Hynes is "1000% Ready" to Become an NHL Coach

Monday, June 9, 2014
John Hynes (left) gives instructions during last year's annual Development Camp. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins head coach is on the short-list of NHL Penguins head coach options. Photo credit: @H_P_Hockey.
Whether or not John Hynes' scheduled interview for the Pittsburgh Penguins coaching vacancy, first reported by the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review's Rob Rossi, is one of formality or he is on newly-hired GM Jim Rutherford's "short list" of head coaching candidates, a former player under Hynes certainly believes he's NHL-ready.

"Hynes does not get the credit he deserves," said forward Chad Kolarik, a member of the 2012-13 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins who is now playing overseas with Linkoping of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL).

Kolarik came to the AHL Penguins in a mid-season trade during the 2012-13 season and while he was a 30-goal scorer in the regular season, he certainly didn't receive any star treatment from Hynes.

"He's hard on guys, but he knows how to get his players to buy into his systems," Kolarik said of Hynes.

Kolarik went on to record 11 points (five goals and six assists) in 15 playoff contests during the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs, and he went on to win the Hakan Loob Trophy this past year as the SHL's leading goal scorer in the 2013-14 season. Kolarik attributes a lot of his success to Hynes.

"By far the best coach I've had, Kolarik said of Hynes adding,"I made strides as a player when I played for him. He helped and kept me accountable defensively."

The AHL Penguins, under Hynes, have made the postseason every year he was on the coaching staff - including two straight playoff runs into the third round of the playoffs each of the last two seasons.



"He's a winner," Kolarik said. "He knows how to win. He just has that aura about him. You want to be around him. You want to win for him."

Rutherford mentioned in his press conference that the Penguins next coach would be the kind of guy who can make adjustments in-game and from game-to-game. According to Kolarik, Hynes certainly fits the bill.

"Doesn't matter the task, he knows what changes to make from game to game," Kolarik noted, explaining, "He is at the rink all day. Every morning he is the first one to be there. He is always watching tape. Whether on our team or NHL teams."

Whether or not he's a serious candidate for the head coaching vacancy in Pittsburgh, it's obvious that Hynes will be behind the bench for an NHL team sooner rather later. He's highly regarded by current and former players he has coached, has a proven winning track record in the AHL and challenges his best players to be even better.

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