Dreger Café: Gronborg talks Nylander and Pettersson's talent, building his coaching resume
As part of TSN's extensive coverage of the world hockey championship, TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger sits down with some of the game's prominent personalities in Slovakia, discussing the hot topics of the day.
In this edition of 'Dreger Cafe,' Darren goes one-on-one with Sweden and Zurich Lions head coach Rikard Gronborg.
Here are a few topics that stood out.
Gronborg on what could be in store for William Nylander next season after strong World Hockey Championship:
“Having success at this level and bringing it into next year. I know it was a shortened season for him and it was a tough season for him. It was frustrating I’m sure coming in halfway through and obviously didn’t produce the way he wanted to produce. Now he’s here producing and I think it will lead into a very excellent season next year. I think it’s a great signing by the Leafs. I think it’s going to be a great member of the squad for a longtime. He’s always played real well here and I think it will lead into a great next season for him.”
Gronborg on possible NHL coaching future:
“Well based on working with professional players here, NHL players, top of the top and everything else, I’ve coached against upper league players and I’ve done so successfully. I feel like I’m ready to do it and at the same time I’m looking forward to work with players every day at the professional level in Zurich and have success there. At the end of the day, you need to keep producing and making sure people know that you can be successful with the concepts you bring into an organization.”
Gronborg on coaching style:
“I’m a hybrid. Everybody was talking about, yeah I was in Stockholm and from Sweden, but I’ve been working in North America for 20 years and obviously US educated. When the Swedish Hockey Federation invited me back to work with the Federation teams there were a lot of people talking about how he hasn’t coached in the Swedish professional league and then I got these opportunities to coach. What they saw was a hybrid of what I could bring to the table. Everything from understating the European culture and Swedish culture in particular to bringing in the North American aspects of things of structure and everything else and bench coaching. I think that was the attraction for the Federation to lure me back to Sweden. I think the training part of the skill development, the European side, I have that in my baggage as well what I think the North Americans are very good at in bench coaching and man management when it comes to a team. I think when your bring those two concepts together, I think it’s a pretty good combination.”