John Hanes has been a part of one of the NHL’s most successful franchises, but he is also a coach in the trenches.
In his first full day as head of hockey operations at the University of Minnesota, Hynes will lead a team that plays in a new arena for the first time in the program’s history.
He will also lead a group of assistants who will get the start for the Minsims next season.
In this exclusive interview, Hanes discusses his early days as a player, his work with former Mids coach John McPhee and his role as a hockey coach.
Q: How did you come to Minnesota?
A: I was at a camp in Wisconsin with an NHL player and my wife.
It was an opportunity to play in a small rink, play in the local minor league system, and play in front of our local fans.
It’s a great opportunity.
How long have you been playing hockey?
I was a junior at the time and was a captain in a minor league hockey team.
I played for a few years in the National Hockey League and then I moved to Sweden and then back to North America, and I went back to Sweden again and then to Minnesota.
Q, How long do you think it will take for the team to get ready?
A, It’s hard to say because we have to have a plan.
The coaches are trying to figure out what we’re going to do, what we have, what our plan is.
We’re not ready yet.
Q.: Can you give us a rough idea of what you expect to be a different team?
A.: We’re trying to do things a little differently.
We’ll have a new coach.
We might have to change the lineup a little bit because our team isn’t as good as the last one.
It might be a little different from the first year.
Q., Are you looking to bring in new players?
A., No, not at all.
We’ve got some guys who are still on the team that we’ve worked with over the years.
We have some new faces, so we’re still trying to find out what’s best for our team.
Q./Hanes: I think the most important thing for us is that we’re focused on building this hockey program and we’re not going to change our program just because of a few guys coming in.
We can’t change what we want to do in this building.
Q/Hanes, How are you feeling?
A : It’s good.
It feels good.
I think everybody’s good, everybody’s doing what they want to be doing, but it’s going to be tough.
Ques.: Are you feeling any pressure to get the job done?
A./Haneys: No, we’ve been fortunate that we have some guys that are ready to step in.
But it’s not like they’re all coming in right away.
It will be a process.
Que., You were on the bench last season, and it’s nice to see you getting a chance to get some playing time.
A./ Hanes: The most important things are just to make sure that everybody is doing their job, so that everybody’s fit, so there’s no confusion, so everything is OK.QUE./Hains: We have to get better and make sure we’re making good decisions and doing things that are right for the long-term.QHanes.: You’re on a short leash, but you’re getting to see what you’re worth and you’re going for it.
A little bit of the coaching staff that you worked with in the past is coming in now and it makes you realize that if you’re on this short leash then you have to be able to get to the next level.
Q Hanes, Are you worried about the injuries?
A/ Hanes.: I am not.
It won’t be a problem for us, it’s just that we’ll have to work a little harder to be ready.
Q Ques.: Is there anything you need to do to help the team on the ice?
A.- We’re going through some changes, but we’ve got to get that group to a point where we can be competitive and play for the fans.QQues., Is it going to take a while for the staff to come together?
A.( Hanes laughing) Yeah, you’ll see how it goes.
It’ll take time, but I think that we all have the same goal: To get to where we want.
Hanes is the new head coach at the Mipsims, and he has a lot of experience in the coaching world.
What are your thoughts on this new challenge?AHanes.
I love it.
It gives me the opportunity to learn from a lot more people.
I can see how the coaching and player interactions work in this system, because it’s very different