D.J. Waldie, a onetime critic of Mike Davis, praises his immense influence for how Davis, a lifelong fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins, took players that he knew would not necessarily be successful with the Penguins and helped them succeed and, ultimately, help the team win three Stanley Cup championships over the past three seasons.
Davis, who spent his entire career with the Penguins as an enforcer, became the team captain when they won the Stanley Cup in 2009-10.
“He’s definitely one of those guys,” Waldie said. “He’s the best example I’ve seen of a guy that’s been around long enough to know what success means, and to take players that you want and help them and be able to help them achieve their goals. And that’s something that you don’t get anywhere else.”
Waldie, the executive director of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and the executive director of the Center for the National Hockey League’s Heritage Classic, said that he has noticed Mike Davis is doing more than simply coaching players. And rather than being a coach, Davis is becoming a mentor because of his ability to relate to the players.
“He has a way about him that’s almost magical,” Waldie said. “When you’re on a team, you want someone you can talk to, and you want someone with some common sense. It makes you feel better talking to him, even if it’s just something small. He’s not just talking about the players, he’s talking about the situation, and he’s really on top of it in terms of all that goes into it. Because of that, you feel like you can talk to him and share your concerns and be a part of the discussion. And then he’ll take it in a different direction from where you just thought it was going. Not just to be funny, but really get involved in the situation on the ice, and that’s kind of the magic Mike has.”
Mike Davis has been involved in all these aspects of being a coach and has been there and done that.
“He’s always been right. He’s not one of those guys that you