The Importance of Being Adaptable with Stu Barnes

Glass and Out Hockey Podcast - Stu Barnes
"I always tell our guys, find a way to get over the boards."

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In episode #206 of the Glass and Out Podcast, we’re excited to be joined by Owner and Head Coach of the WHL’s Tri-City Americans, Stu Barnes. He is currently in his second season behind the bench with the Americans and has been an owner of the franchise since 2005.

If there is one word to describe Barnes’ journey through hockey, it would be adaptable.

Prior to his coaching career, Barnes had a prolific junior hockey career in the WHL, scoring 386 points in 204 games split between New Westminster and Tri-City. That would lead to being selected 4th overall by the Winnipeg Jets in the
1989 NHL entry draft, and a career of 597 points in 1,200 games with five teams. Like many top junior scorers, Barnes had to adapt to not being the top offensive player on his team and carve out his own role in order to be an effective player.

He credits coaches like Roger Neilson and Dave King, who helped develop his skills as a two-way checker and his mentality of “finding a way to get over the boards.” It’s something he’s carried into his coaching philosophy and tries to stress with his players today.

“I always tell our guys, find a way to get over the boards. If you’re a centermen who can play the wing, then you get a chance to get over the boards. if you can win face offs, you get over the boards because we need you to win a draw. If you’re a defencemen who’s a good shot blocker, you get out on the PK.”

Listen as he shares the type of relationship players value from their coach, how he collaborates with his coaching staff, and what he’s picked up from so many coaching greats. 


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Glass and Out Podcast

The Coaches Site Founder Aaron Wilbur sits down with some of hockey’s top coaches and leaders to learn about their journey and dissect the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Each episodes features key take aways for coaches of all levels. The Glass and Out Podcast is required listening for coaches looking to gain key insights from hockey’s most influential leaders.

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