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Will David Carle be the next head coach of the Denver Pioneers?

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David Carle is expected to replace Jim Montgomery as the head coach of the DU Hockey program

Jim Montgomery has been named the latest head coach of the Dallas Stars. With his move to the NHL, the 2017 NCAA National Champion University of Denver Pioneers are left without a head coach...for now. While DU has officially stated that they will start a search for the new bench boss, it is believed that they already have their man in David Carle.

At 28-years old, Carle would become the youngest head coach in NCAA Division I hockey.

According to College Hockey News, he was offered the head coaching position at his hometown University of Anchorage-Alaska just a few weeks ago. With it looking like a certainty that Montgomery would jump to the NHL, Carle turned the job down, fueling speculation that he is next in line for the DU position.

Carle’s time with DU goes back further than Montgomery’s. He served as a student assistant coach under George Gwozdecky for four seasons starting in 2008 before leaving to join the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers for a season and a half. Carle then joined Montgomery’s staff as a full time assistant coach during the 2014-15 season.

The move would bring a measure of stability to a program that has been one of the best in the nation over the past few years. Carle has been known to be a strong asset in recruiting and he would likely keep a large portion of Montgomery’s system in place - especially if he retains fellow assistant Tavis MacMillan and goalie coach Joe Howe.

The brother of former NHLer Matt Carle, David played prep hockey at Shattuck St. Mary’s. Though he had professional aspirations of his own, David was forced to retire from hockey after being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (an abnormally thick heart muscle) at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft Combine. That year, the Tampa Bay Lightning spent the 203rd overall pick on him, despite already technically being retired.