Dallas Stars forward Brendan Morrison, who is scheduled to become a free agent July 1st, is the lone player on the Stars who has played for new coach Marc Crawford in the past. (Former Dallas Star Mike Keane played for Crawford in Colorado, FYI). He spoke to Richard Durrett of the Dallas Morning News today about his thoughts on the hiring of Crawford:
"It's very up-tempo and you're constantly going," Morrison said. "He does battling drills and backchecking and forechecking drills, dumping the puck down low and working on that stuff. It's very quick pace and the drills are stuff you'll use in a game. He practices for no more than 60 minutes early in the season and then brings that down to 40 to 45 minutes later in the season."
Morrison said Crawford works on special teams about 5 of the 7 practices and will work specifically on penalty kill or power play if it's a problem.
"He's a very intense coach, a very good coach and very in-tune with the game," Morrison said. "He knows the game very well. He's a guy that won't tip-toe around guys. If he feels a guy needs to perform better or is not playing to his potential, he'll let that guy know. He's not going to baby guys. He commands respect."
The most telling thing for me was that Morrison felt like Crawford made him a better player. And that's something all athletes want, isn't it?
"He helped elevate my game," Morrison said. "When I was in Vancouver, he gave me a chance to play with gifted players. He had a lot of confidence in me. He was on me quite a bit to perform and as a player you appoarcated that. But he made me better a player. He makes everybody accountable."