Matt Smaby served as a student assistant coach for UND during the last two seasons as he finished up his degree.

The UND staff made no secret that they think Smaby is a sharp coach who is going to quickly rise in the coaching world.

Head coach Brad Berry allowed Smaby to be on the bench during the third period of games this season -- something no other volunteer coach has done in recent years at UND.

And when it came time to hire a new assistant coach this spring, Smaby was one of two finalists for the job alongside Karl Goehring.

So, it came as no surprise that Smaby landed a full-time position Monday with the Salzburg Red Bulls in the top Austrian league. Smaby will head back to Europe, where he won back-to-back championships as a player in his final two professional seasons in Munich, Germany.

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Smaby's assistant coach for those years in Munich was former Ohio State captain Matt McIlvane, who is the first-year head coach in Salzburg. Smaby will serve as an assistant coach.

Smaby, a former UND captain, played four seasons in the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He also spent four seasons with Munich's team in the top German league before retiring and coming back to Grand Forks.

In Salzburg, Smaby will coach his former UND teammate, Jean-Philippe Lamoureux, a star goalie in Austria. Lamoureux, a Grand Forks native, signed in Salzburg as a free agent after three outstanding seasons in Vienna.

Smaby and Lamoureux helped UND to Frozen Fours in 2005 and 2006.

Could Eaves appear in Cleveland?

The top minor-league affiliate for the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Cleveland Monsters, are looking to hire a new head coach.

One name to watch in that coaching search is former Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves.

There are a few connections with the Monsters and Eaves. Cleveland's assistant general manager is Blake Geoffrion, who played under Eaves with the Badgers. Bill Zito, the Monsters general manager, also spent time at Wisconsin.

Eaves, who coached Wisconsin to the 2006 NCAA national title, has spent the last three seasons at Division-III St. Olaf. He previously served as an American Hockey League head coach with the Hershey Bears and as an assistant coach in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Crookston's Paul Bittner plays for Cleveland.

Jets have all-Minnesota RD... for now

The Winnipeg Jets traded defenseman Jacob Trouba, who is about to become a free agent, to the New York Rangers on Monday night in exchange for a first-round pick in Friday's NHL Draft and right-handed defenseman Neal Pionk, who played college hockey at Minnesota Duluth.

While Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff indicated that more movement could be in the works, at the moment, the Jets have an all-northern Minnesota right side of the defensive corps.

Roseau's Dustin Byfuglien, East Grand Forks's Tucker Poolman and Hermantown's Pionk are Winnipeg's top three right-handed defensemen.

In addition to losing Trouba, the Jets also might be losing right-handed shot defenseman Tyler Myers, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent.

Could AHA adopt the 3x3?

Always-entertaining Air Force Academy head coach Frank Serratore did an interview with College Hockey News this week in which he dropped an interesting nugget.

Serratore said that a majority of Atlantic Hockey coaches are now in favor of adopting the same overtime format as the three Western-based conferences, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, the Big Ten and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association -- a five-minute 3-on-3 overtime and shootout to break ties for conference points only (if nobody scores in the the NCAA-mandated five-minute, 5-on-5 overtime).

The three Eastern-based leagues -- Atlantic Hockey, Hockey East and the Eastern College Athletic Conference -- all end games in ties after the five-minute, 5-on-5.

In the interview, Serratore indicates that four AHA schools have changed their minds on the adoption of the 3-on-3.

NCHC commissioner Josh Fenton is pushing for the 3-on-3 to become mandatory for all college games, including nonconference contests.

Briefly

  • Todd Krygier is leaving his post as an assistant coach at Western Michigan to join the staff of the Detroit Red Wings top minor-league affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. Krygier has been with the Broncos for the last three seasons.
  • St. Lawrence has one more assistant coaching position to fill under new head coach Brent Brekke, who played prep hockey at Jamestown (N.D.) High. One of the top candidates to fill that position appears to be Bentley assistant coach Ben Murphy. Brekke's other assistant is Tommy Hill. Brekke and Hill worked together at Miami. Murphy has been at Bentley for the last 10 years.
  • College Hockey News writer Mike McMahon speculated that Canisius assistant Scott Moser is a top candidate at RPI.