Craig Berube at the 2024 NHL Draft
Craig Berube at the 2024 NHL Draft

After the conclusion of the NHL Draft, head coach Craig Berube discussed the acquisition of Chris Tanev’s rights, his meetings with the players and staff since taking the job in Toronto, and the

How have you settled into getting to know all of your staff and some of the players over the last couple of months?

Berube: It has been great. I spent some time in Toronto, meeting with all of the staff and getting to know them. It has been great to get to know everybody and learn about their personalities and all of that.

I have pretty much talked to every player on the team in person, on Zoom, or on a phone call. It has been great. Looking forward to working with all of these guys.

What do you like about Chris Tanev if a deal works out?

Berube: Heart and soul guy. He gives you everything he has. Team guy. He lays it on the line every night, as you guys know when you watch him play. Hopefully, we get something done.

What is the process like when you are meeting with players? Do you do it based on geography, role on the team?

Berube: Basically, it is just about being yourself. Whether it is on the phone or on zoom or in person, we are talking about what kind of coach I am, what to expect from me, what I expect from them, and getting to know their personalities. I am talking to them about the past and what went on.

It is not all hockey. I get to know their lives, their families, and things like that. I try to get a good feel for everything.

When you are talking to a player privately and a fan takes a photo (such as in the case with Mitch Marner in the coffee shop), how does that make you feel? Is it annoying?

Berube: It is not surprising at all. To be honest with you, I forgot about it already. I’m not bothered. I am focused on talking to the player. That is it. Things happen.

What were your thoughts on Mitch Marner when you got to know him?

Berube: He is a character guy. He is a great person. He is obviously a great player. I am looking forward to coaching him.

What has stood out to you about the market in the short time you have been in Toronto?

Berube: It has been great. I was a player for a short time here in Toronto. I got a good feel back then for it. I loved playing here for a short time. I am really looking forward to coaching here.

It is the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s an Original Six team. The fan base… It is going to be a lot of fun.

What do you like about what Marc Savard brings to the staff?

Berube: I played with Marc for a while as a player. I love his personality. He was a great power-play guy and an offensive player, as you know. I brought him into St. Louis for a bit. He ran the power play there. I liked what he did.

With the familiarity, I wanted to bring him back. I think he is going to work well with our power play.

What is the one thing you want to instill in the team going forward, whether it is the current roster or new players coming in?

Berube: Just an identity — how we want to be as a team, how we want to play night in and night out more than anything, what to expect, what I am looking for as a coach, and what I expect out of you as a player.