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Spits expect seamless transition

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A change at head coach has not changed the plans for the Windsor Spitfires.

The club expects a seamless transition as Bob Jones takes over as head coach for Bob Boughner, who stepped down to take an assistant coaching job with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Spitfires will not back away from talk of an unprecedented third straight Memorial Cup run in 2010-11.

“Nothing changes,” Rychel said.

He said taking a run at another title will be driven by the team’s roster and not who runs the bench.

“We will make a decision (on personnel) between Nov. 15 and Dec. 1,” Rychel said.

With goalie Jack Campbell on board, the Spitfires are set in goal.

The club will lose offence up front due to graduation, but Rychel said the key is whether defenceman Marc Cantin returns for an overage season and if defencemen Ryan Ellis (a first-round NHL pick by Nashville in 2009) and Cam Fowler (a first-round NHL pick by Anaheim last month) are returned to the Spitfires.

“If they return, we’ll go for it again,” Rychel said. “We just might have to go out and get a couple of 19-year-old forwards.”

Rychel has been busy trying to fill holes up front. He added young forwards

Nick Cziner and A.J. Jarosz in a deal with Kingston and drafted Russian forward Alexander Khokhlachev, who he hopes to have in camp this year. German forward Tom Kuhnhackl is also in the fold.

Forward Austin Czarnik, who played for the U.S, Development Program and is NHL Draft eligible in 2011, also remains in the mix.

“We’re still working on that,” Rychel said. “He could be a first-line centre and among the league leaders in points.”

Chris Crane, who has an offer to Ohio State University, could also join the Spits after being drafted by the San Jose Sharks.

“I’ve talked to (Sharks GM) Doug Wilson,” Rychel said. “He’s a grinding forward whose skills would be helped (in the OHL). In two years, he could be in the AHL and he’d still have his education package with us.”

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