Parker: Coyle’s move to QMJHL ‘a less than lateral move’

By Arielle Aronson/DFP Staff

During the winter break, the No. 9 Boston University men’s hockey team suffered one of the most high-profile player departures in recent history when sophomore forward Charlie Coyle chose to leave BU for brighter pastures with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

In a recent interview, BU coach Jack Parker expressed his disappointment in Coyle’s decision to leave BU at the end of the first semester. Coyle informed Parker before leaving BU for the break that he would not be returning. According to multiple sources, Coyle had some academic issues at BU, but Parker said that while he cannot comment on Coyle’s academic situation, he hinted that it was Coyle’s choice to leave the school.

“One of the major problems was it would be one thing if we lost a right wing and a left wing, but we lost two centers,” Parker said. “It would have been better for us and maybe better for him if he had decided to leave at the end of last season.”

Had Coyle left before the season and not in the middle of it, BU would have been able to bring in another center to replace Coyle. Parker said that while it is always an option to bring in a recruit a semester early, he chose not to do so in this case because he had an abundance of forwards (although not necessarily centers) on the team to replace Coyle. BU did add another forward, albeit not a recruited player, in walk-on Jake Moscatel – who most recently played for BU’s club hockey team – for depth in case of injury. Moscatel is not expected to see much ice time.

Coyle leaves BU in the midst of a season where he had only scored three goals but assisted on 11 other tallies. Parker said that while the team will suffer from the loss of a player of Coyle’s skill level, he believes the team will miss dismissed senior forward Corey Trivino’s (13-4-17) total output more than Coyle’s.

“Coyle had three goals and Trivino had 13 goals, so you tell me who we’ll miss more,” Parker said. “Coyle has been a really good player for us, there’s no question about it, but it’s not as if we’ll miss his total output. He was on the first line since he’s been here. He was on the power play since he’s been here. He couldn’t have possibly gotten more ice time than he had. We can replace him with a lot more guys in that ice time and get a lot more goals than just his three.”

Parker was then asked whether he was disappointed with Coyle’s production over the course of his BU career.

“Not as much as he was, I guess,” Parker said. Parker then denied that Coyle left BU because he was unhappy with the way he was developing. He said instead that Coyle told Parker he chose to leave BU because he wanted to focus solely on hockey rather than both school and hockey.

After Coyle’s departure, reports emerged saying sophomore defenseman Adam Clendening was also a risk to leave the team, but Parker said Clendening plans to return to school. Both Clendening and sophomore forward Matt Nieto, like Coyle, have been hounded by Canadian Major Junior teams throughout their collegiate careers in an attempt to get the players to leave college to play north of the border.

Coyle, a lifelong BU fan, always said it was his dream to play for BU and even used “buhockey03” as his email address before arriving on Commonwealth Avenue. Therefore, it seemed unlikely that Coyle would give in to the pressure from the Major Junior teams and leave his dream school.

Now that he did leave BU, the chances of Nieto and Clendening choosing to leave seemed greater as well. Parker, however, said he was not worried that Nieto or Clendening – who did not grow up as BU fans – would also leave the team.

“Anybody could do it,” Parker said. “Each individual has their own ethical and moral principles. It’s a hard situation, but Clendening has been hounded and he’s not leaving. Nieto’s not leaving.”

While Major Junior teams develop many elite players for the NHL, the league differs from college hockey in that it is for players aged 16-20 years old and is a longer schedule with more games and less of a focus on gym and practice routines. For Coyle, a player who has competed against 18-to-25 year olds in college hockey for the last 18 months, the move to Major Junior is an interesting developmental choice.

“It’s a less than lateral move,” Parker said of the difference in competition level between the QMJHL and college hockey.

Coyle is currently playing in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships, an annual tournament featuring national teams of players under 20 years old. Coyle has been dominant in the tournament thus far and recorded a hat trick in Team USA’s first official game, a 11-3 rout of Denmark. Coyle’s goal total in that one game matched his output from an entire semester at BU, leading the US national team coach, Dean Blais, to remark that Parker must not have been using Coyle correctly at BU. Parker did not back down from firing back at Blais.

“They’re playing him at center; we played him at center,” Parker said. “They’re playing him on the power play; we played him on the power play. They’re playing him on the penalty kill; we played him on the penalty kill. We used him exactly the same way they are.”

Despite his disappointment in Coyle’s decision to leave BU, however, Parker said he is happy to see Coyle doing well in the tournament.

“Charlie Coyle got much better as a player here at BU,” Parker said. “It’s amazing to see how much better he is now than he was at this point last year. In general, I’m happy to see him do well on that team.”


  1. Hell of a job you just did coaching USA, Dean. You’re already eliminated.

  2. Wow, Parker is really bitter about Coyle leaving.

  3. of course he is bitter. Do you even know how hard coach’s work to recruit these players then develop them. Coyle did not fulfill his commitment which by the way was never expected to last all 4 years but it is understood that you do not leave in the middle of the season!

  4. If you leave in the middle of a season, the coach has every right to be pissed…

  5. Totally classless comments by Parker. What happened to just wishing the player well and thanking him for his time at BU?

