Assistant coach Marc Crawford returned to the ice on Thursday morning following a month-long absence and a team review in response to allegations of misconduct in previous coaching positions. He met with the media shortly afterwards to address his the review process and his return to the organization.
ASSISTANT COACH MARC CRAWFORD
On return to the team...
For the last month, not doing what I'm normally doing over the last 30 odd years, it served a lot of different purposes. On a personal level, it was great to be out with the guys today. They gave me a nice reception and they did in the room as well. It certainly was good and, for me, I want the team to get to normal as quick as they can, and that's a big part of why I'm speaking today is because we want to move forward.
I think it's really important for the Blackhawks to continue to focus on what's really important right now for the Blackhawks, which is trying to make the playoffs. They've got themselves back into the race now and hopefully I can help and (we) can get another push and the team can continue to progress and try to what's important.
Video: Marc Crawford on return to Blackhawks
On the evolution of coaching…
One of the things that really struck me was when Gary Bettman spoke. I think the thing that was most eloquent that he said in his four-point plan was he talked about there's always a line. I think there has always been a line, there's always been a line between what's good and what's over the line. And there were times where I got way too close to that line and crossed that line. His point was, 'Why even get close to the line?' and I hope that that's one of the lessons that we learn here through this. It's certainly one of the lessons that I have learned. People talk a lot about reading and reacting as a coach. My natural tendency was to react and then read. Those are some of the struggles that personally I've had to deal with in my time. Again, Mr. Bettman is right. Why do you need to get close to the line?
There's so many great examples of coaches back when I was playing and through my coaching period. Right now, I work with Jeremy Colliton and one of the things that amazes me about Jeremy is he never, ever loses his cool. I admire that trait in him so much and, again, you have to have passion, you have to have emotion, those things are important in the game, but staying on the right side of it is also important. I've learned through my time that those are good traits, but you don't want them to be such an over strength that they take away from anything else that's happening with your team and what's happening within your dressing room or on the ice or on the bench or all those sorts of things. Nobody wants to take emotion or passion out of the game, it's what makes it beautiful, but making sure that we keep control of it is also very important.
On decision to seek counseling over the last 10 years...
Whenever you lose jobs, and I don't know if any of you have lost a job, you always reflect on why that happens. It happened when I lost my job here in Vancouver, (it) certainly happened when I lost my job in Los Angeles and again in Dallas, but after the job in LA, I really thought, 'Hey, I'm not liking where my coaching is right now.' I felt from that point forward that the game was changing and I needed to change along with it. I don't know whether it was the lockout or the salary cap coming in, if those things had a factor in how the game changed, but it definitely was a changing culture.
We all evolve as we grow, I was evolving as a person and I think the players were evolving as well. If you want to stay in the game, you've always got to adjust and you've got to try and shape you're methodology to fit the time and that was one of the main reasons for it. To be truthful, for me on a personal level, it just felt I was apologizing too much and I didn't like that. I didn't like that felling, I still don't like it. It's very uncomfortable for me to feel that way and finding out why I am the way I am. I feel good about the things that I've done to improve my game, it's allowed me to have some longevity in the league and it's been good and will continue to be good as (long as) you keep putting the work in and do the things that are important. I think good things can happen because of that and become a more complete person. If you're more complete, chances are you're going to be a little but more successful and good things happen for you and your team.
HEAD COACH JEREMY COLLITON
On having Marc Crawford back...
Great to have him back. He's a great resource for me and obviously the guys really enjoy having him in the room. He's got a lot of experience and a lot of expertise, so happy to have him with us again.
On process over the last month...
Obviously it needed to be done, and I understand that. My experience with Marc has been nothing but great. He's carried himself in a way that's been an example of how to act, so I'm happy to have him here.