Steve Carroll Report: Newell Brown
“It’s great to be back,” says Brown, who spent four seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets as an associate coach in between stints in Anaheim. “Our family lived here a few years back and really enjoyed living in the area. I have been back here working in the real estate business, so it’s a great feeling. I’m looking forward to getting involved in the NHL level again.”
“Being involved in the new management team and coaching staff is really exciting,” said Brown, a native of Cornwall, Ontario.
Brown was the head of coaches for the Junior Ducks program at Anaheim Ice during the NHL lockout. “We have 17 teams over there,” added Brown. “Working with the coaches and the kids was a lot of fun for the past year and a half. I had a chance to coach my son’s team which was a lot of fun last year. So, we are just going to transition to the NHL coaching now. But it was an enjoyable experience working with Art Trottier over there and Anaheim Ice.”
Brown has over 17 years of coaching experience at the NCAA, American Hockey League and NHL levels. Prior to his original stint with Anaheim, Brown was an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks for two seasons, 1996-97 and 1997-98.
Before joining the NHL ranks, he spent four seasons in the Detroit Red Wings organization as head coach of the Adirondack Red Wings, Detroit’s AHL affiliate. Brown also served as head coach of Michigan Tech University from 1990-92 and was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Michigan State University, from 1986-90.
So, coaching is still something that is close to Brown’s heart.
“You miss it,” added Brown. “You don’t know how much you miss it sometimes until you are away from it. I was just fortunate that during the lockout, that my family was able to move back here. My wife, Lori and I got into the real estate business in the meantime and kind of re-established ourselves in that area. I was able to coach the kids over at Anaheim Ice. I got my hockey fix with them.”
“Just coaching the best players in the world at the NHL level has a real attraction,” says Brown. “I missed it. So, I was real fortunate to be in the right place at the right time that the coaching position opened up here. So, I’m really excited working in the NHL and being part of a team on the upswing. We’ve had some great signings this summer and the team looks like it’s going in the right direction. I am fortunate to have this opportunity right now.”
Working with some of the young Mighty Ducks prospects at the recent developmental camp, Brown got a close-up look at some of the players who are working towards a career at the NHL level.
“I had a chance to get more familiar with some of those guys,” added Brown. “There are some really good young prospects in the organization. Players with a lot of upside and are definitely going to play in the NHL. When you go to other team’s rookie camps or prospect camps, you might see just three or four guys who really have a chance to make it. But here, you can see the scouting has been good and the draft picks have been good. We have a deep reservoir of players that we can dip into in the next few years.”
Coaches and players all have opinions on what the new rules for the upcoming season will bring to the NHL. Brown says the area where goaltenders can play the puck has been reduced, so that will have an effect on the game.
“Some goaltenders will like it because they really don’t like playing the puck,” mentioned Brown. “Others like Martin Brodeur who are good at it will have to adjust.
The defensemen are going to see a big difference in how much they have to handle the puck on the breakouts. And that could affect the fore checking game a little bit, as well.”
Brown says taking the red line out for the two-line pass should keep the game moving instead of stopping and slowing things down.
“There are four or five times during a game where a pass is made, a player is breaking with a lot of speed and the whistle blows because it’s a two-line pass,” says Brown, who served as captain of the Canadian National team in 1985-86. “And maybe it’s only four or five feet offside. The fans get on the edge of their seats, the whistle blows and the play dies. It takes away from the game. I don’t think we are going to see long home run passes, but those plays that generate excitement will continue. It will keep the game moving instead of stopping and slowing the game down. I think that will provide another element of flair and offense for the fans to enjoy.”
As a player, Brown spent two seasons with the Cornwall Royals of the Ontario Hockey league in 1978-79 and 1979-80 and helped the Royals win the Memorial Cup in 1979. From 1980-84, he played at Michigan State, where he served as team captain in his final three seasons.
Brown was Vancouver’s sixth pick, 158th overall, in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft. He spent one year in the Canuck’s organization playing with Fredricton (AHL) and Muskegon (IHL) in 1984-85.