Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Catching Up With Coach Gulutzan

Coach Gulutzan was at Stars Development camp last week, and he took a few minutes to talk between practice sessions. It was the first time I had talked to him since the end of the season.

On Development Camp in general:
"These are such good things for the guys. It's a skill development camp, so whenever we can get guys out here and help them improve, especially in July, it's a good thing. I know it's hard for the players, especially in July, but the players are in such good shape. It's good to get them out there. We have coaches from Sweden here and skill guys from out west that come out here to work with the kids. Whenever you can teach them something, it's a good thing."

Thoughts on the season as a whole:
"You know, if you look at it, I think we did a really good job and we had a great first season in Austin. We put hockey on the map a little bit there with the arena, the way they marketing things, and obviously the team's success and the playoff run. It got us off to a good start.

Hockey-wise, it's always disappointing when you go to teh finals and you don't win, especially when you're up two-nothing. You rewind some of those things in your mind, but there aren't too many regrets that you have as a coach. You just wish you got a bounce here or there. I thought we played hard for the most part."

On the make up of the 2010-11 team, with loss of veterans:
"We already know we've lost a couple of those [veteran] guys. I think we're going to be a lot younger, but at the same time, these young guys may not be up to speed right away, but if we can as coaches do a good job and keep bringing these guys along, I think we have some potential. These young guys are good, they're just young. We have to do our job developing them. I think that's going to be key for us next year. To make sure we're working hard throughout the year and get focused on the second half, our young guys is always important in the American League."

On the importance of the play of veterans remaining:
"It's big. Whenever your core group of guys can show the way, you can withstand losing players as long as the core and the mentality stays the same within the core. That's going to be important. We're going to need other guys to step up. Greg Rallo, Travis Morin, those types of players need to step up and be leaders, be more accountable than they were a year ago if we lose some players."

Will the style of play change with a younger defense?
"I don't think so. I think mobility-wise, our D can be pretty good but we're certainly going to have to play the same style and same game. I think we might even get some more offense from our back-end or we might have a little more dynamic back there. But we're going to have to work on our defending for sure."

Thoughts on the goalie situation in Austin:
"Obviously with what's developed here [in Dallas], I think there's going to be battles. There's going to be battles there, there's going to be battles at our end. That's always a good thing when there's internal competition."

Thoughts on the city of Austin:
"It's tremendous. I remember a year ago, probably, today, my wife crying that she didn't want to leave Las Vegas as we were looking for houses in Austin. But now I couldn't pry her out of there. She loves it; my kids love it. What a fabulous city! We rave about it up in Canada, how nice it is. Great community, great community people. I think that's what makes something that you call home is when you're surrounded by good people. Certainly, we've made Austin our home pretty quickly."

Coach Gulutzan, his wife and four kids went back to Canada for the summer, as many players and coaches do, to be with family.

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