SPRINGHILL: Cool Blues players may have packed up their hockey equipment for the season but it's still full speed ahead for the Cool Blues Express.
"Every year you learn more things and it makes you stronger," Cool Blues General Manager and Coach Ron Reynolds said. "This year was another year in the learning process."
The Blues lost only seven games across the entire regular season and, as a result, came out as the leagues top team during the regular season.
Despite the outstanding accomplishments, Reynolds said the organization will make changes over the summer with an eye towards, "getting over that hump in the playoffs."
"I find each year gets harder in the sense that the more successful you are the more is expected of you," Reynolds said. "And that's what you want. You never want to become complacent."
Never becoming complacent means changes are on the way.
"I know there will be changes next year as far as what we want in player personnel," Reynolds said. "We have a lot of guys who can return next year but, you know, there's probably a couple who won't be back just from the fact they let us down in the playoffs."
Reynolds wants players who are aware of the commitment needed to win playoff hockey.
"We want to create a team that's based on teamwork," Reynolds said. "I think we had a bit too much individual stuff in the playoffs an it cost us a bit - and the fact Antigonish had a great team, that's for sure."
Always the hockey man, Reynolds is already looking at next year's roster.
"We won't take time off, we'll be right back at it," Reynolds said. "We'll be looking for certain players to fill certain holes and if we can fill them now, we'll take them now."
Reynolds commitment comes from a strong desire to bring a championship to Springhill.
"When I go to that rink on Friday night and see between 700 and 800 fans enjoying the game it makes all the hard work worthwhile and makes you want to work hard at putting as best a product on the ice as you can."
Reynolds said the Blues have an excellent executive but that hindsight is sometimes 20/20.
"I want to win as much as the fans want us to win and sometimes we make decisions that aren't the best. At the time we think they are but the fans pay their money and they have a right to voice their pleasure or displeasure."
Reynolds said both the Blues and the Ramblers are very fortunate to have the best fans in Maritime hockey and that, "When the fans are disappointed sometimes they have good reason to be but we have to just keep plugging away."
Reynolds hopes people see the forest through the trees.
"Our league is a very tight league and the Blues will be very competitive next year," Reynolds said. "But, you know, when the fans look at the big picture, at what we've done since day one, I think they'll realize we are moving in the right direction."