The Grand Rapids Griffins’ website posted a Q and A with coach Ben Simon conducted just prior to the Red Wings’ prospect tournament:
Are there parallels between how a person played and how they coach?
Just because you’re a phenomenal player doesn’t mean you’re going to be a phenomenal coach. And I don’t think because you’re a terrible player you’re going to be a terrible coach. It’s good to draw on your experiences both good and bad and to use those experiences to help convey to these players that, hey, we’re not that far removed from the game, and to learn from our mistakes and to use our experiences that were positive to help these guys along.
The roster is not close to being set, but can you comment on just the pool of players that will be eligible for Grand Rapids this season?
Detroit has always done a phenomenal job of, I won’t say stocking, but putting good veteran players down here to help the younger players develop. Now that being said, there’s a lot of opportunity that’s available in Detroit right now, so I don’t want to say ‘he’s going to be here, he’s going to be here’ because you never know. Up top, they’ve got an open mind.
The old philosophy in Detroit was the tie goes to the veteran, the older guy. Now I think if it gets to a close fight between a younger guy and a vet, they’re going to try to find a way to help that young guy in a rebuild to make Detroit. There’s a lot of opportunity in Detroit, but in terms of guys who could be here, we’re looking at some guys that have great offensive capabilities. We’re going to be a little bit young defensively and we’ll have to learn quickly.
How excited are you for the start of training camp?
There’s always that rejuvenation. It’s a new season, it’s fresh, everyone’s got a clean slate. It’s the excitement of the new year and a new beginning for everyone. It’s another season but it’s another adventure with a different group of guys; that’s always exciting. The adventure, that’s what you remember the most. It’s not the wins and losses, it’s the people and the players along the way, and the learning mistakes and the learning accomplishments.