By Grant McDonald
Before leaving the Ryerson hockey team as head coach last season, Mick Mitrovic stripped Matt Murphy of his captaincy. Now new coach Graham Wise is left with the task of plugging in the holes.
This year, Ryerson hired a Zamboni of sorts when Graham Wise was brought in as the men’s hockey team’s full time head coach.
After 19 successful seasons at York University where he won two Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championships, Wise made the decision to move across town to Ryerson, whose team finished last season with a single win.
He’s now faced with the task of bringing a new era of success to the struggling program. Mick Mitrovic, a Ryerson hockey team alumni, was the team’s head coach last year. Before he left the team he stripped the squad of its captain, leaving the already lost team without a leader. This meant that the first decision Wise had to make as head coach was choosing who would help lead his team through the season.
“What I like to see is someone well rounded,” he said describing his ideal captain.
This means that it is extremely important captains continue their leadership whether they’re on or off the ice, he added.
“I think it’s important that they’re academic role models.”
Mitrovic, now an investment banker with BMO Nesbitt Burns, said he believes a real captain shows his ability in more ways than one.
Unfortunately, he now feels the decision he made last year turned out to be the wrong one. “Our leadership was lacking,” he said. “Our assistant captain (Chris Sutton) should have been the captain.”
Sutton, meanwhile believes that the source of the team’s problems came from the lack of chemistry between Mitrovic and the players.
“When your players don’t respect the coach, nothing productive can come from it,” he said.
Although Mitrovic has his opinions, he knows that it’s Wise’s decision to either keep last year’s captains or nominate brand new ones.
“Graham doesn’t need my advice, he doesn’t need any advice whatsoever. He’s just that good.”
Wise has decided not to take Mitrovic’s advice, electing to keep the veteran Murphy as the team captain.
“Murphy’s a great leader, he plays the role the best,” said sophomore star Kevin Krasnowski.
Wise also decided to keep Sutton as the team’s assistant captain. Defenceman Grant Buckley and the forward Krasnowski have also been named as the team’s assistant captains.
“It’s definitely a privilege,” Krasnowski said. “I’m going to try and pump up the guys and get things going by getting some big hits.”
With Wise acting as the Zamboni, the Rams hope he’ll clear a path for Ryerson to make a quick turnaround toward better seasons.
-with files from Kristina Jarvis