Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Now what?

Lambert played with passion. Brings same trait as coach
  • How crazy was Monday for ya? Yikes! Coach Ryan Huska moves to the pro ranks and assistant Dan Lambert takes his place. I love the move. Why? Over the last five seasons I have talked with and watched Lambert closely and the personality traits that I see in Lambert are many of Ryan Huska's strengths. Neither is an intimidating figure. Both are extremely sociable and likable..player coaches if you will. The most important trait in Lambert, like Huska, is the want to win. Huska was often completely honest in post game interviews when evaluating his players or the way his team played. He knew when they sucked as a group and wasn't afraid to speak his mind about it. He told it how it was which made for great radio. Lambert is very much from the same ilk. I can only imagine the two of them are clear in their messaging to there players. You don't have to read between the lines. Both coaches want their players to be accountable and that is where much of the success lies. 
  • Where Lambert and Huska differ is the fiery sides of their personalities. Huska used the softer, gentler approach in communicating specifically with officials after a bad call. My belief is Lambert will use a slightly different tactic if he has a problem with how the game is being called. But that said, when roles change behind the bench, sometimes the demeanour also changes. A head coaches composure, or lackthereof often sends a clear message to the players that the train is either going off the track when adversity strikes or the ocean is indeed calm after a turbulent situation. What I do know is Lambert is a sore loser. What good coach isn't? I will take a sore loser over a coach who accepts it. When a coach accepts losing, so do players. The two are closely connected.
  • Outside of coaching, Lambert brings to the table the ability to recruit. Lambert was a player himself that was recruited by the Swift Current Broncos in the mid 80's. Lambert knows the concerns parents have about their son choosing major junior and closing the door on an NCAA scholarship. Lambert has already been instrumental in that area. I can only see that intensifying now that he is driving the ship.
  • I really liked the emotion expressed by both GM Bruce Hamilton and Coach Huska at yesterday's media conference. That isn't a sign of weakness. That is a sign of being real. That is an outward sign that both Hamilton and Huska really care. They care about the team. They care about each other. I thought it was honest. I thought it was appropriate and the emotional sendoff couldn't have been more fitting for a coach that gave so much. Huska was thrilled that Hamilton gave him the chance in 2007 rather than overlooking him for what would have been considered a better candidate at the time.
  • Hiring from within. I have never had a problem with that concept, especially when the individual is right under your noise. In Bruce Hamilton's case, Dan Lambert was right under his nose and he knew it. I am sure Hamilton could have opened up the search for a new head coach and many big names would have given him a call inquiring about the vacant position. But Lambert, like Huska in 2007 is an up and comer. Can Lambert be the next best thing coming out of major junior? The answer is a definite yes!
  • Losing Ryan Huska to the AHL does have its perks. Huska will be a walking billboard for the Rockets organization. Huska will talk glowingly about the organization to those he comes into contact with and will be a valuable resource for the current coaching staff that he leaves behind in Kelowna.
  • Who is Lambert's assistant coaches going to be? Will only one be added or will two assistants be required? General Manager Bruce Hamilton has suggested they want to hire an assistant with significant experience and to groom that individual - like they did Lambert - to eventually be the head coach when Lambert eventually sets sail. Who that individual(s) is remains uncertain. Now that the Regina Pats have cleaned house with their entire coaching staff, would Malcolm Cameron be a good fit?
  • You would think several Rockets' alumni would have to be considered. Cam Paddock joined the team in late December/early January in a support role when the team played a double header in Portland. Would Paddock be interested? Some may suggest he is to young. Is 31 to young? I don't think so...not as an assistant. One area Paddock falls short on is actual coaching experience, a criteria that must be met according to Hamilton. Paddock is an interesting candidate though. I could throw out more names, but what's the point? Sooner rather than later we will find out who the successful candidate is. Just by looking at the organizations track record, that person will come with the same qualities you find in Jeff Truitt, Ryan Huska and Dan Lambert.

1 comment:

Annie Fowler said...

Ryan's a classy guy and media friendly. I will miss him in the WHL.
Tri-City Herald