A few weeks ago, I found myself in the Mavericks locker room with my family. Only other guy in the locker room that day…John-Scott Dickson. Mind you he hadn’t been hired yet, but there he was working away in his office, playing soccer with my three little boys and talking about the future of the Mavericks organization. We chatted about this past season and then the conversation turned to the future. To see the gleam in his eye as he talked about what an incredible chance it would be to get to coach this team told me all I needed to know; this guy is hungry.
Much has been tweeted, facebooked, and written in the past few days about the Missouri Mavericks hiring of Dickson. Some good, some skeptical and that skepticism comes with a fair amount of validity. He is unproven as a coach, there is simply no denying that.
Allow me to remind folks that Richard Matvichuk only had a couple of years as an assistant in Allen under his belt before coming to Missouri. The current trend in coaching seems to be to take a chance on a guy that players can relate to and shows an impressive work ethic to absorb and learn as much as he can about the game.
As skeptical as some fans may be right now, the rise of Dickson to the ranks of the ECHL as a coach weren’t surprising to his former teammates.
“I think the hiring of JSD is a great move for the Mavericks. As a player, he played the game the right way night in and night out and I have no doubt that he will bring that same work ethic and experience as a coach,” said former Maverick Evan Vossen. “He (John-Scott) comes with a great hockey resume, having played at the AHL and ECHL level, and he will only add to that resume as a coach.”
“His work ethic and selflessness as a player made him a great leader and will carry over for him as a coach. Every player will want to play for him. The Mavericks organization picked the perfect man for the job,” said former Mavs defenseman Dave Pszenyczny.
“He’s earned it and knows what it means to be a Maverick. He will be tireless and relentless to bring a championship to the fans who cheered him as a player. It was an honor to play with him and I’m looking forward to seeing him excel as our new leader,” added Matt Stephenson, former defenseman and current member of the Mavs Hockey Operations department.
“I think what will make him successful is what will go on behind closed doors,” said David Simoes. “He will study video and work a lot of long hours to make sure his team succeeds. Everyone will be held accountable.”
Those guys seem super concerned about his chances for success, right?
I think it’s easy for some to doubt the chances for success with this hire simply because we know there were NHL caliber coaches that applied. But, to listen to Lamar Hunt, Jr. and Brent Thiessen affirm that Dickson was the right man for the job deserves some amount of respect from Mavs fans.
The other concern I’ve seen posted and talked about is how recent Mavericks players (many of them just a few years younger than the coach) would react and respond to their new coach. There were countless times when I watched him stay after practice to work with individual players this past season. While the answers aren’t surprising to me, they reaffirm what I think many already knew John-Scott Dickson is ready and relentless.
The praise also came from those who worked closest with Dickson last season.
“I am very happy for John-Scott and his family. No one is more deserving of this opportunity and no one will work harder than JSD. He was a huge reason why we were so successful last season,” said Mavericks assistant Captain Rocco Carzo. “He’s a very knowledgeable coach and had the respect of every guy in that room. I’m sure I’m speaking for every guy in that room when I say we’re happy for him and excited to see him succeed which I know he will.”
“I’m very happy for JSD; he is a great man and good coach. It’s nice to see good things happen to good people. He is very much deserving of this job because of all that he did for our team last year and was a big part of our success. JSD worked with the defenseman during games and was a huge part of my growth throughout the season as a person and a player. He knows how to handle players and get the most out of them, which in today’s game is a very important aspect of coaching. Missouri made a good decision hiring a man with such high character and I see him continuing the success that has been created here,” said defenseman Bryce Aneloski.
I’m sure there will be some roller coaster moments over the next 12 months, but I truly think that when we look back at this hire a year from now and see this was a good hire for the Mavericks organization. As a handful of players and team brass have affirmed, Dickson is ready to be a leader and is hungry for success, which is a recipe for good things to happen.
Let’s sit back, grab a cold drink, step away from the keyboard and get ready for October!
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