New IceHogs Coach Colliton A Relationship Builder

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Mike Haviland, Bill Peters and Ted Dent got the IceHogs AHL era off the ground in the first decade. Now the task of bringing the first Calder Cup Championship to Rockford falls into the lap of Jeremy Colliton the teams’ new head coach.

Colliton is 32 years old and a native of Alberta, Canada. His coaching career began in Sweden. The last four years he was the head coach of Moria IK in Sweden. He had remarkable success there. Last season his team had a record of 35-4-13. In four years his teams were 98-18-57.

“I was given the opportunity to be a head coach in Sweden and I learned a lot every year,” said Colliton Thursday morning in a conference call with the media.

I asked Colliton what his strengths are as a head coach and to describe his personality at the rink. Is he a no-nonsense guy or a laid-back guy who likes to keep things light and fun during the grind of a long season?

“I think there’s a time and a place for everything,” said Colliton. “I think honesty and clarity is, you know, something I really pride myself on and also it’s important to build the relationship with the players so that they believe that you’re doing everything you can to help them get better. Personality-wise I’m pretty even keel. I try not to get too high or too low and hopefully the group can feed off that. If you can have that mentality it lends itself to being at your best every day.””

Every IceHogs coach has two objectives. One is to win games and challenge for a Calder Cup. The other is to develop NHL players for the Blackhawks. Colliton believes he can balance those two things.

“Look the focus is on development. Winning is important but the winning is the result if we’re doing the right things as far as getting better every day, and if we are able to develop as many (players) as possible to be close or ready to play in the NHL then the winning is going to take care of itself.”

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