Junior Stars fill coaching void
Roberts and Hanley expected to bring youth behind the bench
With their season teetering on the brink of collapse, the CBN Junior Stars turned to two former players to keep them from taking the fall.
Andrew Hanley and Michael Roberts have picked up clipboards and will guide the young squad for the 2011-12 St. John’s Junior Hockey League.
“ We love to have people who come in with a system,” Stars general manager Brian Hurley said of Hanley and Roberts, who will serve as cocoaches.
Hurley said it was their youthful energy and enthusiasm toward the team that swayed his final decision.
The age of his two first-year coaches was something Hurley felt could benefit the players.
“ They might be able to relate a bit better to the players than us older folk,” he stated.
The two local boys honed their game, coming up through the ranks of the Bay Arena minor system — winning at every level.
When the Stars enjoyed some of their strongest years in the junior league, Hanley and Roberts contributed to that success.
Hanley was part of the team that won both the league championship and the Veitch Memorial Trophy in 2006.
It is that winning pedigree the two young coaches hope to bring to the bench this season.
Bounce back season
Hurley expects the group of talent assembled for this season will be a “pretty good team.”
It is stockpiled with young local talent assembled from the local feeder systems, the local AAA squad and through the draft.
“ We picked up some pretty good players,” said Hurley.
Having two of the first six picks in the first round is a sure fire way to accumulate good young talent.
Leading with the first pick, the Stars selected rearguard Andrew Smith, and finished the first round by selecting top-six forward Mike Vaters.
It is this collection of talent that has Hurley believing this season will be an improvement of not only the on-ice product, but also the Stars’ record as well.
“ We expect to be around the middle of the pack,” he said.
That would be a marked improvement over their abysmal season last year, stated Hurley, when the team finished last in its division.
The Stars’ season is slated to kickoff Oct. 4.