Going from player to coach like Dale Hunter, Olie Kolzig gets the adjustment. And watching his friend make the move from the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League to the Washington Capitals, Kolzig seems to have the right idea what’s going on here.
“He’s an old-school, no-nonsense type of guy and he gave up a pretty lucrative, successful stint down in London to chase the one thing that’s eluded him – and that’s a Stanley Cup,” Kolzig said. “He’s coming in here – he’s got nothing to lose. He’s only got a one-year contract and he wants to do everything possible to put the team in position to win a Stanley Cup. Sometimes you make decisions as a coach that are unpopular.”
Unpopular decisions like making Mike Knuble a healthy scratch for three straight games. But Kolzig knows Hunter does it his way.
“As popular as he was as a player, he goes by a certain philosophy,” Kolzig said. “And as a coach, yeah, you’re going to bruise some egos and hurt some feelings. But that’s what he believes in and if that’s what it’s going to take to get this team close to winning a Stanley Cup then I think at the end of the day if that happens all those unpopular decisions will all of the sudden look pretty smart.”