Kirby Dach is in the process of finding an enviable place with the Canadiens and in the NHL. His former coach with the Chicago Blackhawks believes that the best is yet to come for the striker.
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Jeremy Colliton managed Dach for more than two seasons with the Hawks. It was not the athlete’s talent that was lacking in his case, but his lack of perseverance.
“I can’t say it didn’t work for him,” Colliton said during his visit to Laval this week. He was so young.
“At this age, it’s hard to find your bearings and show consistency. He had several good moments under my command. In the Edmonton bubble, he was one of our best players before he got hurt.
“After that, it took him a long time to find the same rhythm again.”
Colliton doesn’t want to speculate why the Hawks decided to trade Dach to the Canadiens in the last draft.
Photographic archives, AFP
Jeremy Colliton believes Kirby Dach (No. 77 center) has a bright future in the NHL.
“It was not a question of success in his case. They (the Hawks) just decided to move on, stressed the one who is now the coach of the Abbotsford Canucks in the American League.
Kirby is putting a lot of pressure on himself to become an elite player in the NHL. His standards are high. He wants to be a top player. However, he can take time ”.
According to Colliton, Dach has all the makings for a great NHL career.
“He is a good skater and his ability shows when he carries the puck on the ice,” added the former player. He is capable of creating good scoring chances for himself and his teammates.
“He is capable of playing in all situations. In the past, it was used in all sauces. I don’t know if in your case we have only seen the tip of the iceberg.
“On the other hand, I know that he puts all his effort into becoming a good player.”
Able to handle pressure
Dach had some pressure on his shoulders when he was part of the Blackhawks organization. He was a first-round pick, third overall, in the 2019 draft.
Despite his excellent youth career, the 6-foot-3, 211-pound colossus had some difficulty making the transition to the NHL.
“He was a teenager when he came to Chicago,” Colliton said. When he jumped, he had a lot of pressure on his shoulders.
“However, no one put more pressure on himself than him. It’s a good thing because in Montreal the pressure is very present.
During his early years in the NHL, Dach learned many difficult lessons. These could serve you with the Canadian.
“He already has a lot of experience that will help him in his development. He now has his fate in his hands.”
Life after a layoff
Around this time last year, Jeremy Colliton was home with his family. He was released by the Chicago Blackhawks earlier this month.
A pill that was hard to swallow. His first dismissal since the start of his coaching career.
“We all ended up getting fired,” Colliton said with a smile. I am a competitive person who wants to succeed.
“When you are a coach, you always think that you can make a difference. And no matter the situation, you want to make it work. With the Hawks, it didn’t work out.”
In the weeks that followed, he reflected on his first stint in the NHL.
“You think about your lived experiences and how you want to use them in the future. He allowed me to recharge my batteries”.
more mature coach
During this period, Colliton participated in the Beijing Games as an assistant coach for the Canadian team. A golden opportunity to learn from an experienced coach like Claude Julien.
“It made me realize that I always had to be looking for new ideas and new solutions. And not being afraid to take stock with the people I work with.
“Every situation I’ve been through with the Hawks will make me a better coach.”
A call from Alvin
Colliton decided to take a step back in his career by accepting the head coaching job for the Abbotsford Canucks in the AHL.
“Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin contacted me. I felt appreciated and wanted. I felt that they believed in me.
“I can contribute something to this organization and I want to show that they did the right thing in hiring me.”
During the conversation, he avoided discussing a return to the NHL. He has to recover after a rock’n’roll experience in Chicago.
“I love this league and it’s rewarding to work with young players to help them achieve their dreams. We try to prepare them to play a role in Vancouver and we want to do it in a winning environment.
“From my point of view, winning is an integral part of development.”
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