Mike Haviland made a very good first impression. Haviland was named the 24th head coach in Hershey Bears history on Tuesday in a press conference at Giant Center. Haviland comes with an impressive background in coaching, including being an assistant coach with the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
“When I got the call last week I was ecstatic,” said Haviland. “This is the premier franchise in the American Hockey League. To be selected and knowing some of the guys I was up against, it was an honor and a privilege. When you put that sweater on you have to understand that you are playing not for the name on the back but the name on the front. People demand a winner here. Guys have to understand that and will understand because I do. I understand what it’s going to take to win at this level.”
I like my teams to play hard. I want them to be relentless on the puck. I like a puck possession game and team. I want to be a hard team to play against. I demand a lot from my players but I’m also fair.”
Bears fans will remember Haviland from his days coaching the Norfolk Admirals from 2005 to 2007 where he won AHL coach of the year. He was also head coach In Rockford where he had another winning record before going onto be an assistant with the Chicago Blackhawks.
The 45-year-old Haviland also won an ECHL Kelly Cup in 2003 with Atlantic City