Former Huskies coach Lisa Haley focused on leading Team Canada to Olympic gold
© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Canada's coaches Danielle Goyette, centre, and Lisa Haley watch from the bench as Canada's Jocelyn Larocque, right, takes part in warm-up prior to women's pre-Olympic hockey action against the U.S.A. in Calgary last Thursday.
Lisa Haley isn’t chasing down a seven figure coaching contract as she prepares for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Nor will the women making up Team Canada’s women’s hockey team.
But they and the Westville native, who will be serving as the squad’s assistant coach, will be chasing down a dream.
“It’s the same as players as it is for us as coaches in the women’s game,” said Haley. “We want to always be challenging ourselves to reach our full potential. We’re chasing that Olympic dream. We’re all motivated by the same means.”
Up until Tuesday, when Hockey Canada named former NHL player and head coach Kevin Dineen as Team Canada’s new bench boss, there was some speculation that Haley might fill the vacancy.
But, Haley says she’s in full support of Hockey Canada’s decision.
“It’s fresh and it’s new. I’m happy to see that we’re going to move forward as a full group now. We’re going to dig our heels in; the Olympics are just around the corner.
“Kevin brings a lot. He’s a player who’s had an opportunity to represent Canada on the junior team and at the Olympics. As a coach he’s paid his dues, put his time in at the AHL, NHL levels. He’s paid his dues as much as I have; he’s had a much harder road on the men’s side of the game. I don’t feel slighted in any way.”
Haley, who coached the Saint Mary’s women’s team for 14 seasons and to four AUS championships, has a profound connection with her home province.
“I’m very proud of coming from small town Nova Scotia. I’ve spent a lot of time in Halifax. I want everyone in Halifax and in my hometown of Westville to know that I’m a byproduct of being raised in those environments. I’ve taken my licks with Saint Mary’s.”
And she’s more than OK dealing with the overwhelming pressure for Canada to capture gold in Sochi.
“This is Canada and hockey is our sport. We want to be the best. It’s not as if we feel like we’re letting the country down if we don’t win gold. We’re letting ourselves down if we don’t win gold. Our mentality going into this is that we’re here to win.”
Andrew Rankin - Metro Halifax