I watch a lot of college hockey, but living in the east, it's hard to watch a lot of teams that play out west. Like North Dakota, for example. Those games just aren't really on television out here. So while I've watched lots of new Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol's teams in the last few years, I have to say that most of those games were nationally televised playoff games.
That's a winded way of saying that I don't know as much about Dave Hakstol as ... say, Chris Dilks, who covers college hockey for the aptly-named SB Nation College Hockey. I asked Dilks to give us a bit of a scouting report on Hakstol -- what he thought of the hiring by the Flyers, what he knows about Hakstol's personality and coaching style, and the like.
Below is what Chris had to say. He'll have a bigger story up on his site later today and we will share that with you when it's up.
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I've got to say I was pretty surprised to hear that news, and I think everyone else in college hockey was as well.
Hakstol has a reputation as a very intense, super-serious guy. It's very, very rare to ever see him crack a smile. His teams play a tough, very physical style of hockey. Offensively, he wants his guys to get the puck to the net from anywhere and then grind out rebounds, tips, etc.
He had a ton of success at North Dakota, but with the money and facilities they have, they're also getting the cream of the crop in terms of talent. There was some frustration in Grand Forks from fans that he was never able to win a national title, but a lot of it was that the NCAA's goofy playoff system. It's so rare to see a coach go from the NCAA to an NHL head job, so I really have no idea how he'll do. I think he's a pretty good coach, but so is everyone else at that level.