A native of Henderson, Nevada, Michael Chiasson begins his first season as an assistant coach for the San Jose Barracuda after serving as an amateur scout for the Sharks last season. SJBarracuda.com sat down with Chiasson recently to ask him a few questions as a part of the offseason staff spotlight series.
Walk us through your hockey career and how you got into coaching?
I grew up playing AAA minor Hockey in Las Vegas from 10 to 16-years-old. Then I got drafted into the USHL and played three years for the Omaha Lancers. While in Omaha, in my final season, I landed a scholarship to play hockey at The University of Michigan. I spent four years in Ann Arbor playing for the Wolverines while majoring in Sports Management. After my time at Michigan, I played a year of pro in Sweden and then got into scouting for the Sharks. With San Jose, I was an amateur and NCAA scout for two years, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Was becoming a coach always a goal of yours?
I really enjoyed scouting and learned a lot from Doug Wilson Jr. and Tim Burke. I always had a passion for coaching, teaching, and learning. So when management approached me about this opportunity, I knew it would be good for both the organization and myself. I am very excited to start working with our players!
Who was your favorite hockey player as a kid and why?
My Dad, Steve Chiasson.
Who was your favorite NHL team as a kid?
Describe your game when you were a player?
I was a simple, puck-moving defenseman who competed and worked hard.
What style of coach do you think you’ll be?
I am still in the process of figuring that out right now, I think it will come with experience and once we figure out how this staff works as a group.
Does it help becoming a coach in an organization that you’re familiar with already?
I think it will be very beneficial for both myself and the organization. We have worked together for two years, and we have an idea of how things are supposed to be done and the standard expected from the top down.
What can fans expect from the team this year?
We will be a young, fast, skilled team that will compete every night.
What are you most looking forward to about living in California?
The weather and trying some new restaurants.
Greatest hockey memory of your life?
Learning to skate at Joe Louis Arena.
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not at the rink?
I enjoy trying new restaurants, listening to music, running, biking and reading.