VandeVelde likes the prospect of a reunion with Hakstol in Philadelphia
MOORHEAD--If there's someone who knows former University of North Dakota hockey coach Dave Hakstol, it's former Moorhead Spuds hockey standout Chris VandeVelde.
MOORHEAD-If there's someone who knows former University of North Dakota hockey coach Dave Hakstol, it's former Moorhead Spuds hockey standout Chris VandeVelde.
VandeVelde played for Hakstol all four years of college from 2006-2010, serving as alternate captain and leading UND in scoring with 41 points as a senior.
VandeVelde was working out at the Moorhead Youth Hockey Arena on Monday when he saw the news that Hakstol was headed to the Philadelphia Flyers to be the head coach. It shocked him, but not as much as most.
"It only shocked me because it was (now) and Philadelphia," VandeVelde said. "I think everyone thought (he could be an NHL coach someday) to be honest. His mentality and coaching style, it plays well with the NHL game."
What shocked VandeVelde is the coincidence of his current situation. VandeVelde is an unrestricted free agent this summer, coming off his best professional season yet with Philadelphia. He had nine goals and six assists in 72 games, as the fourth-line center for the Flyers.
He'd love to be reunited with his old college coach, with whom he made two trips to the Frozen Four at UND.
"I liked the organization and I liked playing for the Flyers," VandeVelde said. "I'd like to be back with Philly. It's been a few years since I played with (Hakstol), but I'm sure not a whole lot changed. I liked his mentality and coaching style."
As for Hakstol getting used to the tough fan base in Philadelphia, VandeVelde thinks he has plenty of experience in 11 seasons in Grand Forks, N.D.
"Philly can be tough, especially if you're losing," said VandeVelde when asked which fan base is tougher. "UND is hockey, hockey, hockey 24-7 though. Philadelphia has other sports. I'd have to say UND probably."