That seemed to be the dominant theme following the Missouri Mavericks news conference Thursday morning at the Independence Events Center, where Richard Matvichuk was introduced as the team's new head coach.
Maverick veterans John-Scott Dickson, Andrew Courtney and Dave Pszenyczny attended the news conference and had plenty of good things to say about their new coach.
But they expect plenty of changes.
“Sometimes change is good,” said Courtney, who set a franchise single-season scoring record last year with 34 goals. “He is a new face and a new voice in the organization. He’s a proven winner, and I think he’s going to bring a lot to the club.”
All three players said they had had the opportunity to talk with Matvichuk before Thursday’s news conference.
“I like what he had to say,” Courtney added. “He’s going to be hard-nosed and make everyone accountable, and that’s good. Now, we just have to talk contract to make sure I’m back next season.”
Pszenyczny, one of the top defensemen in the CHL, said he’s ready to buy into what Matvichuk is selling.
“I like everything he’s said,” Pszenyczny said. “He was a pro’s pro when he played in the NHL and he’s going to be a professional coach – no nonsense, my way or the highway – and I like that. I think he’s the type of guy you’re going to know where you stand in any situation. He’s going to hold everyone accountable.”
Dickson, a defensive-minded forward who has led the Mavericks in blocked shots in recent years, agreed with his teammates.
“I owe a lot to (former coach) Scott Hillman,” Dickson said, “but I like what I hear from Coach Matvichuk. He’s going to make some changes, and sometimes change is a good thing. Hilly established solid foundation, and I think (our new coach) is going to take us to the next level.”
That’s the hope of team captain Sebastien Thinel, who was home in Odessa, Texas, during the news conference.
“He called me earlier this week and we talked for quite a while,” said Thinel, one of three players in CHL history with 900 career points. “I’m playing for a championship. That is the only thing I have not been able to achieve in a long career. I thought last year was the season (when the Mavericks led the CHL with 44 regular season wins only to fall in the first round of the playoffs).
“He is going to be different from Scott. He is going to bring a new attitude, a new toughness to our team. He won a Stanley Cup when he played and he won two championships with Allen the past two seasons, so he knows about winning – what it takes to win.
Thinel said Matvichuk will be a “no BS” coach, one the Mavericks might well need.
“No one likes change when it first happens, but maybe now is the time for change,” Thinel said. “Scott did a lot of great things for this team and this organization, and we all wish him luck (as the head coach of the newest team in the ECHL, the Indianapolis Fuel). I think Richard Matvichuk is the kind of coach we need, and I think we're going to be successful this season.”