NEW BLAZE coach Chuck Weber is confident he can deliver his successful blueprint at the Skydome and transform the club’s miserable season.
Weber’s first weekend in charge saw Blaze suffer back-to-back defeats to Edinburgh Capitals and Sheffield Steelers in the Elite League.
It means that Blaze have now slipped down to ninth in the table but Weber has a wealth of experience having been a two-time Kelly Cup champion and also named the ECHL Coach of the Year.
The 41-year-old won the IHL Turner Cup as an assistant coach as well and had been head coach in the KHL – considered the second-best league in the world behind the NHL – this season.
The turn of the year is traditionally when teams hope to make a run down the stretch leading into the play-offs and Weber is hopeful it can be Blaze’s time this season.
He said: “Why couldn’t it be? If the guys are willing to buy into it we can put a run together but we do need to get healthy first so we can get some cohesion.
“One thing I do know is we have a fantastic goalie (Brian Stewart) who will give us a chance to win. Having a strong number one goalie certainly helps.
“We need to learn how to defend better in our own zone but he helps clean up a lot of the mistakes and while the guys are learning he is going to be huge for us.
“But I am going to show the guys some video I have put together from the NHL, the KHL and American League. It’s what I used when I built my systems and if it is played the right way it will help us to start making steps forward.
“It is a system of evolution because you are working with different guys but you learn a lot of things from the Mike Babcocks of this world and it is about managing the puck in different areas and putting your team-mates in the right position to be successful.
“I have had a few teams buy into it and have won a couple of championships. If the guys are willing the put in the work and buy into it, I have no qualms that with Stewie behind us we can put a run together.
“It is a big challenge but this team has potential and it is about maximising that. We need to get back to the culture Thommo (Paul Thompson) had here for over a decade and playing hard at the top echelons of the league.”