Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: coaching
From Rich Hammond at the LA Kings site:
For the bulk of the summer, housed in a small, windowless office in an industrial section of El Segundo, Terry Murray has been at work, laying the groundwork for a season in which he, his fellow coaches and Kings players will shoulder increased expectations.
Offseason additions of veterans such as Mike Richards, Simon Gagne and Ethan Moreau, coupled with the natural maturation of a talented, young team, has led many league pundits to tab the Kings as top contenders in the Western Conference.
Can the KIngs pull it off? They’ll take the first step on Sept. 17, when training camp opens and players officially take the ice for the first time. For Murray, in a way, it will be a culmination though, an end to months of preparation and planning.
“There’s a method to the madness, in terms of what goes on before that first day of training camp,” Murray said. “It goes way back, to literally the end of the previous year.”
Slava Malamud at the Washington Post:
Former Capitals goalie coach Arturs Irbe had a few surprising things to say about his parting ways with the team. In an interview with a Latvian website sportacentrs.com, Irbe said that he wanted an opportunity for career growth which his former position didn’t provide.
“Coaching goalies is very interesting but I have passed this level already,” said Irbe. “Two years of this kind of work was enough and I don’t see myself in this role anymore, even though I have offers right now, including long-term ones. I want to grow professionally, move forward, earn more. Washington, after all, is quite an expensive city. So I had measured all the pros and cons of working for the Capitals and decided it would be better for me in Latvia.”
“There were many positives in working for Washington,” Irbe added. “But If I continued to coach goalies there, sooner or later it would have turned into a routine. Plus, there were no opportunities for career growth at all.”
Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau talks about his first day with the team:
“I had to get their respect right off the bat, so I gave Alex [Ovechkin] crap. It was on the first shift of the first practice and he missed a drill. I pulled him aside in front of the guys and told him he couldn’t do that.
“I knew I had to give it to him before anyone. If all I did was give crap to the nine guys I coached in the minors before, then it would be I was just giving crap to the AHL boys.”
—sourced in The St. Catharine’s Standard
*thanks to Capitals Insider for the pointer
From Brett McMurphy at The Tampa Tribune:
The way Barry Melrose sees it - make that saw it - nobody viewed more hockey than he did last season as an ESPN analyst.
“What I like is, no one has watched more hockey than me in the last year, the last five years,” Melrose said. “I’ve probably seen Tampa play 70 times last year and every team on the East Coast probably 70 times and the West Coast teams maybe 50.
“It’s the personnel. There’s not many players in the NHL I don’t have a read on - who I like, who I wouldn’t like. That’s probably the best thing about the NHL and what I know is the personnel.”
The new Lightning coach is the latest to transition from sitting in makeup to making out a lineup.
Eurohockey.net provides an interview with long-time Finnish goalie coach Jukka Ropponen, whose students (clients?) have included the likes of Niklas Bäckström, Kari Lehtonen and Pasi Nurminen.
Q: You have worked in Finland, America, Switzerland and Russia, which was the best place out of these?
Hockey is hockey, I have enjoyed working in all different countries. They all have pros and cons so it is really tough to say one place is better than the other. I guess I just love hockey and working with goalies.
Q: What are the biggest difference in goalkeeping schools in these countries?
Let’s see, all countries have their own unique characteristics. let me elaborate this a bit more on a country by country basis:
• Finland has the most systematic approach to coaching goalies and most probably more goalie coaches than in any country compared to the number of team and players.
read on for Ropponen’s take on a variety of topics
With the NHL’s 2007-08 campaign in the books, the drama now shifts from the ice to the front office as the league’s 30 teams begin their mad scramble to prepare for next season.
As of Friday, half a dozen teams are still in need of a new head coach, with the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Atlanta Thrashers, San Jose Sharks and Ottawa Senators conducting searches. And the list of ‘free agent’ bench bosses is impressive to say the least.
Names being circulated over the last month include…
read on for an overview of the coach quest, and other matters on the NHL summer agenda
From Jacques Demers in USA Today,
Four numbers stuck with me after watching the Detroit Red Wings take a 3-1 series lead on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night:
•Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, the 38-year-old captain of the Red Wings, played more than 28 minutes, skating 37 shifts, an average ice time of 44 seconds.
•Pavel Datsyuk played 19 minutes, averaging 39 seconds.
•Henrik Zetterberg played close to 23 minutes, averaging 43 seconds.
