Bannister being Bannister

December 11, 2016

He is neither colourful or excitable. He is neither fiery or emotional. But he is who he is and he is getting the job done.

He is cool and steady, smart and thoughtful, somewhat like Jim Caldwell, who coaches the Detroit Lions of the National Football League.

And as Caldwell is the right guy to coach the Lions, Drew Bannister is the right guy to be coaching the Soo Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League.

Bannister may not be exciting or emotional but his team plays hard and with plenty of passion.

The Greyhounds are well-prepared, are well-coached and are comfortable playing away from home.

It is Bannister, with help from his assistant coaches, who has the Greyhounds where they are — near the top of a very-strong Western Conference with a record of 22-8-1 after 31 games — and without their leading scorer, Blake Speers.

It is Bannister who does not get too high or too low.

It is Bannister who does not over-react.

Bannister is not Terry Crisp. He is not Ted Nolan. He is not Craig Hartsburg. He is not Sheldon Keefe.

Bannister is Bannister.

He may lack fire and he may resemble a statue behind the bench at times.

But he is good at what he does, like when he led the Greyhounds to an improbable first-round playoff upset of the Sarnia Sting last spring that included three road victories, including Game 7.

I’ll take this guy as a qualified, overachieving coach any day of the week.

PHOTO: Soo Greyhounds coach Drew Bannister.

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