Tuesday, May 19, 2015

So Long, Farewell, and We Keep Rolling Along

Leaving North Dakota For Philly? Not An Upgrade By Any Means
Coach Dave Hakstol left the University of North Dakota today to assume the Head Coaching position of the Philadelphia Flyers. Coach Hakstol leaves behind the tradition of the former Fighting Sioux. The thing with Coach Hakstol is that he could not live up to the standards that the fans and alumni had for the team. From 1980 to 2000, the University of North Dakota won 5 National Championships. 3 by John Gasparini and 2 by Dean Blais. In 2004, Dave Hakstol became the 15th coach in school history. Yes, he made 7 Frozen Fours and has made the National Tournament each of the years that he has coached the former Fighting Sioux. But in 6 of those 7 Frozen Fours, his team lost in the Semi-Finals. A couple of those years were bad luck, but still the team could not reach the pinnacle after getting close to the top.

It was time for Coach Hakstol to go. The natives were on the Warpath (pun intended). After more than a decade of no National Championships and 7 Frozen Fours, the whispers were becoming shouts that we would never be champs again with this guy behind the bench. Yes, the program kept rolling along with players being drafted and becoming major cogs in pro teams, but here in North Dakota, the teams could never gel well enough to become that team that everybody believed could fight through adversity during the National Tournament.

And moving to Philly isn't the greatest job improvement in the world. Remember that Philly fans aren't the most patient fans in the world. They make the fans and alumni of the University of North Dakota seems angelic and having the patience of the Dali Lama. The team in Philly is low on talent and Steve Mason is starting to look like he did in Columbus. The fact that Coach Hakstol will need to be brought up to speed on the Pro game and I believe that it is about 30% that this union will work. That includes the Front Office that has problems that go farther up than the General Manager.

In closing, I would thank Coach Hakstol for his efforts and dedication to his job while he was here. He is very good at his job, but there was something there that could not bring home the 8th National Championship for the University. And when he does come back to college hockey after being canned by the Flyers about 3 years down the road, he shouldn't take it personally when the fans of North Dakota want their team to shove it down his throat. After all, choking for 11 years in the National Tournament causes a bitter taste in one's mouth as Coach Hakstol should know.

P.S. - The King Is Dead! Long Live The King! Brad Berry becomes the 16th Head Coach is School History. A former player for the University, he played 8 seasons in the NHL and spent 9 years as a UND Assistant Coach. He was in charge of the defense which this past year had the highest scoring group in college and had a team GAA of 2.33.


R.J. said...

I don't see good things happening in Philly. He will be canned midway through the second season.

Zebster said...

I'm curious to hear why you think this is the guy Philly wanted.

Brent said...

I believe that Hextall looked at what Hakstol did at North Dakota and said that the coach can be consistent.

In the Salary Cap era, you have new people coming into the organization each and every year. If you have a coach that says this is what we do and this is how he did it on a high collegiate level with success, then it might just work when you have those young players on the 3rd and 4th lines. And then in a few years, they have become the leaders of the locker room and you have that established culture of this is how we do things.

Anything is better than the culture of the Flyers is at the current time.