Paul Jerrard’s Experience with the PHPA Gives Him a Unique Insight as an NHL Coach

Author: Kris Eberwein, for PHPA.com
Date: Jun 1, 2017

The following article was originally published by PHPA.com on December 12, 2012.  Jerrard will serve as an Era Representative (1987 – 1997) during the PHPA 50th Annual Meeting Player Representatives this June 12 – 17 in Orlando, Florida.

 

Paul Jerrard got the call of a lifetime last year when he was asked to join the Dallas Stars as an Assistant Coach. Jerrard has circled the NHL as a player and a coach for 15 years and now has a chance to make an impact at the game’s highest level.

Due to the NHL lockout Jerrard’s opportunity in Dallas has been put on hold. Jerrard has a unique view on the current lockout due to his experience as a player representative with the PHPA. He has seen labour negotiations from both sides of the table.

“The NHL lockout is tough on everybody, players and managers, but it’s the reality. The only thing we can do right now is come to the rink and keep working,” said Jerrard.

Several NHL players have recently returned from Europe, which has fueled optimism that the lockout may end soon. Players such as Tuukka Rask, Claude Giroux and one of Jerrard’s players, Stephane Robidas, have all recently returned to North America.

“I’d definitely rather have our guys playing over here. I think the lockout might be close to an end and at that time you want all of your guys to be in good physical shape,” said Jerrard.

Jerrard’s involvement with the PHPA began when he was a player for the Kalamazoo Wings of the now defunct International Hockey League (IHL).

“I volunteered to be a Player Representative back then because I had an interest to learn the business side of the game and to help myself and my fellow players,” said Jerrard.

Jerrard’s involvement with the PHPA helped him in his transition from a player to a coach by giving him valuable knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes.

“My decision to coach was based on a good opportunity that I was lucky enough to have. My involvement with the PHPA certainly added to my knowledge and helped me along the way."

Most coaches don’t have any direct role in the NHL’s negotiations with the NHLPA. While players are able to be active in the talks, many coaches are forced to sit and wait.

“Right now we come to work every day and talk about the team. Currently we’re looking at a lot of different players throughout the organization and looking at their progress; thinking of ways they can fit in,” said Jerrard.

The Dallas Stars’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate is the Texas Stars who play in nearby Cedar Park Texas. Jerrard and head coach Glen Gulutzan are able to travel to the games and check in on their players but the lockout prohibits them from having too much contact.

“We can talk to them and say hello but as far as hockey goes we’re not their coaches right now. It wouldn’t be appropriate for us to try to coach them because there are coaches in Cedar Park to do that.”

Although Jerrard’s tenure with the PHPA is over he still demonstrates many of the PHPA’s core values. Jerrard, who is a survivor of prostate cancer, continually reaches out by promoting cancer awareness through organizations such as The American Cancer Society and Livestrong.

His integrity, responsiveness and passion serve as examples for players and management alike. Jerrard now has the unique opportunity to teach those values to another generation of players; making their game more successful on the ice as well as off.

 

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