Michigan State Athletic Director Hollis went out and got the guy that likely should have been hired the last go round. Where do we go from here?
New Spartans Head Hockey Coach Danton Cole made sure in his introductory press conference to make it clear that this job means a lot to him. Cole is a Spartan through and through. Not only is the new bench boss fortunate, this program is fortunate. The thought of Cole going to the now vacant job in Ann Arbor and beating MSU in the future is almost unbearable. Luckily, we’ll never have to know what that feels like. Cole has the feel of a guy who could be here for a long, long time.
The last seven years at the National Team Development Program have been a great success for Cole and his staff. Some of the great young American talent in the National Hockey League have played for Cole at the development program. Personally, that makes me ecstatic. The fact that Cole can take good, great and even the occasional elite talent and mold them into next-level players should do wonders for recruiting. Along with his connections and the amazing place that he will be recruiting players to, it looks like recruiting should be just fine with Cole at the helm.
Cole’s success with the development of talent is a great sign for MSU moving forward. The Spartans struggled to break through offensively when they desperately needed to. One of the biggest changes that needs to happen is the way that the offense operates as a unit, both forwards and defensemen.
Obviously a lot is going to happen between right now and the first game of the season. Players both returning and incoming are going to grow and develop. Each team year-to-year is different regardless of continuity. That being said, the group that is in place heading into next season under Cole gives plenty of reason for optimism. I haven’t been this excited for a hockey game in my four years of going to games at Munn.
The future may or may not be bright. However, it is different. For the first time in quite some time, MSU will have a different look behind the bench and despite his love and dedication for MSU, it was time to move on from Tom Anastos. This is a welcome change and I’m sure that Spartans everywhere will be watching with a renewed interest and optimism.