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THE DESERT DOG BLOG: TIPPETT 101

Tuesday, 09.29.2009 / 9:52 AM / The Desert Dog Blog - by Dave Vest
By Dave Vest
Here are five things Coyotes fans likely don’t know about new Head Coach Dave Tippett but probably should:

1: Tippett began his coaching career as a player/coach for the Houston Aeros of the International Hockey League in 1995-96.


“When I retired I was looking for a coaching job and they were an expansion franchise,” Tippett said. “Pete Dineen was the director of hockey operations, and so I got to coach there (as an assistant) and one day he said ‘Would you play a little bit?’ and I said ‘Yeah.’ I was a checker my whole life so I said ‘Yeah, I’ll play if I can play on the power play and play point on the power play.’ And that’s what I did. I had a lot of fun playing there, but I had some back issues and some neck issues so it didn't last long and then I got strictly into the coaching business.”

2. Like General Manager Don Maloney, Tippett is a motorcycle enthusiast.

“I have two bikes that I built myself right from the ground up," Tippett said. "I have always been a guy that tinkers around. I used to have a construction business when I was a player in Hartford and I built some cars when I was a kid. When the lockout came around (in 2004), I was looking for something to do so I decided to build one of those custom choppers. I liked it and then I had some ideas for another one so I built another. I still have both of them. I like to ride them a little bit, but I wouldn’t say these bikes are daily travelers. They are pretty radical bikes, but I do like to ride them every now and then.”

Dave Tippett. (AP Photo)
3. Tippett is a two-time Olympian. He played for Canada in the 1984 Winter Games as an amateur, and he played for Canada again in the 1992 Winter Games as an NHLer. Now a coach, Tippett approves of having the NHL players compete in the Olympics even though it interrupts the NHL season every four years.

“I think you have to play the pros at the Olympics because the best players are pros and the Olympics is about the greatest athletes in the world and you'd like them (competing) on that great stage," Tippett said. "I’m OK with the interrupted season. It’s just part of the schedule. If our team was doing it and nobody else was doing it, then you’d have a problem with it. If everybody is doing it then you just have to live with it.”

4. Tippett does not hold a grudge against the Dallas Stars for firing him after only one non-playoff season in his six-year tenure.

“I actually went through two management changes there and there’s not many coaches who get to survive that,” Tippett said. “When they changed management (this time), the team was going in a new direction and the people they hired, you respect their decision and move on. I thought my record in Dallas was solid. We made the playoffs every year except that last year and I thought we were right in the hunt considering some of the adverse conditions we had last year. But (getting fired) is part of what you sign up for. All you can do is do the best you can.”

5. Tippett is a devoted family man.

“My wife and I had our 25th anniversary this year," Tippett said. "We have two daughters. One is married and works as a stock broker just outside Seattle, and her husband is in the Navy and is on the USS Kentucky.  My younger daughter is a sophomore at SMU in Dallas. We see and talk to each other a lot. That’s one thing I take a lot of pride in. Our family is very, very close.”


The Coyotes added a 23rd player to the roster on Monday by signing forward Ryan Hollweg to a one-year contract.

While Hollweg is a tough player who never backs down from a fight, Tippett said he should not be labeled the team's "enforcer."

"No, that's a stretch for him, I think," Tippett said. "He's an abrasive player, and that's what we look for from him. He's a hard forechecking player, he's a player who finishes checks, and he's a gritty player. (But) don't get me wrong, if you're thinking that he's going to be our heavyweight, that wouldn't be the case. I'm sure he would probably do it. . . . I'm just not going to put him in that position."

By the way, Hollweg is quite the YouTube sensation. Go there to see him do an awesome Chris Farley impression and/or to see him do The Safety Dance. I'm not joking.

Here are the links:

Hollweg doing Chris Farley impression
Hollweg doing The Safety Dance


Thanks for reading.

Dave
thedesertdogblog@phoenixcoyotes.com


 
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