•Johan Franzen averaged 42 seconds.
From Mark Purdy at the Mercury News,
We now have definitive proof that San Jose is a hockey town.
Earlier this week, a civilian spotted Joel Quenneville on the streets of our fair city. And actually recognized Quenneville. And tipped off a Mercury News columnist about it.
Quenneville is the former coach of the Colorado Avalanche, as of earlier this month. And unless he was here to visit the Winchester Mystery House or shop at Santana Row, odds are that Quenneville was interviewing for the Sharks’ vacant coaching job.
In fact, the Mercury News received multiple confirmations of Quenneville’s presence in San Jose. Pretty impressive feat by our citizen journalists. Quenneville is hardly the NHL’s most famous face.
continued… with more San Jose Sharks coaching speculation
From PJ Swenson at Sharkspage,
Former Los Angeles Kings coach and current ESPN analyst Barry Melrose said in a short telephone interview today that he is still interested in a head coaching position. “Once you are a head coach, you are always a coach” Melrose said. He believes the position in San Jose is the most desirable opportunity on the market because in his opinion the Sharks could compete for a Stanley Cup next season.
Asked about the feelings of disappointment by players and staff after a second round exit to Dallas in the Western Conference Semifinals, Melrose said, “They should feel disappointed, they should still be playing”.
From Adrian Dater at the Denver Post,
Patrick Roy will not be the coach of the Avalanche. Not for next season, anyway.
Roy told The Denver Post late Thursday night he wants to stay in Quebec at least through this coming season, mainly to keep coaching his sons, Jonathan and Frederick.
But Roy said he does want to coach in the NHL at some point, probably when his younger son, Frederick, leaves junior hockey.
“When Fred is done, it will be different,” Roy said. “But this is OK with me for now.”
From Bernie Lincicome at the Rocky Mountain News,
Wait. I was only kidding when I suggested Patrick Roy for the coach of the Avalanche. So, I take no credit or blame if Roy gets to stand under his own jersey hanging up there in the Pepsi Center rafters, along with those two Stanley Cup banners he helped win.
My suggestion was in keeping with the Avs’ fondness for leafing backward through their old scrapbooks. Oh, look. There’s Ray Bourque.
Why not him? Or how about Adam Deadmarsh, great name. Chris Drury, old Captain Clutch, still playing, could be a player-coach.
No, it is Roy, the only name that gets the blood up, causes conversation.
From Elliotte Friedman at CBC,
“His brother owned the one gym in town,” Roloson said. “And we would meet him there to work out. John took it very seriously, and eventually we did, too.”
“I believe his nickname was Rambo, because of how hard he worked out,” Blake said.
Stevens is still in excellent shape and expects nothing less from his players. During the off-day between Games 3 and 4 of this series, the Flyers didn’t skate but did have a weight-training workout.
But his impact extended beyond the exercise room.
more from Dwayne Roloson and Rob Blake on how the Flyers’ coach impacted their own early careers
On today’s NHL conference call for the media, the guests were Buffalo Sabres’ coach, Lindy Ruff, and Nashville Predators’ coach Barry Trotz. The coaches were invited to help preview the semifinal round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Here is the transcript from the Q&A.
Q. I wanted to ask you both, if you were to make a pick here of the final four teams in each conference, why wouldn’t you pick the team that did best against your own team? For instance, Buffalo did well against Montreal and Philly but 0-4 against both Pittsburgh and the Rangers. Nashville did well against Detroit and Colorado but 0-4 against San Jose, and 3-1 against Dallas.
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
Neither Wang nor Snow was happy with Nolan when he expressed some concern near the end of the season about going into the final year of his three-year contract without an extension. But when Snow was asked if there’s any reason to believe Nolan won’t return, he said, “I don’t see any reason. He’s our coach.”
Snow said he expects to sit down with Nolan within the next week to discuss the past season and what lies ahead. Snow blamed the Islanders’ failure to make the playoffs on “a handful of players who didn’t play to their capabilities” and the fact they led the NHL in man-games lost to injuries.
Today, the Minnesota Wild’s head coach Jacques Lemaire was made available by way of a NHL teleconference. With 95 points the Wild sit in first place in the Northwest Division, two points ahead of Colorado and three ahead of the Calgary Flames, who they host tomorrow night. A victory would guarantee a division championship and home ice in at least in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Here’s the transcript of Lemaire’s Q&A session.
