Strachan: Changes won’t happen immediately

(PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)

New Nottingham Panthers head coach Rick Strachan has warned on-ice changes won’t happen suddenly as he beds into his new role.

Strachan has taken over from Rich Chernomaz, who was dismissed by the club earlier in the day, giving his number two a chance to step up and take them on.

And the 55-year-old is keen to make an impact in their remaining games of the season, starting with the triple header in Scotland this weekend.

“We’re going to make some subtle changes and try and give the guys a little more freedom in the offensive zone and work their creative magic.

“It’ll be a slow process and it won’t happen overnight, but we’ll start with the three-in-three (in Scotland) and try to introduce some slight new systems and we’ll what works and doesn’t.

“It’s ultimately all about helping us win hockey games and get us better.

“There’s still a lot of hockey and we want to make something of it, by solidifying our play-off spot and become more consistent.

“We have a hugely talented roster and it’s up to me to bring the best out of them.”

Strachan, who also served as assistant coach to Corey Neilson for seven years, also spoke of his sympathy for the outgoing Chernomaz.

And he highlighted the qualities his new assistant coach, Guillaume Lepine, will bring in the new set-up.

He added: “Nobody wants to see anyone lose their job and Rich was a good coach.  He was likeable and a good friend to me and I enjoyed his company.

“Unfortunately the decision was made to release and it’s a huge challenge for me going forward.

“Gui is respected in the locker room and he’ll work with the defence.

“To me, he’s the perfect to do that and he’ll help me with some ideas and I’ll lean on him for some advice and we’ll work together.”

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