Coaching changes in the NHL are always a tough thing to go through for everyone involved.
From a players perspective it is something I have had to go through on a number of occasions in my career. It is a gut-wrenching ordeal that literally made me sick to my stomach. As a player you have to feel a heavy burden for what has happened. If you don't you are in the wrong business.
A hockey team is a family and the coach is like the father figure. We, as players, are the ones who have the control of the outcomes of games. The coach being let go means we have failed in one way or the other to get the job done. This is how I was taught to look at the game of hockey. It goes beyond the game. We are a family that all have families. I found from some great teammates that I played with that it wasn't about my own success or failure that mattered. It was about the guy next to me that mattered. It's a team sport so if I failed that it meant that my teammate or coach also paid the price for my failure.
I learned that pro sports had nothing to do with me; it was about the people around me. My best teammates played for my family and not for themselves. I also learned fast if we had success, we stayed together, if not changes were always made.
Along with the money of pro sports comes incredible pressure. I feel for Kevin (Dineen), Craig (Ramsay) and Gord (Murphy) and their families and I truly wish them all the best. I am excited for Peter (Horachek), Skrewy (Brian Skrudland) and John (Madden) and I know again we have caring passionate people who are committed to getting the Panthers to the top.
I love this team and I know there is a commitment from everyone to get us where we need to be. We are family!