”
Frontenacs president Doug Springer was visibly excited to bring on Paul McFarland in both capacities to the organization. He expressed this when he officially welcomed the team’s ninth general manager in an afternoon press conference.
“What an honour and privilege it was when Paul agreed to come back as our head coach, and now to add general manager to his role, we couldn’t be any more excited with the direction he is going to take this team,” Springer said. He also believes that fans of the team will share in his excitement of McFarland returning. “I think that the fans of Kingston are going to be ecstatic as they see Paul roll up his vision which is our vision for the future of this hockey club.”
McFarland was not expecting to be the team’s general manager when he first took the head coaching job. “It’s just something that has come together in the last couple of days.” Although he may not have expected it, McFarland is ready for the opportunity. “We (McFarland and Springer) both wear Fronts colours proudly, and where we see this club moving towards the future led us to this decision. I’m very fortunate to have both of these roles.”