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Welcome To June’s Newsletter

 

 

portraitSuitcoat100There have been suggestions that I  partake in “Fear Mongering”, after I wrote a recent article where I suggested that a number of 2000 born hockey players may have unknowingly turned their backs on the NCAA.

I will explain…..

I am not one who would want to place fear in someone’s head without facts, and so I will lay them out here.

And I apologize to anyone who I may have “blindsided” with this information…… It truly is why one needs to be so careful……

Once upon a time, there was an event, known as the Atlantic Challenge Cup. This event ran for players that were 13 years old, 14 years old, and 15 years old.

Young players from Atlantic Canada used to be placed on provincial teams by their local branches (HNS, HNB, HPEI, HNL), and gather in New Brunswick on Thanksgiving weekend, to play against each other.

In Nova Scotia (for example) the cost to participate was around $425 per player. This was a friendly little tournament, and allowed certain provincial bragging rights. It allowed players to be identified for future Hockey Canada national programs, and was part (of what was known as) the High Performance Program

In exchange for $425, players would receive some limited meals on the weekend of the Challenge Cup, and the balance went to offset the cost of the tournament (ice rental, referees, etc.).

In May of each year, there was an event known as “The CSR”, that was hosted by the QMJHL, and it was fully funded by the QMJHL. They would invite the top 120 draft prospects (approximately) to the event from Atlantic Canada and Quebec and the 18 QMJHL teams would interview the players and watch them play in advance of the Draft, and central scouting would weigh and measure them.

Each year, players who were invited to this event by the major junior league central scouting service, usually attended. Some players who did not want to play in the QMJHL did not attend, and those who were concerned that their “stock” might drop often avoided it (quite often players projected to be drafted in the first-round).

Compliance Officers at about 25% of the NCAA Division I schools would tell prospects that they mustn’t attend the CSR event if they wanted to keep their eligibility, and they relied on NCAA Rule Number 12.2.1.1, which states.

12.2.1.1 Tryout Before Enrollment – Men’s Ice Hockey and Skiing

In men’s ice hockey and skiing, a student -athlete remains eligible in a sport even though, prior to enrollment in a collegiate institution, the student-athlete may have tried out with a professional athletics team in a sport or received not more than one expense – paid visit from each professional team (or a combine including that team), provided such a visit did not exceed 48 hours and any payment or compensation in connection with the visit was not in excess of actual and necessary expenses.

The 48-hour tryout period begins at the time the individual arrives at the tryout location. At the completion of the 48 – hour period, the individual must depart the location of the tryout immediately in order to receive return transportation expenses. A tryout may extend beyond 48 hours if the individual self – finances additional expenses, including return transportation. A self –financed tryout may be for any length of time. (Revised: 12/22/08, 4/13/10 effective 8/1/10; applicable to student – athletes who initially enroll full time in a collegiate institution on or after 8/1/10)

The reason why a tryout for a major junior team is governed by this rule is that under Section 12.2.3.2.4 of the NCAA Rules, major junior teams are considered professional teams. Here is the exact wording…

12.2.3.2.4 Major Junior A Ice Hockey – Ice hockey teams in the United States and Canada, classified by the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association as major junior A teams, are considered professional teams under NCAA legislation.

Now, I want to make it very clear, that in my opinion, the local provincial branches of Hockey Canada have no interest in having players go on and play NCAA hockey…., and that is okay. It is not the model that Hockey Canada has chosen to develop athletes.

There is nothing wrong with Hockey Canada’s model, but players and parents need to know that Hockey Canada, and the provincial branches, do not regard the NCAA as part of their plan or program, and so they make no apologies for not ensuring that their events are necessarily “NCAA friendly”, and so players and parents must if they wish to pursue that option.

It is up to players and parents to ensure that their best personal interests are always protected, and not left to chance, and certainly not left to those whose interests may be different than their own,

At one point, I was specifically told by an Executive Director of one of the Atlantic branches of Hockey Canada that “the Canadian model” does not include the NCAA, but rather the CHL. I was further told that he did not care about the rules of the NCAA when I talked to him about blatant disregard by a junior league under his auspices for those rules. His exact words were, “I don’t give a damn”…., as he slammed the door…… and told me to “get off my high horse”…..

Major junior teams are businesses first and foremost, and would like the most control and have the best players possible at their disposal (and why wouldn’t they). I say there is nothing wrong with that. Hockey is their business, and they are in the business of competing among themselves…. but also competing with the NCAA for players. In business one does what one needs to do to get the competitive advantage.

