Trent Vogelhuber: From on the Ice to Behind the Bench
A lot can change overnight.
For Trent Vogelhuber, Monday, October 22nd was just another day of practice at OBM Arena in Strongsville, Ohio as preparation continued for the Monsters’ upcoming three-game road trip to Chicago, Milwaukee and Rockford. Like most practice days, Vogelhuber and the rest of his teammates got plenty of work in while on the ice: skating in and out of drills, passing, shooting and the like.
By the time practice rolled around on Tuesday morning, however, something was noticeably different. Though Vogelhuber was taking the ice once again, this time he was doing it with whistle in hand as a member of the Cleveland coaching staff.
For the Monsters new assistant coach, it was a whirlwind 24 hours and after facing a tough decision that ended with him hanging up his skates, Vogelhuber is excited to begin the next phase of his career.
“Obviously I came to Blue Jackets camp hoping to get back into the organization as a player and that was the original plan,” said Vogelhuber. “I got to Cleveland and we’ve got such a great group of young players here that I didn’t think that was going to be realistic this season. I talked to [Blue Jackets Associate General Manager/Monsters General Manager Bill] Zito a bit about what I wanted to do after hockey and the opportunity came up and it was just too good of one to pass up.”
Now that he has officially moved into a full-time coaching role, the Dublin, Ohio, native will lean heavily on other members of the coaching staff initially but says he’s excited to work with his former teammates and share some of the things that made him successful.
“I am going to learn a lot here going from Coach [John] Madden and Coach [Steve] McCarthy,” added Vogelhuber. “I am hoping to put my impression on [some of the positive] things that I did as a player, like the penalty kill and face-offs, and help the forwards, especially the young forwards, in any way that I can.”
Vogelhuber didn’t hesitate to go into detail when discussing how vital it will be to have coach McCarthy on the staff with him.
“It’s huge, I’ve already been asking him a lot of questions. He was on the team with me when we won [the Calder Cup in 2016] and then he went right into coaching, so he’s not very far removed at all,” explained Vogelhuber. “He knows exactly what I am going through and what the experience is about, so he’s been there to answer all of my questions.”
Coach Madden has seen the value that Vogelhuber brings to the team and is excited about what he will bring to the coaching staff.
“I just think it’s his overall knowledge,” said Madden. “He’s a great guy and communicates very well to the coaching staff as well as to other players. He’s been around a long time and he just has a lot to offer.”
Vogelhuber knows he is in a unique situation, however, and he says it’s still a little strange for him knowing that he will be leading drills as opposed to skating in them.
“It’s a bit of an odd dynamic and it’s going to take some getting used to being behind the bench and wearing a suit rather than being out there [playing]. That’s one of the main reasons though – I love these guys and got some good friends on this team and at the end of the day I wanted to stay part of this group and the organization.”
Vogelhuber made his coaching debut on Oct. 24 in Chicago and first home coaching appearance this past Friday, Nov. 2 when the Monsters took on the defending Calder Cup champion Toronto Marlies. The game ended in a 7-6 shootout win for the Monsters, giving Vogelhuber a special moment in front of the hometown crowd.