Bench boss wants team in shape for training camp
The work begins now for the Charlottetown Islanders players.
“In order to play the style that we’re going to want to play we have to be in tip-top shape,” said new head coach Jim Hulton.
He wouldn’t commit to a certain style until having a better understanding of his players’ strengths, comparing it to a game of poker.
“You have a bit of different strategies, but until you see your hand you don’t know what you’re going to play.”
Communication will be key, he said.
“We’re not coaching hockey, we’re coaching people,” Hulton said, adding he will provide simple messages to his team to eliminate any grey areas.
Hulton has been a head coach in the OHL and United States Hockey League as well as an assistant in the NHL with the Florida Panthers and with Canada’s national junior team.
He called Kildare Capes resident Dave Cameron a mentor and Shamrock’s Mike Kelly, who was in attendance for Thursday’s news conference, a longtime associate.
Both Hulton and general manager Grant Sonier said there was a comfort level with each other through the interview process.
“When I listen to him talk I believe in what he says, and that’s really important for the players,” Sonier said. “They have to believe in what the coach says.”
Sonier said he went to the NHL draft last weekend to support the team’s players, but also because about 350 coaches were there. Interviews for AHL and NHL jobs were conducted and positions filled.
“Jim Hulton is a really, really good coach and he had lots of opportunities,” Sonier said. “I wanted to wait to make sure all avenues were exhausted and we’re really lucky to get the calibre of a coach that we got in Jim Hulton.”