Chilliwack Bruins GM/head coach Marc Habscheid isn't breaking new ground by coaching his son Zach at the WHL level, but it is somewhat unique. I spoke to Marc and Zach about the father/son-coach/player relationship.
Marc, tell me about acquiring Zach from Swift Current and how you see him evolving as a player?
"I treat him like everybody else. Probably a little bit harder on him than everyone else. He knows the deal. After I got the job and acquired his rights in Chilliwack he looked at me and said, dad where would I play if I don't make the team? He know he has to earn his strips and if he's not good enough he won't play and if he's good enough he will play. Like any of my players, if he needs a kick in the pants he will get that, if he needs a pat on the back he will get that too."
Does Zach use you as a resource because of the success you've had? Why wouldn't he listen to you?
"Because he's a teenager (chuckle). He's like other teenagers. Dad's don't no nothing if they are the head coach or they have played or whatever. Dad's just don't know that much. He's a good kid though. He listens, but he's like any teenager."
Zach tell me about playing for your dad?
"It's unique. It can be frustrating at the same time because a lot of people think he gives me a lot of favours, which he doesn't, and I don't expect any at all. Saying that, it's fun and exciting at the same time."
What were your thoughts this year of making the Chilliwack Bruins?
"I knew it would be hard from the start. Back in Swift Current it wasn't easy there. I had high expectations for myself and I was expecting to make the team because I had a really good off season and I had a great year last year."
Your dad was a forward as a junior and NHL player, so why did you move to defense?
"I didn't have the hands he used too (chuckle). I was always a big guy on the ice so I thought I would move back to the point as it would work more in my favour."
Did you remember much about your dad's playing career?
"I think I know more about his success as a coach. I've been around it, but as a player he accomplished a lot but I wasn't around for that. I will never forget the night the Rockets won the Memorial Cup. I still remember the countdown, and when the Rockets scored to make it 2-1 with seven minutes left in the third period. It was the longest seven minutes of my life."