1-on-1 With... New Ads Head Coach Ian Herbers

Thursday, 12.1.2011 / 6:38 PM CT / Features
Nashville Predators
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1-on-1 With... New Ads Head Coach Ian Herbers
Usually when changes are made on a team in the American Hockey League, it has to do with a player being recalled or reassigned. Earlier this week in Milwaukee, changes took place on the coaching staff when Kirk Muller took the head coaching position with the Carolina Hurricanes. Admirals assistant coach Ian Herbers, a widely respected teacher of the game, was promoted to head coach. Here’s a Q&A with the man now leading Milwaukee.

Congratulations on the Head Coaching opportunity. What have you learned from Lane Lambert and Kirk Muller that you can take into your role as head coach?
Ian Herbers: Lane paid attention to the details, and dedicated long hours to prepare for games. He would come in early to make sure all the T’s were crossed and the I’s were dotted. I really learned the commitment that was needed to coach at this level from Lane. Kirk communicated very well with the players. You could definitely see Kirk’s love of the game when he came to the rink. He always brought a high energy to the team that the players felt.

NP.com: What did you learn from your time as the head coach in Johnstown that you bring with you into this opportunity?
Herbers: The biggest thing I learned was how to manage my time. My responsibilities included working on housing, traveling, video, handling players, call ups, and finding players when short. I learned to find the most efficient routes to completing things without cutting corners.

NP.com:  This is quite a shake-up to the coaching dynamic in the middle of a season; how difficult is that? And as you start looking at Assistant Coaches to fill out your staff, what qualities are you looking for?
Herbers: It is certainly a challenge, but Marty [Martin Gelinas] is here with us on an interim basis and he is a great resource for me. He knows the players very well and knows the expectations of the organization and the team. With his National Hockey League experience Marty is helpful on the bench as an extra set of eyes. He helps adjust systems or players if needed, and makes corrections in our game. For a permanent assistant I am looking for someone who will compliment me as far as bringing a different set of skills, as well as someone who is energetic and a positive attitude.

NP.com:: You’ve been involved with Ads team for over two seasons already and have a strong relationship with your players; how much does that help you in this transition time?
Herbers: It helps a great deal because I know what to expect from the players. I have seen them at their best and their worst. There is great character in the Predators organization and in the dressing room and I know that expectations are very high.

NP.com: How does your relationship with the Coach Trotz and his staff help you with your transition to the head coaching role?
Herbers: Coach Trotz is always available if I have any questions, uncertainties, or just want to talk hockey. It is a tremendous benefit to be able to call him or any of the other coaches in Nashville. He has been around the NHL for 12 years, and prior to the NHL was head coach in Baltimore and Portland in the AHL, so he has many years of knowledge and experience at all the levels of the game.

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