The news that Chicago Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville had been admitted to a hospital near his suburban home after feeling "severe discomfort" Tuesday night hit home with Kings Coach Terry Murray.
The stresses of coaching intensify as the season progresses and teams jockey for playoff spots, and with the defending Stanley Cup champions standing in 11th place in the West and in danger of missing the playoffs, Quenneville's stress level must have been high. He previously required treatment for exhaustion during the 2004 World Championships and had to relinquish his post as coach of Team Canada in that competition.
"Do I know what it feels like? Sure I do. It's been 30-something years of it now,” Murray said Wednesday after the Kings skated in preparation for their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
"It's hard to win when you're supposed to win. That's probably the hardest thing there is in sports. And when you're in that position and you know you've got to get the job done and get to the finals, everybody's expecting you to get there or repeat, you spend a lot of sleepless nights. You're up at 2 in the morning sometimes, looking at your computer, trying to figure things out.
"But you’ve got to find some ways to get away from the game too. You've got to spend time with your family. You've got to work out. You've got to just try hard to train yourself to break away emotionally and mentally, even if it's for that evening. Those are maybe not the right answers. But that's something that you just have to try to train yourself to do."
Murray said his stress-release outlet during the summer is golf. He puts the clubs away during the winter and finds other ways to get away physically and mentally.
"I'll work out. Especially in the early part of the year, I'll work out. I think that to me does a lot," he said. "If I don't work out at the practice facility, I have a bike and I'll go for a ride on the Strand in L.A., and go for a 15-mile bike ride. You've just got to do something to get some kind of physical activity to get your mind away from the game. It works for me."
All the best to Quenneville, who was to be replaced by assistant coach Mike Haviland on Wednesday in the Hawks' game against the Minnesota Wild at the United Center.
-- Helene Elliott in Columbus, Ohio