New Fresno Monsters Head Coach Talks Drive & What it Takes to Go Pro
2016 Home Opener. Photo courtesy of the Fresno Monsters Facebook page.
According to their website, "The Fresno Monsters are an Amateur Athletic Union-sanctioned Tier II ice hockey team based in Fresno, California. The team is a member of the Western States Hockey League and plays in the Western Division. The Monsters' home venue is Gateway Ice Center in Fresno, California."
Their new head coach, Kevin Kaminski, has a rich history in hockey himself, and was a big part of the minor league system in the early '90s to his retirement in 2000. After that, he focused his energy on coaching and has been bringing his knowledge to young athletes ever since. The Fresno Monsters' hiring staff saw what a great opportunity having someone with his experience would accomplish and sought him out immediately. It's only a few weeks into the season, but there are high hopes for the team's future.
We were able to get in touch with Kevin to learn more about this season, as well as who to look out for.
Tell us a little bit about the team. How long have they been in Fresno?
The Monsters are a Junior A team from 16 - 20 year olds. They are all looking to get a scholarship in Division 1 or Division 3, or are looking to turn pro at some point.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your role there? How long?
I have been here two weeks now after packing up the U-Haul from Lafayette, LA. I drove 30 hours for this great opportunity to coach and develop these hungry young men and to bring them to the next level. I am also excited to be a part of a GREAT organization that thrives on work ethic, winning and a rich tradition in the community of Fresno.
I'm a small town boy from Churchbridge, Saskatchewan Canada, a population of 900.
Despite all my setbacks, I was drafted 48th overall to the Minnesota North Stars, where I played my 1st NHL game at 19 years old at the Montreal Forum. It was pretty cool! That place is where Canadians play every Saturdayon Hockey Night in Canada.
From there, I was traded to the Quebec Nordiques and played only 5 games with them. I was then traded to the Washington Capitals, where I played 3 and a half seasons. I won a Calder Cup in 1993-94 with Capitals farm team with the Portland Pirates in Maine, which was an amazing experience.
Tell us a little bit about this season. What is the expected outcome of the season?
Well, I've only been here for 2 weeks, and it's a work in progress. We are 500 at this point (equal wins and losses), but we have a solid team thats learning how to compete and win on a daily basis. We want to continue to climb and make progress to be the highest seed and to hit it on all cylinders going into playoffs to make a run at a Championship.
When we have everyone on the same page, we are a very fun team to watch. Just a bunch of lunch-bucket heroes that don't care who gets the points as long as we get the 2 points for the win. They understand that they need everyone to chip in defensively and offensively every night.
View their full roster here.
Welcome, Coach! Here's to a successful season with the Fresno Monsters!
All photos courtesy of the Fresno Monsters' Facebook page and website.