Coach Cody Mapes spoke about his coaching philosophy during the annual general meeting for the Red Wings, held on Tuesday night.
“I am very excited about this opportunity, and the players are very excited about going forward,” said Mapes. He said the continued support during the last year was very important to the Red Wings, especially as the team and the community had to deal with COVID-19 restrictions and a halt to last season.
“My coaching philosophy will be positive and encouraging,” explained Mapes. “This upcoming season is an opportunity for the team to get back to our winning ways. It will start at the top with the board, the volunteers and the coaches, and building young men in a positive, encouraging ways.”
The Red Wings will kick off the new season with a hockey camp to be held September 3, 4 and 5. Mapes detailed that there are a healthy number of 20-year-olds returning to the team, and a big group of 19-year-olds. He added that there are not currently enough 18-year-olds.
“For continued success, we aim to stick with the players and give them an opportunity to grow together. We are going to believe in the players we have, and will do everything we can to ensure they have success.”
He noted that there would be a balance between local players who are on the ice, and a few American-based players, as both groups can bring attention to the games for scouts and fans.
“We want to help our players to move on to their goals, wherever it is, and give them opportunity for scholarships and advancement.”
Another method to ensure continued success for the team will be to “bringing back the old school to work with the new school,” said Mapes. He has spoken with previous coaches and managers, such as Kelly Klippenstine, Ron Rumball and Dwight McMillan, to take the opportunity to learn from them.
“It is no secret that these three guys are part of the greatest junior hockey program in any league in the country,” said Mapes. “This is an opportunity that we can’t turn down, as they will be huge pieces to the team to get back to a winning way.”