Carlyle clears the air

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:06 AM ET

This was a routine, informative meeting for Randy Carlyle but for those in attendance, it may have signaled the dawn of a new era in the relationship between the Vancouver Canucks and Manitoba Moose.

After three years, the Stan Smyl era has given way to Carlyle's return as the head coach and the 1981 Norris Trophy winner wanted his prospective players to know where he stood on a variety of issues before they hit the ice for the first on-ice session of training camp.

"I like to define as quickly as possible, what our mission is," said Carlyle, shorty after addressing his players yesterday afternoon. "There are no ifs, ands or buts. We think we have the ability to create an environment to have success in and help them get to the next level. If they contribute to the team concept, the team should have success also.

"It's pretty black and white. Be on time, work hard, be a good teammate, be positive, ride the tough times out and keep it level."

BUSY

It has been a busy couple of months since Carlyle agreed to leave his job as an assistant coach with the Washington Capitals to take on his first head coaching assignment with a primary affiliate.

Carlyle is enjoying the new challenge, even though he's not wielding the same power he did as head coach and GM of an independent team in the IHL.

"It's a lot different than historically what I've had to do because I was always in the acquisition mode in terms of players," said Carlyle. "Now (the Canucks) ask your opinion, you give your opinion and a decision is made."

Having the opportunity to spend some time with the Canucks coaching staff and management team during the parent club's prospect camp earlier this month in Burnaby, B.C., proved to be beneficial.

"It was a real eye-opener," said Carlyle. "I was trying to be a sponge there, take it all in and absorb the skill-level, tenacity, work ethic, everything about the players as individuals. On the other hand, I looked at the systems, how they teach them, what the major components are, the successes and failures of them, the positives and negatives."

The Moose training camp is condensed, so Carlyle doesn't want the players to ease into it.

Being on cruise control isn't an option because the numbers will be decreased before the Moose head to Ontario next weekend for a pair of exhibition games against the Hamilton Bulldogs.

"I hated training camp as a player and it's a necessary evil as a coach," said Carlyle. "There is competition for positions. You earn you opportunity to move forward. Our message is 'show us what you've got.' If they think I'm fooling ... it's not really a warning, but I believe that I've been as honest and straight-forward as I possibly can and that's the way we like to operate."


Videos

Photos