Get train­ing

Bench boss wants team in shape for train­ing camp

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JASON MAL­LOY

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.”

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