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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ok, here it goes ... my first post!

I'm about to head a bus for Oklahoma City for Friday's season opener. I look forward to keeping the fans up to date on the Mudbugs through this blog as we attempt to capture the 2006-07 President's Cup.

I’m excited about this year. We have great leadership -- Forbes MacPherson is back, we have Kenny Carroll who is a veteran goalie. We have Jason Basile back, Chris Brassard and Quade Lightbody.

We also have a few guys who have been captains before on other teams.

I’m excited about a lot of the youth as well – that’s what the new style of game is all about -- a lot of fast, high-speed energy guys that have not played much pro hockey. All they want is to win.

We have to keep the traditions alive that some of our past players have built in this program. We’re just trying to keep that alive.

One thing we’re focusing on this year is: nothing less than a championship is going to be satisfactory. We’ve gone too many times to the finals and lost – it hurts just the same as not making the playoffs. It’s going to be a key this year that we focus on the big picture. Think we have a good young core, hopefully we jell quick.

Our head coach, Scott Muscutt has done some team building exercises that have really helped. Hopefully we’ll use it in the first few games and then obviously we’ll bond after that.

Our first game is at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. Anyone would be thrilled to play in that building in this level. This is an NHL-type barn. I’ve been to Dallas Stars games and they have a great atmosphere for the playoffs there, but it feels like every game there is a great atmosphere to play in. That’s what you want as a player – a great atmosphere, a great building, great fans and a great city.

The preseason was hectic and you might hear from Chris Gustafson is going to be a great player. He’s a great got and reminds me of Christian Lariviere. Christian has been one of the better defensemen in this league.

You’re going to hear a lot from Mike Nason and the Sutherland brothers, Robbie and Brian.

Chris Murphy is going to battle every night. He’s a phenomenal sparkplug that is going to be valuable. A lot of people say he reminds them of me, but I don’t think I was that aggressive to start with.

I’ve spent a lot of time on a line with Chris Brassard and Nason while my old linemate and former Mudbugs captain Forbes MacPherson has played with Milan Vodrazka.

This will be my second year as the team captain. Last year I was a little more reserved and tried to show by example. I still have to do that, but I have to be much more vocal. If I’m having an off-night, I can’t have it affect my leadership in the room. I have to be upbeat and try to block out my personal side to make it better for the team and help lead some of these young guys in winning.

We have such great depth in our room – Quade, Brass, Forbie and Kenny and Basile. It’s really exciting to have that core group of guys that knows what it takes to be successful in this program.

It’s going to be interesting and fun. Everyone of these guys Musky brought in is a character guy. He didn’t bring in any “guy off the street.” These guys are character guys that you want in your community and that are really going to make an impact in the community, not just on the ice.

I remember Jean LaForest told me one year, ‘You’re a rookie, your job is to push the veterans.’ And former Mudbugs captain Jim Sprott told me when I took over captain,’ Your job is too lead the rookie, to lead the young guys.’

I think it’s a mixture. That’s the only way we’re going to be able to be successful. It’s going to be an exciting year. I know we have a lot of young players. There are a lot of unknowns, but I’m really excited about that. I’m so excited about starting this season.


Blogger Theresa said...

Thanks for doing this blog Dan. We look forward to your insight on what's happening in the organization.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Melissa Raley said...

I honestly have to say, that I was kind of worried about how this season would go since we lost some great guys but hearing that your okay with things and excited about this season that really makes me feel alot better ! Last year was awesome and Im so excited for this season to start ! Best of luck tonight and we'll see ya in less then a week !!

Melissa Raley

12:38 PM  
Blogger sherri said...


4:44 AM  
Blogger Nanabug said...

Great blog.....thanks for the insight...looking forward to your comments.

Thanks for all you do for our team and our community.

Lynn DeBroeck

9:13 AM  

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