Chris Hoeler, a friend of mine, who has been contributing hockey articles to this blog for his column, “On the Rink With Gootz”, has served as the Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the Danbury Whalers since the off-season, for the Federal Hockey League. However, due to the coach’s absence Friday night (and for the next two games) he stepped up to take over the helm, and his first two games were both victories; 6-1 over the Vermont Wild and then last night, 5-3 over the Cape Cod Blue Fins. He will continue his coaching stint Wednesday night, when the Whalers visit my home state to take on the New Jersey Outlaws. Ironically, I actually have another friend that works with the Outlaws, helping to keep stats. Had it not been the night before Thanksgiving (and the arena is a far drive away) I would have loved to go and see the two teams play.
Though this coaching is only for the interim basis, it must be an exciting time for Chris, who longs to have a career in professional hockey. I just wanted to congratulate him, and as I told him this morning, I certainly expect to see his name on Hockey DB real soon! He has also promised to blog about his experiences when he has some free time, I said I would be more than happy to post them here. At first, this may not seem like a big deal, but with the way the world works, and opportunities not being as easy to come by as in year’s past, this may end up being quite a breakthrough for him, and I wish him the best of luck in the future as well.