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Berube looking forward to building ‘partnerships’ with players

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Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
25 days ago
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Craig Berube was introduced as the new bench boss of the Toronto Maple Leafs. His first order of business? Getting to know the players and building partnerships throughout the offseason.
Berube made things loud and clear at the press conference Tuesday: his coaching style is going to be centred around accountability, playing a north-south structured game and being a heavy team to play against. He wants to see strong work ethic, being tough to play against when it comes to never giving up on a puck battle and doing whatever it takes to win.
The 58-year-old mentioned his communication style will be taking effect immediately and his transparent approach to building partnerships and holding players accountable is a process that starts right away:
First, to hold players accountable, and for players to understand the accountability, you have to form a partnership throughout, and I think it starts in the summertime. Getting to know these players, them getting to understand what I’m all about, and how I’m going to coach, and how I’m going to coach each individual, and the team. Then, when you have to hold a player accountable for whatever, it could be ice-time, whatever the situation is, they understand it more. Communication is huge and one of my strengths is I’m a great communicator with my players. They know where they stand. I’m going to tell them when they’re playing well and I’m going to tell them when they’re not playing well. I’m going to tell them things they need to improve upon, there’s all types of things. Accountability is accepted almost by your players, when you have that partnership.
Berube is looking forward to getting to work and opening up the lines of communication with each player. General manager Brad Treliving also attended Tuesday’s press conference and commented on how the coaching search has been his exclusive priority recently. The management group — Berube included, have yet to sit down and dive into the roster composition for next season and beyond. Berube will likely start connecting with Auston Matthews and William Nylander immediately.
There may be some potentially major shakeups to the Maple Leafs’ roster head into next season, so Berube may need to hold off on some initial player meetings, if Treliving is going to make a trade.

A breath of fresh air 

Berube’s coaching style has often been described as intense, but it’s been obvious throughout his tenure as an NHL coach that his players will go through the wall for him. Communication and consistent messaging is something Berube stands by and it’s a focal point of why he feels he can be successful in Toronto.
The veteran head coach didn’t appear phased by the cameras or media personnel on Tuesday and completely understands what’s to come as far as coaching in Toronto, and the noise that comes with the role. He made it loud and clear that the makeup of the roster has yet to be assessed, but his team is going to play a structured, speed-driven game where the Leafs will outwork their opponents, be hard and heavy to play against, and be accountable in all three zones. It’s all about buying into the team game and doing whatever it takes to win as a team.
There’s a new Chief in town. Toronto is now Berube’s team and the players can expect to hear from its new bench boss in the coming weeks. Expectations will be laid out, accountability will be discussed and the partnership between the head coach and each of his players will begin.

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