The Halifax Mooseheads has hired its 13th head coach in the franchise's history.
It's been a few days since Sylvain Favreau started in his new position, but he's been working with the Halifax Mooseheads for four years.
In 2017, the 42-year-old moved to Halifax and signed onto the team as an assistant coach.
“It’s been a pleasure to fit into this community and I love Halifax,” he told NEWS 95.7's The Rick Howe Show. “Now entering my fifth season, I’ve had the chance to work with some really good coaches that have passed through here.”
Favreau's coaching style is mostly made up of focusing on individual players.
“I’m definitely a player’s coach,” he said. “I’m someone that’s firm but fair, and I think structure and discipline are high on the list. For me, I’m just trying to be myself as a coach.
“I always say, ‘In the past, you were coaching a team that comprised of 20 players and now you’re coaching 20 players that make up a team.’”
He said by that, he means he’s coaching a new generation and all 20 players have specific needs within their development and progression as players.
“It’ll be my job to really focus and narrow the focus on each individual to make that team a better team as a whole,” he said.
But Favreau isn't just focused on the professional development of each player. The personal development as young adults is another factor he's prioritizing.
He said he thinks all of the staff members play a “huge role” in the development of the young athletes.
For instance, many of the Halifax Mooseheads’ players are far from home coming from provinces such as Quebec. Some are even leaving home for the first time in their lives.
“It’s a tremendous experience for them,” he said. “There’s a lot of growth on and off the ice, so it’s important that we’re there to guide them in the right direction and to support them, ultimately, in their goal.”
It’s that personal development into adulthood that Favreau aims to bring as a coach.
“Personal growth and development and having a plan, a specific plan for each player to grow within themselves, will make the team that much better,” he said. “The days of ‘one size fits all’ are over. So, you need to have a plan for each individual.
“Winning is the end result, absolutely. But there’s a process to get there, and that’s what we’re going to work on with these players to make sure that each player benefits in making themselves better and then making the team better.”
He's taking over the head coach position after the previous position holder, J.J. Daigneault, was dismissed after two years.
Favreau also brings years of experience coaching and playing hockey to the table.
As a player, the Ottawa native was a forward in Junior A in Ontario from 1995 to 1998.
He then moved overseas for five seasons where he played professionally in France and Germany.
There, he unexpectedly got his start in coaching when he started helping coach the Timbit level for some extra money.
“I remember like if it was yesterday, just saying, ‘I know what I’m doing’ and I really didn’t,” he said. “I had a bunch of little kids looking up at me and kind of learned on the fly, and I kind of got the love of coaching there.”
Some of that love for coaching came from seeing the children — and himself — make progress.
Further in his coaching career, Favreau spent several seasons as a head coach in the Central Canada Hockey League.
He also worked as a coach with Hockey Canada on multiple occasions including as a head coach of Canada White at the 2019 U17 Hockey Challenge where he brought his team to fourth place.
When he started as an assistant coach for the Halifax Mooseheads, he primarily worked with the team's forwards in Halifax and created the power play unit.
Now, he's excited about bringing the team to success.
"It's not an 'I' game; it's a 'we' game," he said.