This upcoming season will introduce many new changes for the Des Moines Buccaneers. A crew of new players and an overhauled coaching staff are at the forefront of those changes. That means Ryan Bennett will be welcomed back to Des Moines as an assistant coach for Jon Rogger. Bennett played for the Buccaneers during the 2000-02 seasons and is happy to be back in Des Moines.
“I never wanted to coach and Des Moines is probably the only place I would have gone and that’s just because my experience playing there was phenomenal,” said Bennett.
Bennett said that Des Moines represents one of the best hockey organizations in the Midwest and he would love to help this organization get back to winning championships with frequency like it was in the mid 90’s. Bennett will certainly have an opportunity to make a huge impact for the Buccaneers for many years to come as he will be doing a lot of scouting as an assistant coach.
Bennett has played for a number of different organizations all around the country, most recently for the Texas Brahmas and has been able to network with many other coaches. Bennett knows a number of both college and professional coaches personally from his playing career and thinks that will give him a scouting advantage.
“I’m excited about our players…We’re going to be young but I think we’ve laid a great foundation with character and the skill that they have,” said Bennett. “We believe in every single one of our players and we’re going to give them the confidence to allow them to play and play hard.”
Bennett also knows that with a young team and a new coaching staff there will be some difficult times, but he’s hoping that they will be able to persevere and build a winning program in the next couple of years.
“There will be growing pains, but I believe that with our young guys if we’re at 500 midway through the season we’re going to have a great second half. Des Moines hasn’t had a foundation in recent years and trying to build one will probably be a two, three, or four year process,” said Bennett.
Having retired recently from his playing career and being only 30 years old, Bennett can relate to what many of the young players are going through. He played for the last decade in the minor leagues of hockey and wants to help get to the players places that he’s been and even farther. He wants to teach them the little things that they need to do to keep their dreams alive and hopefully help some players make it to the NHL.
“It’s going to be a fun year. You have coaches that are player coaches and we will bring a lot of enthusiasm. I think that will help our young kids get through it and hopefully we’ll build a winner here in Des Moines soon,” said Bennett.