Q&A with Dragons head coach Brian Cur­ran ... part 2

The Drumheller Mail - - SPORTS - Kyle Smylie

The AJHL hockey sea­son draws near and the pieces are com­ing to­gether for the Drumheller Dragons after a num­ber of sign­ings in the past few weeks. The Mail had a chance to chat with Dragons head coach Brian Cur­ran on his evolv­ing team and what the club plans to do with the fresh slate of a new sea­son. Part 1 of this 2 part interview ap­peared in the Au­gust 17, 2016 edi­tion of The Drumheller Mail.

QIt must also feel nice to know you have these young play­ers for a cou­ple of years with these guys to work with and de­velop them, right?

Cur­ran: We went young for an­other rea­son, too. I’ve been look­ing at the trend of col­lege schol­ar­ships and every­one is con­tin­u­ously look­ing for that young star hockey player and I felt like we picked up a lot of young kids that I feel will have an op­por­tu­nity. We have a lot of 99s and I think col­leges are look­ing for these young play­ers to latch on to early on. It’s one of the rea­sons I got Dar­ryl (Olsen) as our as­sis­tant coach. Dar­ryl has been to the high­est level, he’s got a cou­ple boys that play hockey and one of them played a cou­ple games in the Na­tional Hockey League last year. Dar­ryl has been a skill de­vel­op­ing coach and I think that’s re­ally im­por­tant in to­day’s game, to work on the skills of these in­di­vid­u­als. Dar­ryl is go­ing to take on that role and also teach me some of the stuff he’s been teach­ing for 15 or 20 years. I think it’ll help these kids. I think we got some good young play­ers in this group and we’ll look at get­ting them to the next level.

QWhat is the goalie sit­u­a­tion like this year?

Cur­ran: We have Xavier (Burghardt) com­ing back, and one from the U of A com­ing. We have two or three goalies, and there’s only go­ing to be four here. The goal­tend­ing sit­u­a­tion is go­ing to be key for sure. But we’ll let that play out through the ex­hi­bi­tion games and see where we’re at. We be­lieve in all four of them com­ing. I can’t tell you too much, I’ve got other goalies try­ing out too.

QHow about the cap­tain?

Cur­ran: We won’t name the cap­tain yet. It won’t be the cap­tain here last year be­cause he’s gone now. The cap­tain is a big se­lec­tion you have to make. It’s look­ing at in­tan­gi­bles of cap­tains, and what we feel the lead­er­ship group is. The lead­er­ship for this group needs to be strong this year. We have a few guys we’ve iden­ti­fied al­ready and we’ll see how they play out in camp.

QIs there a par­tic­u­lar agenda or things to ac­com­plish that you’re push­ing for in camp this year?

Cur­ran: We’ve spelt out to the play­ers through­out our camps this year, very clearly, that it’s go­ing to be play­ers that are push­ing them­selves. Our big con­cern is that there is not go­ing to be any room for lack of ef­fort or ex­cuses. Play­ers that play for the Dragons this year are go­ing to be the type of play­ers that are go­ing to push them­selves to be the best they can be. I know it’s a cliché, but we’re go­ing to look at that. Their de­meanor on the ice, their body lan­guage, putting line com­bi­na­tions to­gether to see who is good play­ing with who. There’s a long process that’s go­ing to take some con­sid­er­able time. But there isn’t go­ing to be any­one here that will say ‘I’m go­ing to take a night off tonight.’ None of that is go­ing to be tol­er­ated here. They all know it and they all un­der­stand it, and now it’s up to them to prove it in train­ing camp. Some jobs are on the line here. It’s a real re­al­ity check be­cause there’s noth­ing guar­an­teed in this game. When you’re an as­signed player we ex­pect you to play here, but if an­other player comes in and kicks his butt, there’ll be a de­ci­sion to be made. The staff agrees that we will be do­ing the right thing and the best we can to suc­ceed and ac­com­plish their per­sonal goals and team goals, and get them­selves schol­ar­ships and onto the next level. The first months will be tough and ad­just­ments will have to be made. They’re al­ways go­ing to com­plain, hockey play­ers like to com­plain, but at the end of the day they’re out there giv­ing it ev­ery­thing they have.

QSounds like it should be a good year for the fans.

Cur­ran: It’s a com­plete change. Last year is over and done with. I don’t want to say the play­ers failed or I failed, we just didn’t do it right and it starts with me and now we are go­ing to make sure we cor­rect those and make those ad­just­ments. That’s the great­est thing about this game: no­body is in­fal­li­ble. Every­body can make mis­takes. If you don’t learn from your mis­takes you’re not go­ing to be a bet­ter player or a bet­ter coach. I learned more last year than I did in all my years as a coach, and I think that was im­por­tant for me. I think that’ll ben­e­fit the play­ers, and I just think we have a re­ally good group of play­ers that are go­ing to be on the right path right from the very be­gin­ning. There might be some tri­als and tribu­la­tions, as there al­ways is with a hockey team. I don’t coach to lose. I don’t coach to have los­ing sea­sons. I coach to have fun, to win cham­pi­onships, to get play­ers to the next level, and for the com­mu­nity to en­joy what we put on the ice.

Brian Cur­ran... Dragons head coach

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.