Steven Finn doesn’t need to be reminded about how small the hockey world can be.

And it didn’t take much persuading for him to make it that much smaller.

Finn, a 12-year NHL veteran player who spent most of his time with the Quebec Nordiques, will be a defensive consultant and part-time coach for the Lewiston Maineiacs. His son, Sam, is a defenseman on the squad.

“I didn’t do this for my son, honestly, and I told them that from the beginning,” Finn said. “Once you’re in the game, you’re always a part of it.”

Finn became involved after a series of meetings with team management, including one in particular last season with majority owner Mark Just.

“I met him for the first time, and I was very impressed with his passion and heart and commitment to the team,” Finn said. “The first time we talked, he said, ‘You’ve been around the game and you know the game, would you be willing to work with our ‘D’ group?’ That’s how it started.”

Finn’s hiring is part of a series of administrative changes within the organization.

Also announced this week is the addition of a new partner in ownership. Paul Spellman, formerly of Federal Distributors and a longtime season ticketholder, has invested in the organization, and is now a part-owner.

“(Majority owner) Mark (Just) has seen the need for local ownership for many years,” Spellman said. “He and I have had a few discussions over the years, but for one reason or another the timing wasn’t right. The community has been very good to me and the Maineiacs are very important to a lot of people in the community. I want to give something back to the community and I am looking for a challenge.”

Spellman was one of the original and founding members of the fan organization “Lewy’s Legion,” and believes some of those same ideas that helped drive that group can work, on a larger scale, with the organization as it stands now.

“Mark and (GM) Roger (Shannon) have put together a comprehensive business plan that addresses the business top to bottom, on and off the ice,” Spellman said. “Everyone in the organization is fully commited to the plan, and I have to tell you, their excitement is contagious.”

Spellman was drawn into his role, he said, purely by the love of the sport, and the desire to ensure the team’s long-term viability in the Lewiston-Auburn marketplace.

“Paul will spend a lot of time now in Lewiston working very close with the front office on the business plan that was developed back in early February,” Shannon said. “The team worked on a one-, three- and five- year plan. Paul, with his background, will be integral in carrying out that plan, and he’s a person who knows the local business temperature, which was something we needed.”

While Finn will still be based in Canada, he said he plans on being in Lewiston often, whenver the team needs him, and whenever he can get to Lewiston.

“My role will be more as a consultant, I won’t be behind the bench,” Finn said. “I’ll be more as a consultant for the ‘D’ group and for the coaching staff as well, and Roger Shannon if he needs my input.”

There is still one big hole to fill within the organization, a hire that the team insists is “coming soon.” The team currently has no team president, someone to run day-to-day operations on the front end. That, Shannon said, is imminent, but the team would not disclose any further details.

This is all happening as the team prepares for the QMJHL’s annual draft this Saturday in Drummondville. The team currently does not have a selection until the third round and has been implicated in several trades, some of which have been confirmed by the players themselves, though they cannot be made official through the league office until Friday morning.

Earlier this spring, rumors surfaced that captain Billy Lacasse will be traded to Chicoutimi, that former first-rounder Jean-Francois Plante will be traded to Shawinigan for 20-year-old Antoine Houde-Caron, and that the Maineiacs will acquire 20-year-old Olivier Dame-Malka from Acadie-Bathurst. Each of these rumors were reinforced by the players themselves commenting on their own social networking pages.

Officially, the league’s trade window opens Friday morning, and remains open through the draft Saturday.


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