D. Zubrus, after the first D. LaCroix match, joined the jumps for the experts he played for NHL 20 years ago.
The contract with a 49-year-old coach was signed for a year, and D. LaCroix did not hide his dream of working for the NHL and winning the Stanley Cup.
D. Zubrui had to face enormous criticisms when B. Haak was captured and the Lithuanians were set up for leisure for a few years and brought the team to the higher world ice division at the beginning of this year.
However, the new boss of sports is confident and says he takes full responsibility for how LaCroix works.
Yosvydo Elinsko / 15min photos / Daniel Lacroix
Another important step in Lithuanian ice hockey is the new Baltic League, which will be launched next year, where the most powerful clubs in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will compete.
Currently, only four teams participate in our national championship so that the tournament of neighboring countries should blow up new winds in the country, which, as Zubrus says, already has a shortage.
– What was the first impression made by the Lithuanian team at the Baltic Challenge Tournament against Japan (Lithuania won 4: 3 in penalties)? – The journalists asked Dainius Zubraus.
"I really liked the men playing. I've seen a lot of young players. When I watch the match, I watch how the team is fighting. See what the coach wants to achieve, what the players are doing. According to what I've seen, I think the result could be better.
– How can this tournament contribute to the development of a renewed team?
– Such tournaments are very good. This is the first coach of the first tournament. Of course, there will be a world championship, but will be in late April. The coach has very little time to prepare for the team. Conditions are not the best, as players leave, clubs need them. The conditions of the coach are not very easy, but they are, as well as they are. Anyone who gets here is trying to be here. This healthy competition is useful.
The conditions of the coach are not very easy, but they are, as well as they are
– What are the first impressions of a new coach? Which players are talking about?
– Ask the players. I'm happy with the games, I'm glad the coach of this level agrees to come and help Lithuania. Here is the NHL coach. I also watched the exercises, and the whole atmosphere seems very good.
"It is hard to call the coach of this kind, how long have they been talking about?"
– It was not long. I've been talking to him since summer. Of course, there were other candidates, I wanted to get acquainted with other trainers. I looked, it was necessary to go, but in my opinion this was the best choice. I know him, playing together 20 years ago. He is a good friend and currently has no permanent NHL, so here he is trying out something new, familiar with European hockey. We have met friends several times and decided to be a coach.
I'm happy with the games, I'm glad the coach of this level agrees to come and help Lithuania. Here is the NHL coach
– Everyone likes to enjoy Bernd Haake's work, what are your impressions about this coach?
– Really everyone is happy. He is a very good person, he came to visit me while I was playing NHL. I thank him many times for what he did. Radio was free, arrived when it was very difficult to ice hockey in Lithuania and put a lot. As a result, we continue to talk and negotiate so it will not help us. He has acquaintances in Europe, can help young players and people.
Pose Ovcharenko / 15min photos / Hayake Bernd
– How did he get the idea of changing coach since World Cup 1B in Kaunas? The replacement of the coach was not very logical from the ground …
– Be sure nothing is to be done. You have to do what you think you need to do. As a team we grew up, everyone should play better, play against teams that were not successful enough before. You need to grow and improve. I came three weeks ago to the World Championship, we play, we won – everything is fine.
But I felt that in order to grow, I needed a new coach to improve the game. I say, I'm very grateful to Bernd, but maybe a new young coach might put something new. We had to grow, my decision was that. I take full responsibility. This is nothing but my solution. Thanks to Bernd for helping us, but I made that decision.
I take full responsibility. This is nothing but my solution
– A new coach mentioned he wanted to work for NHL. Do not be afraid that if he finds a job, is this cooperation short-lived?
– I do not think this year … No, I'm not afraid. What's to be feared here … I make such decisions that look good to me. Not all of them are right, I know I've made a lot of mistakes and I might go wrong, but I'm not afraid to do it. At this point I decided that our team needed. All I love about how I've seen the game and the atmosphere.
– Only four teams participate in the Lithuanian Championship. Is it possible to expect a larger number in the future?
– Of course. At present, in Lithuania, as far as I can see, there is missing a skating rink. In Kaunasu and Klaipeda, ice rinks can be built. This would be greatly added to Lithuania, because we are talking about real gymnasiums where children would be dressed as men's teams.
It is currently not easy to keep children aged between 17 and 18. They have to decide whether to go or do something else. But if they had strong male teams, and the child would see it and try to take it, that would be very good. At this point we can not say we have it. You have to try to create it. This is not possible without the help of cities, so we turned to cities, we talked. I hope everything will happen.