  6. Great piece Arielle.

  7. that is why i will never root for coyle to succeed. i hope he stays in good health, but i also hope he regrets his decision at some point. as a long time BU fan (section 104) i feel betrayed that he left MID YEAR. that is the key point – not that he left but when he left

  8. Great piece Arielle! Any truth to the rumor that Charlie sold out for $200,000? If that is true, shame on him. Although I wish him well, I could never be a Charlie Coyle supporter. He abandoned a team that was on its way to a possible National Championship. It will certainly be more challenging without Corey and him. I appreciate Coach Parker’s honesty regarding this matter.

  9. The only classless individual in this affair is Coyle. He did very little on the ice for BU despite being given the chance to shine. He is selfish and unworthy of well wishes. He’ll make it to the next level but I hope it’s a career in the AHL like fellow non-student Chris Bourque. Good riddance!

  10. i don’t think parker’s comments were classless at all. coyle is making a less than lateral move by playing with younger (than hockey east) kids. lord knows, i don’t always agree with coach parker, but i found his candid comments enlightening. also, i would not group bourque with coyle. first, as a hockey player, bourque had a much great impact at bu, and second he left at the end of the season not like the scamster, coyle

    personally, although i love the terrier fan blog, i wish they would stop reporting on coyle. he left like that, see ya

  11. The poster that wrote that Parker’s comments were “classless” probably never went to class themself, because they are so far off base. Some people criticized Parker for saying too much after the Trivino situation. In this interview, he handled it perfectly. He told it as he saw it from a professional development standpoint, yet he also showed remarkable restraint by not saying anything personally about Coyle, or how he had abandoned his teammates in midstream.
    The bottom line is that Coyle left college so that he dominate against mostly high school age players. If he thinks that will make him a better player, then he and his agents are completely clueless.

  12. You got rid of Trivino’s name & number from the 2011-12 roster listing. Time to get rid of Coyle’s, as well.
    He’s not a Terrier anymore.

  13. Coyle left because he saw what a poor job Parker was doing with development. Not many of BU’s top recruits have gotten better in their time at BU. Coyle made the right choice. Parker’s constant whining just make Coyle’s choice look better and better.

  14. Coyle needs to learn how to play against good defense. BU was a good place for him to do that. He clearly has the skill and talent to score a lot of goals, but he doesn’t do well at creating space to score. Also, his role centering the second line with 2 pure scorers (chiasson/nieto) was clearly not going to lead to a lot of goals from him since those guys are shoot first type of guys.

    I wish him the best but I do wish he hadn’t left halfway through the season. BU has a very tough road ahead and I hope some of the guys that have been underperforming (Chiasson/Connolly) can step it up a bit and start scoring some more goals.

    As for Parker, he had some tough comments but I don’t think they were classless. He was pretty blunt in his assessment of Coyle’s decision and pretty much said exactly what everyone else is thinking (Trivino was a much bigger loss, etc). And for the Anon who said that Parker hasn’t developed any talent, Shattenkirk/Wilson are both great _two way_ players in the NHL right now. I’m not a huge Parker fan for many reasons, but the top BU players recently have come out of college much better prepared for an NHL type game than other top players at other schools.

  15. I think this is a good move for Coyle. Like it or not, the NCAA route, specifically Hockey East, is not a good one for developing professional hockey players. There is a reason many of the top draft picks last year either de-committed or quit college hockey. Some college coaches (York) are better at developing players than others (Parker), but the reality is that the CHL is a better place for a hockey player than Hockey East. If you don’t believe me, look at last year’s Stanley Cup Champions. They finally won when they stopped wasting money on college kids.

    And to the above poster, we all know the 2009 team won _despite_ Parker, not because of him. Time to go, Jack.

  16. Ask Wilson and Shattenkirk how much credit they give Parker and the BU coaching staff in their development.

  17. Arielle great job. Parker was not classless in his comments most coaches wouldnt have been that nice about it. Coyle sounds like a underachieving dimwit.

  18. Only Parker can take top recruits then make then useless in college.

  19. I think that most people don’t realize how lucky to have Jack Parker as the head coach, who twice turned down the Bruins. He has won Three National Championships and BU has won more than any other Eastern schools, including BC. I still think the team will regroup after the latest setback. Even with Coyle and Trivino they would not have beat Notre Dame. They lost because of extremely poor defense and shaky goaltending. Dean Blais has no class and did not do an even adequate job with Team USA. He should worry about his own team. Finally, I believe that Coyle sold out for $200,000. His lack of integrity and poor character will eventually catch up to him. What if he has issues in “the Q,” where will he run to next?

  20. john mcarthy and a long list of previous players cant stomach parker and said he is the reason they didnt improve at BU, only after they left

  21. all the Parker-bashing is a joke…i’m sure there have been plenty of players throughout the years who are not Parker fans but his record speaks for itself…there is no doubt a change could be beneficial for the program but let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture: charlie coyle ABANDONED his team, a team and school he claimed to love. i don’t have a problem with him leaving, my problem is the timing and where he went. if he was really concerned about starting his pro career, then he should have signed with minnesota’s AHL team, something the minnesota papers say the Wild would have been open to doing