By Paul Osborne, Guelph Mercury
The Guelph Storm’s new general manager and coach George Burnett learned an awful lot about coaching this past year without ever stepping behind a bench. As the man appointed by the Ontario Hockey League to steady an unstable Flint Firebirds franchise, Burnett was the calming voice as the GM, while 32-year-old Ryan Oulahen coached the club. Burnett has always been known as an autocratic coach that runs a very tight ship so you wouldn’t think there would be a lot that a rookie coach could teach a veteran of over 1,300 OHL games, but Burnett said that wasn’t the case.
“I really enjoyed last year, my first in almost 30 years where I wasn’t coaching,” he explained. “I had a wonderful relationship with Ryan. I think I learned a lot from him, probably (his) flexibility was one of the key things I really (admired). It’s a different time to coach kids with the advent of social media and it was fun to sit back and watch our league and watch our young coaching staff, learn from them, dialogue with them, challenge them, and have them challenge me. It’s made me highly motivated to go into this (role) and make the necessary tweaks and adjustments to move along and lead this franchise.”
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