CLEVELAND - The Lake Erie Monsters will have a new head coach this season at The Q. The team is heading into it's 6th season under the ownership of Dan Gilbert.
Dean Chynoweth replaces David Quinn, who is now an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche. The former New York Islanders assistant is the third head coach of the Monsters. The 13 overall pick of the Islanders in the 1987 NHL Draft, Chynoweth played parts of nine seasons in NHL. He was with the Islanders from 1988-96 and the Boston Bruins from 1996-98. He also played in the AHL throughout those years.
Here's his "Take Five" with NewsChannel5 sports director Andy Baskin.
AB: What will be the biggest difference between being an NHL Assistant coach to a head coach in the AHL?
DC: The biggest difference will be the bus travel vs charter flights. But all joking aside, the responsibility and challenges that go along with being a head coach are much different from being an assistant, and I am really looking forward to being in that role.
AB: What are your first thoughts about living in Cleveland?
DC: My family and I are very excited. I haven't been to Cleveland since 1998 when I played for the Quebec Rafales at the end of my career. We look forward to getting settled in August and being a part of the community.
AB: How would you describe your style of coaching?
DC: Calm, collected and very motivated. I believe in playing an upbeat aggressive game with and without the puck.
AB: Knowing that the primary goal of an AHL team is to develop players, how do you juggle that with the team goal of making the playoffs and getting a Calder Cup?
DC: The best possible scenario is to develop players in a winning atmosphere, with the priority being development. As hockey players, this is why we play. We all need to strive to win a championship.
AB: Cleveland is not known as hockey town, yet it's hard to drive more than 20 minutes in northeast Ohio and not find a sheet of ice. How important is youth hockey in Cleveland to you?
DC: Youth hockey is very important, not only for the our organization, but for the kids of Ohio and USA hockey. I played in the era of when Wayne Gretzky was traded to the LA Kings and saw the transformation and growth of youth hockey in the South, especially California. Hockey is a great sport that fosters sportsmanship, encourages team work, and helps develop character traits that transfer into real life skills.