New coaches, new culture
DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency
The Edmonton Oil Kings have already put last season behind them.
Especially considering their coaching staff wasn’t around to endure it.
Despite finishing last in their conference standings in 2009-10, the Oil Kings are heading into this year with optimism.
“I think it’s going to be a fun year, we have a lot of good, young talent,” said veteran winger Cameron Abney.
“The new coaches bring a different mindset to the game and everyone is really excited.
“We had a really good training camp, there was a lot of good talent out there. It was a little bit of a grind, playing four scrimmages in one day, but it was a lot of fun.”
With Derek Laxdal and Steve Hamilton taking over from Steve Pleau and Rocky Thompson behind the bench, the Oil Kings are looking for a change of attitude.
“We want to send out a message that’s all about changing the culture around here,” Laxdal said. “Then we want to build on that culture we put in place.”
Although the Oil Kings finished in the basement last season, it wasn’t as though they were getting blown out every night. The club simply didn’t know how to pull out close games, ending up on the wrong side of most of them.
“To know that you’re right there and losing by a goal or two was quite frustrating last year, because we couldn’t figure out how to win.” Abney said.
“I thought we had the talent, we just couldn’t figure out how to win.
“That’s what we need to do this year, is figure out how to win.
“I think getting off to a good start and getting those first five games out of the way would definitely help a young team like us get some confidence.”