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Mooseheads' Cam Russell answers your questions

We invited readers to submit their questions for Halifax Mooseheadshead coach and general manager Cam Russell. Following is the Q&A.

We invited readers to submit their questions for Halifax Mooseheads head coach and general manager Cam Russell. Following is the Q&A.

Q. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since a) becoming head coach and b) becoming general manager?
— Matt Jussup, Halifax


A. It’s such a time consuming job. It’s seven days a week. You’re coaching one minute, you’re managing, doing administrative work the next. The attention to detail. There’s little room for mistake in detail.

Q. As a former rough-and-tumble blueliner, do you think the intimidation side of the game is dead? When you took over, I expected more of that attitude to be projected upon the team. Why hasn’t that been the case?
— Jordan Dearing, Dartmouth


A. It’s tough to give intensity and passion to a hockey player. Those are qualities they learn at a young age. It’s just who they are. You can’t take a Ben MacAskill and turn him into a tough, intimidating blueliner. You’ve got to draft those players and find them. They’re as important to your team as a 40-goal scorer. If you want Jody Shelleys, you have to go out and find them. That’s why we liked Sawyer Hannay. We drafted him hoping he would come in and play that role.

Q. What role do you see Darcy Ashley playing on the Mooseheads this year?
— Patrick Healey, Enfield


A. Darcy is going to be one of our top offensive players. He’s going to help us score on the power play, which is what we need, and we expect him to be on our hockey team for three or four years.

Q. How can a player be eligible for the import draft yet still be under contract in their home country? What’s your solution to the problem?
— Mark Reesor, Halifax


A. That’s a good question. Obviously, even though a player is under contract, there are ways to get him out of that contract. I don’t know what the solution would be, but going into the European draft you have to know exactly what you’re dealing with before you draft a player. We knew exactly what we were dealing with (with Czech Martin Frk) and we knew it would take a lot of work.

Q. Are you worried that your toughness looks heavily weighted towards the back end (after cutting forwards Luke Warner and Ryan Davis)?
— Justin David, Waverley


A. We had to take the best 24 players. Toughness is very important to us but you can’t have one-dimensional players. You have to have players who can play a physical role, but they have to get the job done as well. Warner and Davis are only 17-year-olds and realistically they need another year of playing before they can fill that role.

Q. Also, what are your biggest concerns with this young team?
— Justin David, Waverley


A. I wouldn’t say there are any big concerns but I think people have to be realistic. We have nine 17-year-olds, three 16-year-olds and there’s going to be a bit of a learning curve … But I’m just excited about it. Last year we had a lot of fears and concerns and this year we’re just excited for the outcome.

 
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