Strong Medicine

CRASH CAMERON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

He doesn't take it personally.

Bob Green's new team hasn't had much success against his old team.

"Everybody has teams that they match up well with for whatever reasons. There're teams out there we seem to play better against than others. And Medicine Hat, they seem to play well against us," said the Oil Kings GM, managing to add a laugh with it.

HISTORY

"With my history there, and Rocky Thompson's history there, it brings a little more interest to it.

"Willie's a good friend of mine," Green said of current Hat coach Desjardins.

"And you want to beat everybody no matter who you're playing. We've just got to find a way to beat them.

"It's tough to put a finger on it," he said of why the Kings have a 0-for-their existence record against the Tigers.

Apart from the obvious, he added.

"The fact that they are a good hockey club and they play hard."

All part of the Tigers' storied history in the Dub.

"They've got a great culture there," Green said.

"In junior hockey, your average career is about three years and they've lost a lot of good players (to graduation) over the years and they seem to carry on.

"You bring in younger guys and fill those vacancies left by guys moving on to the pro game where they fit into the system. They're tough every year and there's no reason why that's going to change."

It's what Green is trying to build with the Oil Kings, Phase 2.

"I think it's important at this level, especially. Your team is built through the draft - that's where the core of your team is going to come from. You have to be patient with those picks.

"You've got to hang on to them and treat them with respect.

"That's not only how you achieve short-term success, but that's how you achieve long-term success, as well.

'OUR FUTURE'

"Whenever you talk to other teams - or they talk to us - about player trades they're always interested in our younger players. And I think that's a compliment to those kids. But those guys are our future, so you have to be careful with that.

"We like where we're at obviously," Green said as part 2 of Season 2 begins to unfold.

"We'd like to be in the playoffs. Overall the 42 games we've played we think things have gone pretty well. Though we'd like to be more consistent game to game.

"I think we've got a good core of older players, solid kids and they've played well up to this point and they are the reason why we're close to a playoff spot. Hopefully they can carry on."

Players like co-captain Jeff Lee.

"Jeff plays hard every night and he's got good habits on and off the ice.

"Jeff is trying to get a (pro) contract for next year and he's really worked hard, dedicating himself to that. And he's doing all the right things. For our younger guys to see how he approaches the day-to-day business - it's important for our younger players to be exposed to that.

"So hopefully it helps them develop the same kind of habits."


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