Curtis Joseph Brings Mental Focus to Hurricanes

A busy offseason for the Carolina Hurricanes has slowed down. After getting a majority of their work done early on, the focus has started to shift to the upcoming regular season, one that could be big for the organization.

Top to bottom, the Canes have upgraded. From their farm system with the additions of Jake Bean, Julien Gauthier and a plethora of notable 2016 draft picks, to the big club with the likes of Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen projected to make significant impacts, the club’s future is getting brighter.

This includes the addition of Curtis Joseph as the club’s goalie consultant.

Joseph, a veteran of 943 NHL games among six different teams, knows what it takes to be successful at the highest level of play. Something that he intends to focus on with Carolina’s group of netminders is the mental side of the game.

In an interview with Michelle McMahan and the Carolina Hurricanes this past week, the former star goalie talked about how important having the right mindset is when you are tasked with stopping pucks.

“It really does start with the right attitude,” Joseph said. “The passion for the game, the love for the game. I really had it. It wasn’t work for me, it was the time of my life and it was a lot of fun. I think you look for that in young guys and young goalies. That passion and will to succeed. I think that’s the driving force behind successful people, goalies and players.”

Curtis Joseph won’t be a full-time coach with the organization, but his frequent stops in Charlotte should play big roles in the development of young goalies Alex Nedeljkovic and Daniel Altshuller.

If Nedeljkovic, a 2014 second round draft pick, wants to make it in the NHL, he will have to do it as an undersized player, standing at just 5-foot-11, 190 pounds.

Being nearly the exact same size during his playing career, Joseph knows what it’s like to go through those obstacles. As the league starts to favor larger, more physically dominating goalies, Nedeljkovic will have to adapt and learn how to play big, much like Curtis Joseph did for 18 seasons in the NHL.

Playing big as a goalie requires confidence, which means your mind has to be in the right place. It is encouraging to see that Curtis Joseph will be bringing that focus to the club.

“You want to get them in the best position to succeed,” Joseph continued. “When I was young, I remember that I wasn’t confident enough and I didn’t work hard enough. Those are two things that I regret early in my career. Especially during the offseason, I wish I would’ve worked harder. Those are things that I can pass along to young guys.”

Curtis Joseph’s Gameplan

It seems as if Curtis Joseph’s main goal is to help Carolina’s young goalies be mentally strong. He doesn’t want them to make the same mistakes that he made early on in his career.

His experience as an NHL goalie and mature outlook on the position makes him a great fit for an organization that is now ripe with young netminders.