The Nashville Predators’ hiring of head coach Andrew Brunette has received rave reviews from most around the NHL.
Brunette impacted plenty of people during his 30-plus years as an NHL player, coach and assistant general manager, and Predators team reporter Emma Lingan recently asked those familiar with Brunette to share their opinion on the first-year head coach.
ESPN and NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes: “He treats people with class. He’s a people person. Not every coach really excels at people skills, and quite frankly, some of them are lacking. But what they lack, he possesses in spades. And that’s really important because at the end of the day, we’re in a people business. He’s going to treat you fairly, he’s going to be respectful and he’s going to be decent to you.”
ESPN broadcaster Ray Ferraro: “If you picture the smartest coach ever to be – whoever that is – if they can’t get their message to the players, they’re just a really smart guy standing behind the bench in a suit. But Bruno has the ability to make people feel like they understand what’s going on. And I know as a player, I would have loved to have played for somebody like Bruno because he would find what I do best and try and help me do that the best that I can.”
Former NHL goaltender Jamie Storr: “He can kind of resonate with everyone inside of that lineup, whether it’s a young player just starting or an old guy just trying to have a couple more seasons under their belt. It’s the ability to connect. I think his ability to communicate will help him tremendously. But the way he sees the game – I don’t think there’s too many people that will see it that way… I guarantee that every player playing for him is going to really enjoy it. Anything Andrew does, he’s going to have a lot of success with it because he’s the same person that he was as a player.”
The team has already started to piece together its 2023 roster after re-signing defenseman Keaton Thompson to a one-year deal and on Tuesday the Ads inked another player, signing forward Tye Felhaber to a one-year AHL deal.
The 5-foot-11 winger scored seven goals and 13 points in 21 games with Milwaukee after spending 17 games with the Texas Stars and Syracuse Crunch at the beginning of the season.
Around the NHL and National Hockey Now
LA Hockey Now: The Kings made some noise this season and Austin Stanovich explains why they need to decidewhether they want to keep some of their premium assets for short-term playoff success or part with those assets and go all-in on making a run at the Cup.
New Jersey Hockey Now: Some news Preds fans will likely rejoice over — the Devils are reportedly in the running to trade for Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck. James Nichols has the details here.
Vegas Hockey Now: Fresh off a Stanley Cup championship, big things are happening in Vegas. Vegas Hockey Now introduced its new beat writer, welcoming Chris Gawlik to the team.
Washington Hockey Now: The Capitals have a big decision to make regarding the future of center Evgeny Kuznetsov. Jared Serre weighs the pros and cons of Washington bringing him back.
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(Photo of Hal Gill, left, Andrew Brunette, center, and Chris Mason by John Russell/Nashville Predators)