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Maurice piece

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by the_rookie, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. the_rookie

    the_rookie Member

    Edit: Sorry about the punctionation and missing quotation marks.

    Those at the Toronto Maple Leafs Coaching Clinic on Oct. 1, heard the phrase one more question at least a half dozen times before Paul Maurice finally stepped down from the podium.

    Maurice, who became the Leafs 26th head coach May 12, was on hand to answer any questions regarding hockey just as long as it didnt relate to the debate about which goalie was going to back up Andrew Raycroft.

    When he finished with the coaches at ice level, Maurice headed down for a media scrum where he answered even more questions.

    Nowadays its hard to find Maurice not in front of a mike answering hockey-related questions.

    "Everyday, all day," Maurice said when asked how much he loved talking hockey. "You catch me in the summer in Carolina and I might chew your ear off if you ask me a hockey question."

    The most interesting question Maurice was asked: What do you expect from coaches and how do you feel as a parent?

    He said questions like that really make him think and put him in perspective of how he views the game and coaching in general.

    "I want my (kids) to be inspired by them (coaches). Im so excited when they get on the ice with somebody that likes to coach, thats into it and who wants to go to the rink because of it."

    Rather than talk about a strategy or break down the game tactics, Maurice said he prefers to answer questions because its a great way for coaches to learn. I cant tell you how many times Ive driven home after being asked a question that I answered and thought of something different.

    Over the years, Maurice has attended his fair share of coaching seminars.

    He was even a speaker at Hockey Canadas International Coaching Conference in July. Maurice said you probably wont find NHL coaches sharing their ideas and secrets anytime soon, but if you can catch them at a coaching clinic, theyre usually pretty open.

    "Coaching needs a forum to exchange ideas and as the only NHL team in this market (Toronto), its an important thing we facilitate that," said Maurice.

    "I think there are some great ideas to be exchanged and I think sometimes as a younger coach or if youre in the minors, youre isolated at times."

    Maurices coaching career took shape when he was 17 after suffering an eye injury from a puck that was deflected off the shaft of his stick.

    It was also around the time when his father asked him if he would ever consider coaching.

    At first he was insulted, but it got him thinking. He joined his team at the time, the Detroit Jr. Red Wings (OHL), as an assistant coach shortly after.

    "I am a better coach than I was a player. I knew that because my playing days came to an early end," he said.

    This season, Maurice is at the helm of the Leafs. Last year, he was busy developing upcoming Leaf stars with their affiliate club the Marlies.

    After former Leaf coach Pat Quinn failed to squeeze the blue and white into the playoffs last season, Maurice was promptly promoted as the new bench boss.

    Its a role Maurice is relishing in and wouldnt trade it for any other job.

    "I love the game and the people in the game. Just about everything about it. My worst day is not all that bad."

    For most Leaf fans, they remember Maurice as the Coach of the Hartford Whalers/ Carolina Hurricanes. More specifically in 2002, when the Leafs lost in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals 4-2, rocketing the Hurricanes to their first Cup appearance (only to lose to the Red Wings four games to one.)

    Maurice recalls his Stanley Cup experience as "The one time I knew I was in the NHL. Its the one time where you can sense all the work youve done.

    "If somebody said to me, I can guarantee you one Stanley Cup or Ill guarantee you five appearances in the Finals and you might win five or you might win none, Id take the five appearances and risk it."

    Its been 40 years since the Leafs brought home the Stanley Cup. Can you imagine all the stories Maurice will have if the Leafs took the Cup this year?
  2. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    You need to something to hook me in. I don't think your lede does that.

    And the last sentence is regrettable.

    I would delve into specifics. What are the coaching strategies that he passes down? Is it how his forecheck and dump system, he believes, can thrive in a NHL where defense is being lost in the name of aggressive skating?
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