Friday, July 13, 2012

Quick Hits with Texas Stars Coach Willie Desjardins

I got a chance to talk to Texas Stars head coach Willie Desjardins on Saturday. He's very excited to get started with the team and I talked to him on a few different topics.

On what he sees from the first few days of camp:
It's amazing when you look at the size and the speed. Every year they seem to get better. You can't tell it on the ice, but we have great character as well.
On what stands out for him with Jamie Oleksiak and Patrick Nemeth:
How mobile they are and how good of hands they have. It used to be you'd have one or the other, size or hands. These guys have both and that's exciting.
On Austin Smith, Reilly Smith and Alex Chiasson:
They're high end players. There's some really good skill. Austin has great skill, Reilly's in the middle, and Alex has great size and great skill too. They're a really good package and you expect good things from them.
On getting in touch with other veteran players for Texas this coming season:
I've talked to quite a few of them. I think it's important. Your leadership group is a key to your success. You always try to stay in touch with them. There are some really good leaders.
On new assistant coaching hire, Doug Lidster:
Doug has been a captain in the NHL and won a couple Stanley Cups. He's had a great career as a player. As a coach, he's really intense. The other thing I really like about him is that he doesn't wait to be told what to do. He is looking to get better everyday. He is driven to be better everyday.
On the division of labor between he and Lidster:
We haven't talked about responsibilities. We'll obviously talk on a daily basis about all areas. Definitely he'll take defense, and I'll take forwards. We'll split up the special teams between the two of us as well.

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