So heres the future right now, if youre Al Sims: whatever happens a minute from now.
And then the minute after that. And then the minute after that. And then all the minutes – a lot of them, he surely hopes – after that.
Which is to say, if youre a hockey coach and its playoff time, you live in the moment, because the moment is all the playoffs afford you. Its win or reserve your tee time – a cruel reality, and also an exhilarating one.
And sometimes a bit of a relief, too, considering how it insulates you from so much else.
The relief for Sims right now, for instance?
He doesnt have time to think about what happens come July.
Thats when his contract with the Komets runs out, and at the moment neither he nor the Frankes have settled on a new one. Theyve talked, Sims says, but thats about all.
Whatevers going to happen is going to happen later.
No one seems terribly concerned about this.
Weve got plenty of time to work on that, Komets president Michael Franke says.
Obviously weve got a lot of other things to worry about right now.
I havent really thought about it, to tell you the truth, he says. Weve been focused on winning each game and winning first place and four games out of five and everything. Thats been my focus.
And thats no more nor less than youd expect both parties to say right now, because thats what they should be saying. Theyve all got an immediate and obvious goal in front of them at the moment, and that supersedes everything. And should.
But as the Komets, your newly minted Turner Conference regular-season champs, head to Rapid City, S.D., this week to open the playoffs, it does seem curious that Sims future job status hasnt yet been nailed down, if in fact its going to be.
The Frankes, after all, have never been ones to dawdle over loose ends or have their ducks unaligned; its one of the reasons their franchise is one of the best-run and financially solid in all of minor-league hockey.
This would seem especially to be the case with Sims, the most successful coach in that franchises history.
Its possible always to read too much into anything, but you have to wonder if the fact Sims and the Komets havent yet come to terms might signal a parting of the ways between the two. And whether or not that has anything to do with a possible move to the ECHL next year, something the Frankes havent ruled out while professing their allegiance to the CHL.
Again, maybe thats reading too much into this. Or maybe it isnt.
Theres plenty of time, Franke reiterates. Were 3 1/2 , four months away from his contract expiring.
A perfectly reasonable stance, truth be told. And perfectly reasonable for Sims focus to be exactly where it is – on the ice – as befits a man whos won four Turner Cup titles and never missed the playoffs with a Komets team.
Weve talked, he said the other day. David and Michael and I, a couple weeks ago. We have some things that are going to be, I guess, taken care of with time.
Well just take it a day at a time and see what happens.
A day at a time. A minute at a time. A game at a time.