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Trump offered chance to learn how to run AHL team

by David Satriano

If coaching isn't good enough for Donald Trump, maybe learning how to run a hockey team is.

The Syracuse Crunch, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, issued a challenge to Trump to coach their team in a video posted on their YouTube page Wednesday (watch here).

"You running for president is like me, a Brooklyn boy, being a professional hockey coach," Crunch chief financial officer Vance Lederman said in the video. "So Donald, here is what I'm going to do: I got an invite for you. You're a big man, you want to be for all the people. I invite you to come to Syracuse to learn how to be a professional hockey coach."

Trump, who is a candidate for the Republican nomination for president of the United States in 2016, might be too busy. So when he didn't respond to the coaching offer, Lederman altered his offer and now would like to show Trump how running a hockey team is different than running most businesses.

"My challenge has changed," Lederman told NHL.com. "My challenge for him to be the head coach is out. I've invited him up here to learn how to run a hockey team from the financial end of it. He didn't answer my challenge, so the challenge has changed."

Lederman explained how he thought of the idea to get Trump involved in his franchise.

"Trump is out there," Lederman said. "He's in the news every day. … He's certainly one of the most watched figures now. … The fact that he is ahead in the polls, we said let's do something different and challenge Trump to come up here and learn how to run a hockey business. We all know running a business and running a hockey team are two different things. … I'm not so sure he would do that well initially.

"I've seen very successful business people buy a hockey team and they've tried to run the hockey business like they ran their other business, and more often than not it doesn’t really work out that well. I think him coming [to Syracuse] and me showing him, giving him the little ins and outs on how to run a hockey team, I think would benefit him."

If Trump accepts the offer and it doesn't work out, perhaps Lederman could join Trump's campaign team.

"I'm waiting for him to reach out to me and then we can discuss it from there," Lederman said.

Syracuse coach Rob Zettler, who wasn't informed about Trump possibly taking his job, is in training camp preparing for his fourth season in Syracuse. The Crunch open their season Oct. 10 against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers.

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