Dwyer’s ‘Whirlwind’ of Experience was a Learning One
May 11, 2012
|North Bay Battalion|
|Owen Sound Attack|
|Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds|
|Brandon Wheat Kings|
|Edmonton Oil Kings|
|Medicine Hat Tigers|
|Moose Jaw Warriors|
|Prince Albert Raiders|
|Red Deer Rebels|
|Swift Current Broncos|
|Prince George Cougars|
It’s been a busy past five weeks for P.E.I. Rocket head coach Gordie Dwyer, but it has been worth it.
When the Rocket season ended on March 18, Dwyer’s season continued. He was invited to be an assistant coach with Team Canada at the Under-18 World Men’s Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic which won a bronze medal, he then spent a few days in Calgary with Hockey Canada, made a trip to St. John’s, N.L. for the Midget Atlantics looking at the top midget teams in Atlantic Canada, and then spent a few days in Montreal, Que. for the QMJHL Combine.
The Under-18 championship was an unbelievable experience, said Dwyer.
“It was the opportunity to join Hockey Canada and to coach the elite level players of the country and the world championship was incredible.”
The amount of resources that Hockey Canada has for its staff and its players and the expectation of excellence is huge, said Dwyer.
“Hockey Canada goes to these events to medal and to be the best in the world and they provide all the resources to make sure they give you the best chance to perform.”
Team Canada beat Finland in overtime to capture the bronze medal.
Dwyer said he enjoyed working with coaches who have a lot of coaching experience.
“For me it was a rewarding experience and something I learned for sure.”
Dwyer had the pleasure of working with Jesse Wallin of the Red Deer Rebels and Todd Gill of the Kingston Frontenacs.
Of course the experience will be taken home to your own hockey club, said Dwyer.
“And that’s one of the best things about Hockey Canada is that they provide that opportunity for coaches and being in those settings with those pressure-packed filled opportunities are important for coaches.”
Shortly after the tournament was over, Dwyer headed to the QMJHL Combine to look at the top prospects for the upcoming QMJHL draft.
It was Dwyer’s first combine since joining the team last summer and said he enjoyed it.
“It was an opportunity to see a lot of the top prospects on the ice at the same time and get an idea of what kind of players they are and to be familiar with a lot of them. There’s lots of talent every year available. It’s nice to see some of the players in action.”
The last fives weeks for Dwyer have been a learning experience and is something that will stay with him.
“It’s an experience that helps everybody,” said Dwyer.
It’s an experience you’re going to bring back to your team, said Dwyer.
“Just the experience itself is something that makes you a better coach. It was challenging for coaches and I think and challenges as a coach or player are a good thing.”
The P.E.I. Rocket and Dwyer are making preparations for the QMJHL Entry Draft coming up on June 9 in Quebec City, Que.