Q. Jacques, one of the things I noticed about your team is how good your record is in special teams play and how important that’s been during the regular season. I’d like you to comment on the power play. You’re eighth best in the league, penalty killing second best in the league. How much has that influenced your success this season and how important will it be in the playoffs versus the regular season?
Today, the NHL’s Public Relations Department provided Calgary Flames head coach Mike Keenan for media teleconference. The Flames currently have 92 points and reside at 7th seed in the Western Conference. They trail Minnesota in the NW Division by three points and are one point the behind Colorado with one game in hand.
Here’s the transcript from the media’s Q&A time with ‘Iron Mike.’
Q. There’s so much parity in the league and so much has to be decided in the last five days here. Do you have any sort of theory on why it’s so close? We have seen it now in three straight years since the lockout. I have my own theory, it may have to do with the shootout point, but go ahead and answer that.
Today, Montreal Canadiens head coach, Guy Carbonneau, was made available for questions via an NHL confererence call.
In his second season as head coach, Guy has guided the Canadiens to the top record in the Eastern Conference with 96 points. With Monday’s victory over the Ottawa Senators, Montreal has clinched a Stanley Cup record playoff berth for a record 76 times.
Q. Two quick questions: I was wondering if there was any particular game or trip during the season that you really think was essential for the team’s growth where you thought, maybe, this was more than just a playoff team, that they could win the conference?
From Jeff Marek at CBC,
Well, by now we’ve all seen the video of Patrick Roy’s son Jonathan attacking Chicoutimi netminder Bobby Nadeau. If you haven’t seen the clip yet, have a look. QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau will rule on the incident sometime Tuesday.
We all have our opinion on the incident itself. It appears that Patrick Roy motioned to his son to skate down the ice and attack the other goalie, who wanted no part of the encounter as is evidenced by the video.
I can never condone that.
more… plus Marek’s thoughts on Patrick Roy’s future as an NHL coach, perhaps of the Avalanche
Having dropped six of their last eight games and 14 of their last 21, the Ottawa Senators have fired head coach John Paddock with just 18 games remaining in the regular season.
And more from the Ottawa Senators,
[General Manager Bryan] Murray, who will return behind the bench as head coach, will continue to perform his duties as Senators general manager. Assistant coach Ron Low has also been relieved of his coaching duties.
From John Glennon’s blog at The Tennessean,
Over the past couple of months, the Predators have signed David Legwand to a six-year contract, Jordin Tootoo to a two-year contract and forward J.P. Dumont to a four-year contract. It’s time to show a little commitment to the organization’s coaches and scouting staff as well.
Predators general manager David Poile has already said new contracts are in the works for Barry Trotz and company, but it’s not clear yet what length the deals will be. The coaches have become accustomed to working on one-year pacts (they’re doing it again this season), but they deserve a little more security.
From Mike Brophy at The Hockey News,
So here’s the thing, if you are the Los Angeles Kings or the Toronto Maple Leafs, it is probably in your best interest – speaking big picture, that is – to lose the remainder of your games.
It would be better for both teams – and probably Florida, Tampa Bay and Buffalo, too – if they just gave up on this year and did everything in their power to get the top pick in the 2008 Entry Draft; in all likelihood Steven Stamkos.
The problem is: How do you tell 20 players, who are essentially auditioning for next year, as well as a coaching staff whose career might possibly hang in the balance with every victory or defeat, that you want to tank the year?
From Cory Wolfe at Canwest News via the National Post,
Education and hockey were intertwined all along for Quinn. Following high school, he accepted a scholarship to Michigan Tech. However, he was ruled ineligible for American collegiate hockey because he had previously signed over his hockey rights to the Detroit Red Wings.
“I ended up back at home and I got a job with the steel company which is where most of my pals were working,” says Quinn. “It was a good job; it was Stelco at the time. But I quickly figured out that’s not where I wanted to spend the rest of my life, working shifts.”
Quinn headed west to Edmonton and joined the junior Oil Kings for the 1962-63 season. The club went on to win the Memorial Cup. The Oil Kings’ success didn’t propel Quinn directly into the NHL spotlight.
...and more of a brief biography on Pat Quinn, not quite ready with a “retirement plan” as yet. A happy birthday to Quinn who turns 65 on Tuesday.
from the Arizona Republic,
When Ulf Samuelsson skates down the ice during a practice, it isn’t difficult to flash back and visualize him as a premier NHL defenseman, causing havoc and driving opponents up the wall (figuratively and literally).
Samuelsson, a Coyotes assistant, coaches like he played, says coach Wayne Gretzky.
“As a player, he prepared really hard, so he prepares hard at coaching,” he said. “He spends a lot of time behind the scenes, (watching) videos, watching guys, watching systems, and he puts a lot of effort into it.
From the CP via TSN,
Murray employs a tough style that is ‘‘demanding not demeaning’’ and puts a lot of responsibility on the players. After arriving in St. Louis, he found a group of men that felt as if they had let down Mike Kitchen, the man Murray replaced behind the bench.
The Blues have gone a combined 43-28-10 since - including 16-10-1 so far this season. His message to the players has been simple.
‘‘Basically we just tried to sell a belief system that if we played hard every night and competed that we would have an opportunity to be successful,’’ said Murray. ‘‘Losing is misery ... I think the players were just fed up with the way they were feeling here.’‘
from Working the Corners,
Limit teams to only four skaters in their own defensive zone. That does two things — unclogs the scoring areas and legitimizes the cherry-picking scoring threat who never wanted to worry about defense anyway. Opposing coaches would have to decide whether to have someone hang with the cherry-picker or go for the man advantage in the offensive zone. Linesmen would have responsibility for whistling a new penalty — too many men inside the blue line.
Wilson acknowledges that he and his fellow coaches deserve some of the blame for the current drop in scoring since play resumed after the lockout.
via the Patriot-News,
“Quite honestly,” said Boudreau, elevated Thursday from his position as Hershey’s head coach in the wake of Glen Hanlon’s firing, “I caught myself saying, ‘Ovechkin is up. Ovechkin? Holy smokes.’ That’s what caught me most of all. I was here in front of 20,000 people. It was a good situation.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Afterwards, Hanlon conceded that he’d never undergone anything quite like the current meltdown at any other stage in his career, as a player or a coach, and sounded as if he were out of answers. So Boudreau gets the first chance to pick up the pieces and in a month or so, McPhee will start to get his answers: If this were really a coaching issue, or if the team that he’s rebuilding isn’t quite ready to turn the corner just yet.
from Pierre LeBrun if the CP via MetroNews,
A Russian agent did indeed recently contact Hartley, who was fired as head coach of the Thrashers on Oct. 17.
“They asked me if I would be interested,” said Hartley. “When you love hockey, you’re interested in coaching and everything ... But we’ll just wait and see how everything plays out.”
He obviously wants back into coaching but wants to make the right move the next time the phone rings.
“I’ve been coaching for the last 20 years,” said Hartley, who coached in Canadian major junior and the AHL before getting his first NHL job in 1998 with Colorado. “But it would be very selfish of me right now to say, ‘I want to coach in the NHL tomorrow.’
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Thrashers general manager Don Waddell told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday morning that the Thrashers won’t be going outside the organization for a new coach this season. He spoke with the Atlanta Spirit ownership and they supported his plan to keep any replacement at coach within the organization during the season.
For now, Waddell will stay behind the bench and continue to lean on the services of assistants Brad McCrimmon and Steve Weeks. He said the search will reconvene after the season.
from Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,
The new motto of the organization is Whatever It Takes, and the Blues have already done enough that on Oct. 30 there were 14,222 in attendance to see a team that had won six of its first nine games. That was still 5,000 short of capacity but, says Davidson, one of Checketts’s first hires, “last year, on a Tuesday in October against Phoenix, we probably would have had six [thousand].” Revenue from tickets sold this season has already surpassed the ticket revenue from all of 2006-07, a solid start for a team that was 7-5 through last Saturday.
The resurgence truly began last winter when the Blues hired the person with the foresight to include every employee in the team picture: coach Andy Murray.
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
“That’s the reason why I’m here,” said Kovalchuk, speaking of Waddell. “He brought me to this country and drafted me No. 1. When he’s behind the bench, it’s a little bit special for me.”
“It goes back to the first time he was in town [for an interview before the 2001 draft],” Waddell said. “I basically kidnapped him. He had his agent with him and I had one of our PR guys, and they went to the bathroom and I said, ‘You take the agent; I’ll take Kovy.’ I’ve watched him grow up, not just as a player but as a person.”
Note: Earlier transcript of Kovalchuk interview here