New Ads bench boss speaks to Canadian media
Newly-minted Admirals head coach Rod Aldoff phoned into 630 CHED in Edmonton this afternoon for a quick radio hit with Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now. It wasn’t really a substantial interview, but you get to learn about Jon Rohloff, a guy from the Bruins in the 90s.
Bob Stauffer: Alright, it’s 1:23 in Edmonton. We have about 5 and a half minutes time to hook up with the new head coach of the Oilers’ farm team in the ECHL. We just had Richard Matvichuk, who won 50 games with Missouri in the ECHL this past year on the show. He’s coaching Prince George. Rod Aldoff joins us right now. He is the head coach of the Oilers’ farm team, ECHL level, in Norfolk. Rod, Bob Stauffer with ya, how you doing?
Rod Aldoff: Very good, how are you?
BS: How did this opportunity come to be for you in the Oilers organization?
RA: Well, when the job came open, I applied for it. [Oilers Assistant GM] Bill Scott sent me an email wanting to talk with me. I talked on the phone, and the phone interview was Bill and [Oilers VP of Hockey Operations] Craig McTavish. Everything went great, very happy how it all went. Two days later I got a call from Bill, and he offered me the job. It was very exciting. Being from Alberta, growing up in Alberta, I was an Oiler fan, am an Oiler fan all my life, so it was a great honor and very exciting.
BS: Now, you were born in Lethbridge and played at University of Minnesota-Duluth. I know went with the U of A [University of Alberta], broadcasting their games in the late eighties. We played at UMD, in I think it was ’88-’89, I think Jon Rohloff was on that team. He must have ended up being a teammate of yours as well. You were kind of a minor league lifer, weren’t ya? You played a long time in the ECHL, the West Coast League, that sort of thing.
RA: Yeah, I was very fortunate to play a lot of years, to play on some good teams, good coaches. Won a few championships along the way, saw a bit of the world. I was fortunate enough to play three, three-and-a-half years in Europe. It’s been a great experience. I wouldn’t change it for anything.
BS: What’s the Southern Professional Hockey League like these days, Rod? You coached Pensacola there the last couple years and won two championships in the last three years.
RA: The Southern Professional League is a very good hockey league right now. It’s basically an extended arm, somewhat, of the East Coast League. A lot of players go up and down. Pensacola is a great organization, very good ownership there. It’s a very top notch league there, for sure.
BS: So you get this opportunity with the Edmonton Oilers, you’re going to be working closely with the American League team, Gerry Fleming coaches that team right now. One of the areas that’s important is development of goaltenders. Most organizations have five or six contracted goalies on their 50-man reserve list. Do you have any philosophies to how you handle goalies at that level?
RA: The biggest thing is you get some younger kids, and you don’t-I don’t know yet who will be there. Like you say, it’s all about development and making sure these young players, the team in general, has the right attitude and being professionals on and off the ice everyday. It’s a consistency and making sure they can get the most out of themselves and as a coach, I can get the most out of them. If one works with the other, to coincide with each other, than we’ll be successful and we’ll have a great hockey team. The kids will obviously enjoy their time in Norfolk, and development, giving themselves an opportunity to move up the ladder towards their dream.
BS: Now Norfolk is in Virginia, right?
BS: Is the challenge to recruit kids? You’re down in Florida, it can’t be a tough place to recruit in the Southern Professional League. Going to Norfolk, Virginia I’m just wondering how much of a battle it is in potential procurement of players at the ECHL level.
RA: Norfolk’s a beautiful city. Virginia Beach/Norfolk, beautiful area. I just flew in from there, I was there the last couple days. It’s a beautiful place, players are set up very well. They live in Virginia Beach, right on the beach. We have a great set up, as far as our arena and our organization. It’s a first-class organization. At the end of the day, it’s what the players and what we make it as a team. It’ll be a first-class-things will get done right. Players will progress every day. We’re obviously there to win a championship, and make it a great environment for the kids to play in.
BS: Total curveball for ya. Minnesota-Duluth, what was the name of the bar that [laughs] everybody- back-to-back guest we’re talking about it. Brett Hull referred to it, too. It’s like The Ship, or I’m trying to remember the name, The Warehouse, or The Wharf? There’s a bar that all the guys that played for the Bulldogs used to go, back in the day.
RA: I didn’t ever go to the bar.
BS: [Laughs] Oh you never went to the bar? Okay.
RA: I think you’re talking about The Warehouse.
BS: The Warehouse! That was it at UMD. All right, well Rod, we wish you the best of luck. Obviously as a broadcaster, you know I went to the bar. We wish you the best of luck, and when you’re in Penticton, at the rookie tournament coming up, we’ll hook up with you then, OK, Rod?
RA: Thank you very much.
BS: You bet. That’s Rod Aldoff, he’s the head coach of the Oilers’ ECHL affiliate in Norfolk. It’s 1:28 in Edmonton. Still to come: Kris Knoblauch, head coach of the Erie Otters, Mikhail Sergachev, draft-eligible prospect.