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Nolan Baumgartner brings been

Nolan Baumgartner brings been

The new Vancouver Canucks assistant went from sitting on the bench to working behind it when reality and curiosity crossed professional paths. When the 1994 first round National Hockey League draft pick knew his career was slowly winding down, an opportunity with the Manitoba Moose in the 2008 09 season left a lasting impression on the defenceman, who would play three more seasons.

It’s why after four American Hockey League seasons with the Utica Comets, the 41 year old Calgary native is joining wholesale 49ers jerseys head coach Travis Green and assistants Newell Brown, Doug Jarvis and Manny Malhotra to help turn around the Canucks.

And as much as Green was crucial in Baumgartner’s development, he got some help along the way to get to the point where he’s replacing the fired Doug Lidster and will run the back end.

“I got hurt and Scott Arniel was our coach in Manitoba,” recalled Baumgartner. “I asked if I could go on the road and go on the bench, because Jay Wells was our other coach and had a medical problem, so he couldn’t make the trip. It was a great experience and I got to do it for a couple of games.

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“I had started thinking when I was done playing, did I want to get into coaching? I was a student of the game and loved it. Just standing behind the bench and watching the games, it was a different feeling right there, and then because it (coaching) was always in the back of my mind.”

Baumgartner was an assistant to Arniel with the Chicago Wolves in 2012 13 and transitioned to the Comets the following season with the encouragement and influence of former Canucks assistant general manager Lorne Henning.

“He said: ‘You’ll make a great coach one day if that’s what you want to do,'” said Baumgartner. “We talked a lot about it and I have to give him credit. He went to bat for me and was a bit of a mentor.”

So was his former Western Hockey League bench boss Don Hay. Baumgartner got a call from the Kamloops Blazers coach before his final playing season 2011 12 with the Wolves to see if he was interested in stepping into the coaching ranks the following season.

“I wasn’t done being a player,” said Baumgartner. “But to get that call? If he’s considering me for a coach after I grew up as a 16 year old playing for him maybe I can coach. It was a great feeling to get that phone call.”

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Getting the NHL call means meshing with the coaching staff, wide eyed kids, cagey veterans and not getting caught up in any of it. And that’s where the former Canucks defenceman he also played for Washington, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia believes he has a leg up on cheap rams jerseys crucial communication.

“I don’t know if they (players) know my story, but I’ve been through a lot and seen a lot,” he stressed. “I only played 147 Wholesale NHL Jerseys NHL games (seven goals, 40 assists) and my dream was to have a long career, but it didn’t work out that way.

“I played over 850 AHL games (actually 973), and with all the trials and tribulations with injuries, I have some good advice.”

Baumgartner was on a California beach when the Canucks put out a distress call during the Stanley Cup Final. He had played the bulk of the season with the Moose, who had been eliminated from the playoffs a month earlier, and was on holiday in Laguna Beach and thought his season was done.

However, with Dan Hamhuis injured, Aaron Rome suspended and Alex Edler hurting after Game 6 and coach Alain Vigneault having little roster faith in Keith Ballard there was a chance Baumgartner could play in Game 7. He didn’t. Edler played, but imagine what was going through his head.

“I actually thought it was the wrong number because it was a 714 area code,” he said of the fateful call.

“I didn’t answer for a while and then picked up the voice message. I thought I had seen it all. That was something. You just never know.”

And, again, that’s where Baumgartner believes he had a been there done that advantage as an NHL rookie assistant coach.

“I can relate to the younger guys and I’ve played with Edler,” he summed up. “We were partners and had a mutual respect. And in the end, those guys (veterans) want to be coached everybody does. epaper, Digital Access, Subscriber Rewards), please input your Print Newspaper subscription phone number and postal code.

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