ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) IceHogs coach Derek King got the big answer he’d been waiting for Monday…whether or not the AHL season would resume. The AHL decided to cancel the remaining games and the postseason. King shared his feelings on that and his thoughts on some of the IceHogs’ players in a teleconference Tuesday morning.
King is disappointed the AHL season won’t resume, but he’s not surprised.
“I kind of thought personally as it went longer and longer here I had just a feeling that this wasn’t going to work out. We wouldn’t have been able to finish the season.”
King plans to hold exit interviews with players as usual, only instead of face-to-face they’ll be done over the computer.
“We’re going to try this, you know the Zoom conference exit meetings and see if we can pull this off.”
So the uncertainty over whether or not the season would resume has been addressed, in King’s mind there are still more questions than answers about what happens next.
“Right now it’s just kind of in a holding pattern.” “These are not easy times. How do you prepare for a season that you might not even start until December? Who knows?”
There’s still a chance the NHL could resume it’s season. If that happens some IceHogs might be added to the Blackhawks’ roster. King says he could put together a list of guys who would be the best candidates.
As far as the players who finished the season in Rockford King praised Dylan Sikura, Lucas Carlsson and MacKenzie Entwistle for stepping up their games. He says if he had to pick an MVP it would be forward Brandon Hagel.
“He really just stepped up. He’s a battler. He finds a way and gets knocked down, gets back up and he keeps going.”
King says the guy who might have the most upside as a future NHL player is center Philipp Kurashev.
“I’m keeping my eye on this kid. He looks like a pro. He does everything like a pro. It’s just getting comfortable and staying healthy.”
As far as the firing of Blackhawk’s President John McDonough goes, King doesn’t think that will affect him.
“We’ve had a couple of staff meetings and there’s no reason for anybody to be alarmed or nervous about anything. That was a decision they made, and that’s out of my league. I stay in my lane here.”