Hynes moves to top of great coaching list
By Jonathan Bombulie
Published: Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, 12:19 a.m.
In the 14-year history of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, two coaches have won at least 115 career games — Glenn Patrick and John Hynes.
Patrick needed four full seasons and 320 games to reach 115 victories. Hynes did it in his 176th game, two months into his third season behind the bench.
That 144-game disparity indicates a few things.
The first is that the Penguins, under general manager Ray Shero, take much more care crafting a strong AHL roster each season than they did under Craig Patrick.
The other is that Hynes is one heck of a coach.
“He demands a lot out of his players, and if you give it to him, you're going to get the results,” winger Eric Tangradi said. “He's a smart man. He knows what it takes to win hockey games. He can be a disciplinarian. He can be someone to lean on when you need it as well. I think he's a great balance of all those things.”
This season has been a challenging one for Hynes.
Of the 29 players to suit up for the Baby Pens, eight are rookies, and seven others are free-agent acquisitions in their first season in the organization.
In other words, half the roster needed to be taught the way the Penguins do things.
“It's establishing how we want to work, the type of work habits we want to have, redefining what work is,” Hynes said. “It's not that the players don't want to work. It's that it's different. Sometimes it's stopping and starting more than they want. It's taking different angles, trying to get them to have a little more thought in their game.”
Perhaps as a result of the large amount of new players, the Baby Pens have been extraordinarily streaky this season. They started 0-4, then went 13-2 in their next 15 games, then followed that with a 1-6-1-1 streak.
The inconsistency didn't take Hynes by surprise.
“It's understandable in the development process and the team-building process, particularly with the team we have this year,” he said. “It doesn't mean it's OK. It just means that's the process we're in and we've got to work to limit it.”
A six-game winless streak ended with a 3-2 victory at Syracuse on Dec. 22. It was Hynes' 116th career victory, snapping the tie with Patrick on the team's all-time coaching wins list.
If history is any guide, Hynes won't be coaching in the AHL too much longer. After all, the last five Baby Pens head coaches have been promoted to the NHL.
Some, like Dan Bylsma, have become head coach of the Penguins. Others, like Todd Reirden, have become NHL assistants.
Because it's impossible to know which path will present itself, Hynes said he's not obsessed with his coaching future.
“We want to do the best job we can do here,” Hynes said. “Hopefully that leads to a great year, players getting promoted to the National Hockey League and winning a Calder Cup. That's my focus.”
Jonathan Bombulie has covered the Baby Pens for the Citizens' Voice in Wilkes-Barre since the team's inception in 1999. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Talented center Sutter is proving to be ‘pretty important’ for Penguins
- Penguins notebook: Beau Bennett returns to practice
- Analysis: Kesler still on Pens’ radar as Shero aims to bring back ‘Big 3’
- Penguins GM Shero’s deadline deals: Addition by subtraction
- Penguins minor league report: Defenseman Dumoulin optimistic for home stretch
- Penguins notebook: Maatta leaves lasting impression with Selanne
- Penguins notebook: Fleury feeling sharp entering tough stretch
- Penguins notebook: Sutter surprised by trade possibility
- Penguins stave off Ducks’ shooting barrage to win in shootout
- Penguins identify Canucks’ Kesler as top trade target
- Dupuis’ absence taking toll on Penguins’ production