by Patrick Hoffman on 06/27/12 at 09:00 AM ET
It is not very often that I get to “talk” to a junior hockey coach so this was a real treat and honor for me.
Believe it or not, we have “spoken” with this hockey guy before. However, it was as a professional hockey player and then a retired professional hockey player.
Now, it is once again time to interview Mike McKenzie, this time as the new assistant coach with the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers:
PH: You told us the last time we talked that you wanted to get into coaching. Did you think it would happen this fast?
MM: I really had no idea how fast it would happen. I put my resume out to a lot of different teams so I wasn’t too sure how things would work out and how quickly something would come up. I was fortunate that the Rangers came to me and offered me a job.
PH: How did the Kitchener Rangers approach you? Was this something you reached out to them about doing?
MM: I reached out to them earlier in my search for a coaching job and I was fortunate enough to be a guest coach at their mini-camp, which was a great experience. After the camp I was not expecting them to hire anyone but they came to me a couple weeks later with an offer that I gladly accepted.
PH: What are you looking forward to the most when it comes to this career change for you?
MM: I am looking forward to working with young players and helping them develop their game so they can be the best they can be. I think any coach will tell you the most rewarding part is seeing players develop and improve right before your eyes.
PH: Do you have any words of wisdom for those who might be looking to get into coaching one day?
MM: Just be patient and look for the right opportunity that fits you the best. Make sure you start in a place where you feel comfortable and can learn the proper way from people that have been doing it for a long time and understand what it takes.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.