Checking in with Wolverines head coach Mel Pearson

Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey

 

By @MichaelCaples –

You never know who might show up for the Red Wings’ development camp in Traverse City.

This year, one of the surprise visits came from Mel Pearson.

The new bench boss for the Michigan Wolverines stopped by during the second day of the camp to check in on one of his new players.

“I’m just up here watching some hockey,” Pearson told MiHockey. “We have a player, Michael Pastujov, who is coming to Michigan, so I just wanted to pop in and see him. I haven’t seen him play much, so it’s an opportunity to see him on the ice.

“Obviously the Red Wings have a couple other guys who may be college guys, so we’re just doing a little recruiting and enjoying some hockey.”

MORE: Mel Pearson returns to Ann Arbor as Wolverines’ new head coach

A stop at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City was one of many unique trips for Pearson, who has been ‘making the rounds’ since being named the successor to Red Berenson on April 24 after serving as head coach of Michigan Tech for five seasons. Stops have included visits to the NHL Draft in Chicago and the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.

“It’s awesome,” Pearson said of being an ambassador for the ‘Block M’ once again. “Michigan is Michigan. I had a great experience there, and it’s neat to go to all these events and do the networking and see some people that maybe I didn’t get an opportunity to see when I was up in Houghton. It’s great. It’s great to be out there waving the Michigan flag.”

An exciting summer has meant limited time on the links, however.

“It’s been good; it’s been a whirlwind,” Pearson said. “Lots going on, reestablishing some networking with alumni and our fans, and also getting on the recruiting world. I was just telling Coach Blashill, I haven’t played much golf – I think I’ve played seven holes this summer, and I’m a golfer, so that’s not good. It’s been very busy, but very exciting.”

Pearson will be back behind the Wolverines’ bench for the first time as head coach on Sept. 30 when Michigan welcomes Western Ontario to Yost for an exhibition season opener. His former boss won’t be far away; Berenson will remain with the program as an advisor.

When asked if he’s been talking with his former boss, Pearson said, “oh absolutely.”

“Coach Berenson still has an office over in a different building,” Pearson said. “I’ll look forward to asking him questions, getting his advice on certain things, but he’s still active, he’s still around, and it’s always good seeing him.”

As far as living arrangements go, he’s enjoying being back in Ann Arbor, though Pearson said he does miss Houghton.

“Well I was just up there for a week; it’s a beautiful place, great people up there,” Pearson said. “I miss it in the summer for sure, but maybe not the winter when there’s seven inches of snow. It’s a great place with great people and I’m sure I’ll find ways to get up there in the years to come.”

Pearson’s adventures so far: