Colts round out coaches stable
Ian McInroy The Barrie ExaminerThe Barrie Colts coaching staff is finalized and ready for the 2010/11 Ontario Hockey League season. Head coach and director of hockey operations Dale Hawerchuk, centre, will be joined by Todd Miller, left, and David Bell, who was behind the bench last year with former coach Marty Williamson. Former NHL goaltender Dan Cloutier takes over for Piero Greco as the team s new goaltending coach.aug3.2010
As Dale Hawerchuk waits for a crop of Barrie Colts hopefuls to make their way to training camp later this month, he's been settling into his new job as head coach and director of hockey operations for the Ontario Hockey League club after inking a three-year deal.
And while the team is surrounded with more than a few question marks heading into the 2010-11 season, at least some of the guesswork has been taken out of the equation now that the team's coaching positions have been filled. Barrie's coaching staff was officially announced during a press conference at the Barrie Molson Centre on Tuesday.
Hawerchuk will be joined during the 2010-11 season by assistant coaches David Bell, who helped Marty Williamson lead the team to its best overall record last season, and Todd Miller, who runs the Barrie Colts Hockey School and is entering his first season as an assistant coach in the OHL. Dan Cloutier will take over as the club's goaltending coach
Before the Colts open up training camp on Aug. 30, Hawerchuk will be making plenty of decisions about who will hit the ice during their first exhibition game on Sept. 5 in Owen Sound, including making sure the right people are invited to camp.
While who is staying on and who the new arrivals will be isn't yet known, one thing's for sure. It won't be the same team that won the Eastern Conference championship last season, before eventually sputtering against the Windsor Spitfires in the final.
"There's no way we're as experienced as the team last year," Hawerchuk said Tuesday. "They were an older hockey team last year. Some guys have moved on."
It's a chance for new players -- as well as some players from last year who may not have seen as much ice time as they may have liked -- to show what they've got, the Hall of Famer added.
Besides getting his coaching staff finalized, Hawerchuk has been busy scoping potential players, as well as prospects from last year's team.
"I haven't seen a whole lot of them before. Maybe they've got something and they can cut the mustard," he said. "It's a great opportunity to make their mark and get put on the radar, not only in this league, but in the NHL as well," Hawerchuk said.
Potential players were sent programs over the summer to work on weight training, cardio, sprints, agility and core training.
"We'll test them all to see who did it and who didn't," he said. "We'll see what type of players we have. When we break from camp there will be a few changes."
Bell's experience and qualities as a coach will be an asset to the team, Hawerchuk said.
"I like his fit. We were different as hockey players -- he was a defenceman and I was a forward -- and I like that mix," he said. "I'm not looking for guys to be just like me. So this is a bonus."
Hawerchuk said Miller's positive frame of mind will hopefully rub off on the players.
Cloutier, a former NHL goalie, rounds out the coaching staff. He takes over for Piero Greco as the team's new goaltending coach. He spent 10 seasons in the NHL, playing for the New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks.
"Dan played in the NHL not too long ago and he'll bring a fresh perspective," Hawerchuk said. "He just played in the league (the players) want to go to."
The Colts kick off their regular season in Plymouth on Sept. 25.