“How would you reach out to young players today?”
It’s a loaded question.
That’s how moderator Pierre LeBrun started the discussion at last year’s NHLCA conference with Scotty Bowman, Darryl Sutter, and Terry Crisp. When you consider the amount of games coached, championships won, and players molded at the hands of three of the game’s legends, then the question really becomes loaded.
What worked once doesn’t necessarily work these days, but if there’s one thing Bowman, Sutter, and Crisp can agree on, it’s that you have to adapt with the times.
For Bowman, a nine-time Stanley Cup champion, it’s about the team. If you can build faith then you can build trust.
Sutter is the most recent Stanley Cup champion with the LA Kings (2012 and 2014), and he understands how the game is shifting younger and younger.
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And in his own way, Crisp, who led the Calgary Flames to a championship as a coach in 1989 and won two Cups playing with the Flyers in the 1970s, understands better than anyone the pressure faced by those young players. They’re making more money than ever and they’re driven to win more than ever.
Make sure to check out the entire discussion. It’s a fascinating look into the minds of the game’s longest-tenured and most successful coaches.
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