If you could give the team one piece of advice going into the 2019-20 season, what would you tell them?
Jonathan Morris: My thought is that Kase needs to be the spark plug and the only way to maximize his potential and see if he can handle it is give him Perry’s old spot as the top line RW.
TJ Watson: No matter what, find the will to band together as one.
Ed Stein: Patience. The team will improve greatly as the season progresses. If things don’t go well the first month or two don’t worry, it will get better.
Ben Thomasian: For the younger players I’d say to prepare well. These early years will set you up for the rest of your lives. Well prepared athletes stay healthy, healthy athletes get games. The more games you play, the more likely it will before you to make an impact. Naturally, the accolades and the fat paychecks will flow from that.
For the older players, I’d tell them to keep it light. They’re the emotional rocks the younger players are going to learn from and emulate. It seems weak, but a positive attitude and making the work-place more enjoyable to attend will go a long way towards the franchise’s future success, as well as your own quality of life.
Jordan German: If I could rally the troops together, I’d probably spew out some of the worst most overused lines in the sports world. The team would probably think I’m some under-budget Gordon Bombay. Still, I could try my best, so I would tell them to just play their game. There’s no need for anyone to get flashy or go for plays that risk injury just to pad stats.
Last season was really tough with all the injuries, but it’s back to a mostly clean slate. The youth just needs to listen to the veterans and get into their own comfortable styles, and the veterans need to keep an open-mind in teaching the youth, along with working with a great developer in Dallas Eakins. If they can get along and play some solid hockey, those ninety-four points or so might not be too far out of sight.
Khalid Hart: Play for each other. This is a building year so this is the time to develop chemistry, especially with new and younger players coming into the fold.
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Jake Robles: I think the biggest pieces of advice I would give them would be to play for each other again. A tough year like last season can disjoint a team but as long as they believe in the cause, and each other, they can be successful.
Ciara Durant: Everyone had great advice for this question and I don’t think it needs to be overexplained. However, my advice would be to celebrate the small victories. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in making big things happen, and when they don’t discouragement sets in. Look to improve and celebrate the small victories because those are just as important, if not more so, than the big victories. Have fun while doing it too.
Find that spark that first made you fall in love with hockey and doesn’t let it dim, even if you lose “big and important” games. The greatest stories of victory come from those who fell to rock bottom, get back up, and keep moving forward to get back on top. The team reached rock bottom last season and the only place to go from here is up, even if it’s a longer process than expected.
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