CHEYENNE, WY -- It was rough in Cheyenne last season.
The Stampede struggled badly, winning just twice. It lost its final 43 games.
Neil Breen was brought in to help bring a little stability to the team late last season. He’s hopeful things will look decidedly different for Cheyenne this year.
“I tried to build a foundation and I think we are in a place where we are looking good,” Breen said. “We are happy with the job we did with recruiting.”
Breen isn’t a stranger to hockey. He has a great deal of experience and hopes to use that to his advantage in turning the Stampede around.
“I’ve coached in different leagues and I think it was good for me to come in late last year and get an idea of what kind of players I need to compete at this level.”
Breen believes he’s found those players, striking a balance between players ready to go out of the gate and those that need a little time to develop.
“You need a good balance between the two,” Breen said. “You need to have those guys who can compete right away, and you also need guys you can develop. I feel like we’ve been able to do that.”
Breen knows the road back to respectability won’t be easy for the Stampede, but he is confident the team can get there. Camp begins in September and only a few spots are still open, though he doesn’t expect it to stay that way going forward.
“I’ve harped a lot on the importance of having a good compete level,” Breen said. “You want guys who are going to compete hard, guys who aren’t afraid to play physical, and we have that. You want those players who are going to pay the price to get the job done.”