Features

Patrick, Players Excited About Richards Hire

Craig Patrick explains why Todd Richards was the right man for the job!

Tuesday, 05.15.2012 / 11:22 AM / Features
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com

Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson described the final 41 games of the season as a “three-month interview” for Todd Richards, who officially had his interim tag removed today by the club.

From the moment the coaching change was made, Howson and Senior Advisor Craig Patrick went into evaluation mode, and not solely with the coaching staff. All aspects of the team, including players, style of play, and accountability, were taken into consideration when making one of the most important decisions for the team.
I was really pushing hard for him to be our head coach - Craig Patrick

With a lifetime of hockey experience under his belt – and the advantage of having “seen it all” throughout a 40-year career in the game – Patrick knew there were certain qualities that stood out with Richards and the way he guided the club down the stretch of the season. Patrick has hired coaches, fired coaches, and made significant trades that shaped the future of two prominent NHL organizations, and said he made a big push to hire Richards as head coach.

“After observing him through the end of the year, I was really pushing hard for him to be our head coach,” Patrick told BlueJackets.com. “I loved the way he handled the players. Todd is a demanding coach, but he made it fun for the players, too.

“He got good results, which is one of the reasons I wanted him to be our coach. I want us to start next season on a good note, and I think he gives us a head start on that.”

Patrick said preconceived notions and first impressions are good to have, but cannot be the basis of a decision of such magnitude. He and Howson got feedback from several players at the end of the season, and the response was positive: the players appreciated Richards’ even-handed approach to the game and his ability to balance expectations and the element of enjoying playing hockey.

“He’s a very motivated and demanding coach,” Patrick said. “But he also brings fun to the game, which is really important in this business.”

“There wasn’t anything early on that made me believe he was the guy, but in getting to know him and the kind of coach and person he is…at the end of the day, he proved to me he was the type of guy we should keep here.”

Successful organizations start with a competitive culture, Patrick said, and that was a major aspect of the decision to retain Richards. Based on his resume and track record of building accountability, Patrick and Howson believed Richards was the right coach to help them develop “the Blue Jacket way.”

“We’re developing a culture here that’s both competitive and demands accountability,” Patrick said. “Those are the things he demands out of his players all the time, and our players responded to that. It is a perfect fit for what we’re trying to achieve here, and why we think he’s a perfect fit for our team.”



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 2 2 1 0 3
M. Calvert 2 2 0 3 2
R. Johansen 2 1 1 -1 2
B. Dubinsky 2 0 2 0 2
D. Savard 2 0 2 1 2
B. Jenner 2 0 2 -1 2
D. MacKenzie 2 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 2 1 0 1 1
A. Anisimov 2 0 1 -1 1
C. Atkinson 2 0 1 1 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 1 1 0 .905 3.00
 
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