Since last year, Canadians have been trying to modernize at all levels. Development was no exception with the hiring of Adam Nicholas.
Yesterday, before the game against the Winnipeg Jets, he explained to journalists his philosophy, which he plans to implement within the Montreal organization. His boundless enthusiasm and knowledge are undeniable. He’s an excellent salesman.
His answers went in all directions and made connections to all sports. Although he works a lot with analytical data, he finds a way to make his knowledge known to the players.
During his 25-minute press conference, we felt like we were attending a masterclass in ice hockey. It was rolling fire. We received a lot of information and wondered how we would sum up his thoughts.
“We try to teach everything from time and space,” Adam Nicholas said from the start. We try to create both of these things with a physical aspect.
“We are talking about an individual in a group. We have to find a way that everyone thinks the same way. When everyone is on the same page, we can move in harmony on the ice.
Watch Adam Nicholas and Scott Pellerin’s press conference in the video above.
Nicholas finds an easy way to communicate with players.
“I’ll sell you my approach with video sequences,” emphasized the man with the red glasses. I’ve never played professionally. I’ve only played in the NCAA Third Division.
“I concentrated on rehearsals for a long time. In golf, the distance between you and your club becomes an automatism to force repetitions. Instead, we’re going to focus on this fact: is he ready to do those reps when the time is right? This is how you develop.
“In hockey you have to pay attention to how the player reacts when he gets off the puck. At this level we can uncover several aspects that need to be corrected.
in the right direction
With the addition of several people in that department, including Nicholas, the Canadians are trying to make up for the lag separating them with several NHL teams.
For example, the Department of Advanced Statistics was established just last May. A first in the history of the concession.
With everything that has come along since the hiring of Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton, we can believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.
“The players have to develop a bond of trust with their coach,” added Nicholas. Development happens in a playful way. You have to help players gain that trust. It all starts here.
“At this level, I think we’re on the right side of the curve in the NHL.”
Pellerin, the Apostle
In the last few days, the Canadian has also included Scott Pellerin in this new organization chart. In a way, he will be Nicholas’ right-hand man.
Since retiring from hockey in 2004, he has worked in both the American League and the NHL. After several years with the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, he was a professional scout for the Arizona Coyotes last year.
“Some players can develop quickly,” said the former player. Others need more time. It is important that they continue to develop and become better players.
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