Dyck eyeing Pats job
By Greg Harder, Leader-Post
May 8, 2009
REGINA -- The Regina Pats may not get a chance to contact Michael Dyck about their vacant head-coaching position.
He plans to make the call himself.
"That's definitely going to be the next step for me," Dyck said Friday after the Lethbridge Hurricanes announced they won't be renewing his contract. "It would be a phenomenal opportunity — a really good organization, obviously a very good group of players that are coming back. Any time you get an opportunity to work with one of the top organizations in the league you definitely have to be interested."
Although there are other vacancies he'll pursue, Regina's job is of particular appeal. Dyck also insisted he won't be scared away by the underachieving Pats, who missed the WHL playoffs this season and ultimately cost head coach Dale Derkatch his job.
"I don't think there would be any hesitation," said the 40-year-old Lethbridge product. "If I ever got the opportunity to pursue it further I would look at it more as an opportunity (to turn things around) . . . and become part of something successful, something big."
Asked how he feels about the talent in Regina, Dyck said it would be "a great opportunity" to coach the returning group.
"The two guys that stick out immediately are two world-class players in (Jordan) Eberle and (Colten) Teubert," he noted. "Both guys obviously have a tremendous amount of experience at winning at a very high level (the world juniors). And then there's some very good young players, a guy like Jordan Weal. There's definitely a lot of potential there."
Dyck has strong ties to the Pats, with whom he played for two-plus seasons in the late '80s. The former defenceman recalls the city as "a great hockey town" where the fans have "very strong passion for the game."
"That's probably the biggest thing I remember," he said. "It was a great place to play junior hockey and I have very fond memories of playing with some real solid players like Mark Janssens and Mike Sillinger and Jamie Heward and playing for a guy like (head coach) Doug Sauter, who obviously was tough but held you accountable.
"The last time I was in Regina I got to spend some time with Brad Hornung, a guy I respect a lot. To see guys like Gary Dickie around, even though it seems like a lifetime ago, you renew some of those relationships and those never go away."
Dyck is now raising a young family — a 10-year-old daughter and two sons, aged seven and one. Dyck doesn't see that as a stumbling block, noting that he and his wife have made plenty of moves during his career, so they know how to adapt.
The same goes for his coaching style.
"Some of that is dictated by the players that you have," he noted. "In Lethbridge we surrounded ourselves with some speed so we were able to play a pretty strong transition game.
"I certainly like to play an up-tempo game, a puck-possession game, yet one thing that I'm a big believer in and I learned a lot about from guys like Bryan Maxwell and Don Hay is defence and a commitment to playing that first."
Having served under those Memorial Cup-winning coaches as an assistant, Dyck also knows what kind of intangibles it takes to win.
"Nobody in this league is going to have any success unless they work hard," added Dyck, who guided Lethbridge to the WHL final in 2007-08. "What you have to establish is the level of work.
"Some people think they're working hard . . . (but) they have to be pushed to a limit where they know what they're capable of. To maintain that standard is obviously the key. Consistency starts with that work ethic and obviously any time you're building a team that has to be established early."
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