Photo by Steven Christy
Mike Baldwin, who writes for The Oklahoman here in Oklahoma City, has the first official comments from Todd Nelson on the recent promotion to the Edmonton Oilers. The quotes deserve attention, and unfortunately are buried under a heavy blanket in the NewsOK rotation of sports news. Let’s dig them out of the buried treasure chest. They are really worth seeing.
On the quick change from AHL head coach to NHL interim head coach:
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Nelson said by telephone from Charlotte, where the Barons will play the Checkers at 6 p.m. Tuesday. “I’m really excited, and I’m going to try and seize the moment.”
“Because I’ve coached a lot of them it will make the transition easier,” Nelson said. “Even the handful of players I haven’t coached, some of the free agents they signed, I got to know them during (Edmonton’s) training camp before we started our camp here in Oklahoma City.”
On leaving OKC:
“It’s bitter sweet… I’m obviously extremely happy for the opportunity and I’m really excited about it,” Nelson said. “On the other side, this is a city and a hockey club I grew close to, great guys in the locker (room) and great people of Oklahoma City. My wife and I have really enjoyed it here.”
On his future with the Oilers:
“It’s going to be a big challenge, but I feel I’m ready for it,” Nelson said. “There already are some really good pieces to the puzzle. There are some really talented hockey players on that roster. My focus will be to get the guys to play hard for one another, but first I must go earn the players’ respect.”
On further developing players he has coached before:
“Having already developed relationships with a lot of those players, it will help with communication with certain players,” Nelson said. “What I will tell them is we all need to work together to get this going in the right direction. It won’t happen overnight, but we can build, we can get on the right path moving forward.”
Again, read Mike’s full article. It is worth your time.