It has been said that hope springs eternal and hope was certainly not lacking on Thursday afternoon as the Powassan Voodoos formally introduced Max Gavin as the third head coach in franchise history, fourth after interim head coach Bruce Cazabon.
Gavin brings experience to the team as growing up the son of NHL player Stewart Gavin, and coaching Division III with the Adrian Bulldogs and assistant coach of the ACHA Division I Adrian Bulldogs who captured the NCAA National Title back in late March.
The experience certainly bodes well for the Voodoos as the on-ice product was again strong this past season, but was a roller coaster off the ice following the dismissal of former coach Beau Moyer in late January.
The defending 2017 NOJHL champs, who only lost 7 times in regulation all season, eventually fell in the playoffs to the Timmins Rock in six games.
The two-time regular season champs look to rebound and contend again in the 2018/19 season.
“I want to say I’m a player’s coach, but if I’m going to push the guys, I’m going to be demanding but fair,” Gavin told the gathered reporters when asked on his coaching style.
“I want a fast-paced game, blue collar, guys are going to work hard.”
On top of maintaining a Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy contender, Gavin will also learn to work with the OHL’s North Bay Battalion and head coach Stan Butler, as Gavin and the Voodoos hope to continue to work as the affiliate team and develop future OHLers in Powassan.
“The Battalion have been awesome before and I hope to develop as many Battalion players as possible because kids want to make the OHL, it’s their dream and we’re here to facilitate that,” said Gavin.
“We have to maintain what’s been done. We owe it to everyone that has built the foundation from the owners to the general manager and we owe it to the kids to be a championship calibre team. The bar is set and we want to win it. I’m not going to settle for anything less and I know the players won’t as well. It might not be a 50-5 season, but we will win when it counts.”
Max Gavin, whose father Stewart, played more 750 games in the National Hockey League, says he already has a plan in place on how to get things up and running.
“The plan is meet with every player individually and make an individual plan for them as every player has different goals, are different ages, different styles,” noted Gavin who has already met with some current players and future prospects.
“We need to find out what is best for the kids and the team and if we can take that away from the office distractions, I think it will create a better atmosphere on the ice.”
Gavin will have his first chance at setting his plan in motion this weekend as the Voodoos take to the ice for their first Spring Camp at Memorial Gardens April 28/29th.