John Hynes A Look Behind The Bench

John Hynes came to the WBS Penguins back in August  of  2009 as an assistant Coach to Todd Reirden  not even a year later Hynes became head Coach of the WBS Penguins  when Reirden was promoted to assistant Coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Hynes started his head coach career out on a good note a record of 58-21-0-1 and receiving the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy (the first for the WBS franchise) as AHL regular season champions, not to mention doing this amongst all the call ups to the Burgh.

Coach  Hynes is a 1997 graduate of B. U. he  was a three-year letterman for the Terriers as a forward and participated in four straight NCAA Frozen Four tournaments. B. U. captured the 1995 NCAA Division I National Championship in front of Hynes’ home crowd in Providence, RI.

John Hynes didn’t just fall into the WBS coaching job as you can see he came with a nice resume, he served as assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts Lowell during the 2000–01 season. In the 2002–03 season, he became an assistant coach for the University of Wisconsin.

After that he spent the next six seasons as a head coach with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program.

Hynes also led the U.S. Under-18 national team to three medals at the World Under-18 Championships, a gold in 2006, silver in 2004 and bronze in 2008. He was head coach of the U.S. national team at the 2008 World Junior championships, and was an assistant coach on the 2004 U.S. team that won a gold medal at the World Junior event.

Well enough of our talk now let’s get to the question and answer part you all want to read…


Q) In the last two seasons Pittsburgh seemed to take a lot of players from the WBS Penguins, how did you handle a depleted roster especially on the blue line.

We talk to our team about not making excuses and finding a way to succeed.  We also have had great depth on our team in WBS and in Wheeling. Our success has been a combination of having very good players and also having a strong team culture of competitiveness and mental toughness

Q) We have heard that your name was linked with the Washington Capitals job; did you at any time give it any considerations.

We all have aspirations to get to the NHL players, coaches and trainers.  It is always a nice compliment to have your name mentioned as a possible candidate for any NHL coaching job.  My focus is on WBS and finding ways to improve our team and continuing to work to become a better coach.  I was taught very early on in coaching that you have to focus on the job you have and if you do a good job good things will happen.  We want to continue the strong WBS tradition this year and be an elite team in the AHL and that is where my focus has been.

Q) Take us through a game day for you if you would a lot of fans would love to k now exactly what coaches do the day of a game.

We get to the rink at 6:30am.  We meet to go over practice, game line up, prepare for individual player meetings and finalize our pre scout for the upcoming opponent

9:00am  – 12:30pm – It is a combination to player meetings, run practice and present 5 on 5 Pre Scout to the players

12:30 – 3:30 – We finish up any work we have left from the morning or last game we played (video, stats).  Get some lunch and get ready for the game.

3:30 – 5:30 – we meet again at 3:30 to go over our special teams meetings prior to the game. We also get our pre game meeting board all written up so it is ready when the players arrive starting at 4:00.  We have special teams meeting PP from 5:00-5:15   PK meeting 5:15 – 5:30 and a team Meeting at 5:35.  After the team meeting we prepare our game cards and then we are ready for warm ups.

Long days at the rink we are usually at the rink from 6:30 am – 11:00pm.

Q) When you where playing hockey was there any player that you styled yourself after or looked up to if so who and why?

I was a big fan of Wendall Clarke – I just loved his grit, work ethic and ability to compete in the hard areas of the game and still be able to produce offensively.

Q)  Can you tell us what you felt when you received the news that you had become the head coach of the WBS Penguins.

I was very excited and honored to become the head coach of WBS.  It is one of the top franchises in the AHL.  I am proud to help to continue to build on the tradition of excellence.

Q)  Is there any one moment in your career, playing or coaching, that you would say stands out more than any others and why.

Winning Championships – The NCAA Championship at Boston University and 2 Gold Medals with team USA.  There is no better feeling than setting goals,  putting in hard work and finally and being able to accomplish the goal you set out to do…very gratifying.  Also the bond that you form with your team lasts forever.  There is a saying…”Champions walk together forever” it’s true.

Q)  What do you find to be the most difficult part of coaching an AHL team and how do you approach it?

Constant changes in your line up.  It is a challenge – so we try to make the most of the guys we have and adapt our game plan to the lineup we have that night.

Q) With all the incoming and outgoing players this coming season what do you see or expect for the WBS Penguins in the 2012-2013 season?

We have an exciting group of players coming in.  I expect us to be a team that is very competitive and tough to play against.

Q) Our last question is always the same for every interview, if you could say one thing to the WBS Penguin fans what would it be?

We appreciate your support.  WBS is a great place to play and coach because of our fan support!!   Be loud at home games and let’s try to make MHS arena the toughest place to play this season in the AHL.

We at PensFans4Ever would like to thank Coach Hynes for giving us some of his time and answering a few questions for us. It is always nice to sit down and chat with friends. Hope you all enjoyed our little Q&A session and we hope this give you a better look at yet another member of our WBS Penguin family

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About B.Pettit

Lead Journalist - Owner - Editor Covering mainly the WBS Penguins I can be followed on Twitter @PensFans4Ever or my Personal twitter @PF4EButchPettit
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