Jets add to coaching staff
KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency
|Edmonton Oilers coaches Charlie Huddy and Craig MacTavish celebrate the win over the Detroit Red Wings' after the third period game six action of the first-round of playoffs at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Monday MAY 1/06, 2006. (JASON FRANSON/QMI Agency file)
Charlie Huddy knows what it takes to win and he’s also well aware of the anguish that comes with losing on the highest stage.
A veteran as both a player and an assistant coach at the NHL level, Huddy was officially unveiled by the Winnipeg Jets on Friday as part of a coaching staff that will also include goalie coach Wade Flaherty and video coach Tony Borgford.
“What’s really interesting about Charlie is that he’s won five Stanley Cups and been in the final eight times,” said Jets head coach Claude Noel. “That’s a pretty established career and he brings a lot to the table as far as teaching our defencemen, both young and veterans, the intricacies of playing defence. And he’s a tremendous communicator.”
Huddy won five Cups with the Edmonton Oilers and was on the winning end of many playoff series’ against the Jets in the ’80s.
His primary responsibilities will be to run the defence and contribute to the penalty kill.
Noel is looking to add one more assistant to his coaching staff that would run the forwards and assist with the power play.
Helping the Jets deal with the transition of playing under the bright spotlight of a Canadian market with a rabid fan base is something Huddy is looking forward to.
“It will be an adjustment for a lot of these guys, but at the end of the day, for me it makes you a better player because you have to go out and perform every night and be able to handle the pressure,” said Huddy, who has been an assistant coach for 12 seasons. “I was in Edmonton for a long time and there’s nothing better than being in a Canadian city where they’re excited and they live and breathe hockey every day.”
Flaherty is no stranger to hockey fans in Manitoba as he spent three seasons in the Moose organization and backstopped the team to the Western Conference final in 2004-05.
Flaherty served as the developmental goalie coach for the Chicago Blackhawks the past three seasons and captured the Stanley Cup in 2010.
Now he’s reunited with Noel, who he won a Calder Cup with in 2004 as a member of the Milwaukee Admirals.
“Anytime you win a championship, you make bonds,” Flaherty said from Vancouver. “Coaching is exciting for me. I’m enjoying it more than I thought I ever would.”
Borgford, who hails from Regina, has worked with the Atlanta Thrashers since their inception in 1999 and served as video co-ordinator/coach since 2002. He waited patiently as his future was decided and ultimately, things worked out.
“I was a Winnipeg Jets fan growing up and we’re happy they have a squad back here again,” said Borgford. “The opportunity here was off the charts, as far as I was concerned.”