Inside College Hockey
Mike Eidelbes, Inside College Hockey (1:30 PM)
As if Boston sports fans needed more to talk about, we're thrilled to be joined this afternoon by Harvard's first-year coach, Ted Donato.
Mike Eidelbes, Inside College Hockey (1:31 PM)
Coach Donato was the MVP of the 1989 NCAA Frozen Four when the Crimson last won the national title, and he returns to his alma mater after a 13-year NHL career. Thanks for joining us, Coach!
Ted Donato (1:31 PM)
I'm here and ready for your questions.
Kevin (Cambridge, MA)
Are you commited solely to an up-tempo game reminiscent of the Cleary years, or has the game changed too much? Harvard had al ot of success cycling big bodies last year.
Ted Donato (1:33 PM)
I am committed to an up-tempo game. However, to not recognize that the game has changed would be foolish. We'll try to utilize what we feel are our best assets and gives us the best chance to win regardless of the style of play.
What are your thoughts on the growth of college hockey and where do you see it on a national level in 2-3 years?
Ted Donato (1:35 PM)
I've been pleasantly surprised with the state of college hockey upon my return. I hope that with what's happening with the NHL lockout, we'll be able to take advantage of the opportunity to attract new fans.
Question #1: Do you think captain Noah Welch has the ability to play NHL? Question #2: Is Dov Grumet Morris one of the best goalies in college hockey? Last season he made some big-time saves!
Ted Donato (1:36 PM)
I do think Noah Welch possesses skills and the ability to play in the NHL, but I also recognize that for any college player, there's a learning curve, especially for a defenseman. It's our responsibility to try to position him so that he's as ready as possible.
Ted Donato (1:38 PM)
I like to think that Dov is one of the best goalies in college hockey. His big-time performances in big games have led the program to ECACHL championships in two of the last three years and NCAA appearances the last three years.
Courtney (Assonet, MA)
Do you feel that experience in the NHL will give you an edge in coaching? How difficult of a transition was it to change gears, giving up a "celebrity" lifestyle to coach in the ECAC?
Ted Donato (1:41 PM)
Playing in the NHL gives me a good base for understanding the coaching position. However, by no means would I downplay coaching experience. The transition so far has been exciting, but until we get into a day-to-day situation with games being played, it's tough for me to gauge how difficult the transition will be. I like to think that coaching in the ECACHL is a celebrity lifestyle...just kidding!
Domo arigato, Mr. Donato! I'm wondering, what's been the toughest part so far in the transition from player to coach?
Ted Donato (1:44 PM)
Seeing that I have no real administrative background, the job requirements away from the ice have been the toughest challenge. I may find that once we begin playing games, those challenges may pale in comparison.
Jason Meyers, VA
What effect do you think the lock out in the pros will have on the college game?
Ted Donato (1:45 PM)
I hope it shifts the focus to the college game and people will appreciate college hockey for what a great entertainment event it is.
From your perspective, Coach, which veteran players and newcomers have really captivated your attention in practice and why?
Ted Donato (1:52 PM)
Our senior captains -- Noah Welch, Tom Cavanaugh and Ryan Lannon -- along with Dov Grumet-Morris, Rob Flynn, Brendan Bernakevitch and Andrew Lederman will be instrumental not just because of their skills but also because of their experience and leadership. I think our lineup is sprinkled with many talented sophomores, juniors and freshmen that I hope will blossom for us. It's a little difficult to gauge our young guys seeing as how we haven't played any games yet.
Are you ready for the Beanpot? How do you think that will compare as a coach as opposed to as a player.
Ted Donato (1:54 PM)
I think emotionally, I'm ready but I also realize that it's a long way away. I hope our team has improved a great deal by that time. Coaching in the Beanpot is certainly a different challenge than playing, but one I'm equally looking forward to.
Mike Eidelbes, Inside College Hockey (1:54 PM)
We've got time for one more question...
Ryan (Dracut, MA)
Hey Ted, the Sox just beat the Yankees! How friggin' cool is that?
Ted Donato (1:56 PM)
Let's just say that I didn't get a lot of sleep this week. I'm really excited about the Red Sox victory and look forward to them winning the World Series. If I had only known that all I had to do was take the Harvard job for us to beat the Yankees, I would gladly have done so a long time ago. Go Sox!
Mike Eidelbes, Inside College Hockey (1:58 PM)
Thanks, Coach. Harvard opens its season Saturday at home with an exhibition against the U. of Windsor. If you don't have tickets to Game One, I'm sure he'd appreciate you stopping by.
Mike Eidelbes, Inside College Hockey (1:59 PM)
That wraps up our time for the week. Make sure you come back next Thursday for another edition of The Show, college hockey style!