SPRINGHILL – The Cumberland County Blues started the hockey season off with a new coach and a new outlook.
Since taking on the role at the beginning of the hockey season, new coach Robert McLure had a few goals in mind. He wanted to rebuild the team with strong players and clean out the negative attitude while watching his players enjoy playing the game.
“We have made some tremendous progress,” said McLure. “The players are some of the best players from their AAA teams and the good news is 13 of them are returning next year. I have a dozen more waiting to jump onto this hockey team.”
This is not McLure’s first time cultivated a hockey team. The coach has previously won awards and even won a spot in the RBC Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005.
“I won that for New Brunswick,” he said. “You win $10,000 for your hockey club.”
McLure said 75 per cent of his effort with the team has been focused on building program credibility and player interest. The coach has also started to build a relationship with Mount Allison University out of Sackville N.B. to help gain prospective hockey players.
“If someone from Halifax is going to Mount A and wants to play hockey, there’s an option for him,” said McLure.
The coach also spends a lot of one-on-one time with the players, giving them career advice, helping them with resumes and teaching them the understanding that there’s life outside of hockey.
“There are some quality players in our league… they love hockey and they want to play hockey but it’s part of their life, not their life,” he said.
McLure said he’s even helped set up job interviews for some of his players.
With the new changes going on with the team, McLure said he is aware that they’ve been lacking winning performances on the ice to please the fans. But by recruiting new players and building up the team for the future, McLure promises that the winning will come.