Perhaps a 4 day event that is touted as “provincial pride” is a convenient way to have players quietly removed from the radars of other options. How would a player know if he was quietly dropped from a “watch list” because of it.

In Atlantic Canada, there used to be two distinct events for 15 year olds. One, most players attended, and one event, some did not.

Fast forward 3 short years, and there is no longer a “Challenge Cup” in Atlantic Canada for 15 year old make players. There is still a Atlantic Challenge Cup event for 13 year olds and 14 year olds, and there is now also an event for 12 year olds.

The word “Challenge” is now used (for 15 year olds) by an event that most refer to as the “Q” Combine, but is really known as the Gatorade Excellence Challenge. The event website is no longer hosted on a branch website, but rather on the QMJHL website (see http://theqmjhl.ca/excellence-challenge/)

One used to apply to participate in the old Challenge Cup for 15 year olds in Nova Scotia, and you still do for all the other age groups, but today players are invited (by someone).

Last year, the QMJHL put out a press release that stated “The QMJHL launches third Gatorade Excellence Challenge”, and in their own words the article claims that “120 of the top prospects for the next entry draft will participate in the event competing in 6 teams. Each Maritime province will be represented (New Brunswick, Newfoundland / Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island) while Quebec will participate with two different teams”.

Exact same format as the old CSR Event, hosted by the QMJHL, in the same location, on the same weelend.

On January 29th, Hockey New Brunswick put out a press release that stated, “Team New Brunswick Announced For QMJHL Gatorade Excellence Challenge”. There is no mistake that this event is run by the QMJHL as a combine event in advance of the upcoming midget entry draft.

The players were tested and weighed and measured by QMJHL Central Scouting officials at the event, and player interviews were conducted by major junior team scouting staff at the event.

So after speaking to a number of NCAA coaches, who were discussing the situation at the most recent American Hockey Coach Association meeting in Florida at the beginning of last month, and after speaking to many compliance officers who told me that this infractions would likely be seen as serious,….., I wrote the article. The result was that I had people call me…. and write me….. and call me names…..

It does not change the facts.

And the facts include that the decision to recruit one of the players is solely in the hands of the college coach, who will make that decision on his own, and behind closed doors (like all his other decisions as to whether a player fits into his program or not)….. we’ll never know the reasons for his decision. The coach needs to decide whether the risk is high, or not.

It is not up to us to debate. It will be the Infractions Committee of the NCAA who will need to answer that question.

According to the rule, a visit (unless self-financed) must not exceed 48 hours and any payment or compensation in connection with the visit must not be in excess of actual and necessary expenses (if the event is under 48 hours in length).

The Gatorade Excellance Challenge tournament, itself was a minimum of 4 days in length, plus time for other event particulars (weigh in, interviews, etc.). Including travel time, the team from Nova Scotia was gone for over a week.

The old format cost $425. The new event cost $675. The difference is $250 per player.

In the old days, for Team Nova Scotia (for example) each of the two events would involve 3 nights stay in a hotel. At one event, parents paid and at one event the QMJHL paid.

This year, for $250 extra dollars (more than that paid in the old days), players received 8 nights in a hotel, bus transportation to Quebec, and 8 days of food.

Adveertisement-June - CombineWe checked with three bus companies, and the price would have been anywhere between $15,000 and $18,313 for bus expense for the event. Hotel rooms for 20 players would have cost a minimum of $7,000. Food Cost would have been on top of that.

The actual and necessary cost for each team would have exceeded $25,000, and simple math would dictate that participating players would not have paid for the actual and necessary expenses, being necessary because the event was longer than 48 hours in duration.

As another NCAA rule, players may not try out with a professional team in a sport or permit a professional team to conduct medical examinations during the academic year (including vacation periods) while a player is enrolled as a full time student.

Did you know that? And people are saying that I am “fear mongering”……

Our firm has prepared a document which we are submitting to the NCAA for consideration, explaining how some players may have been unwittingly caught up in a situation that was disguised as “Provincial Pride”, although they did know that it was the “Q” Combine (as everyone refers to it).

As the a family advisor who is a member of the American Hockey Coaches Association, we are also going to lobby that group, which is comprised of almost every college hockey coach, to take a stand in support of the young players.

Unfortunately, with college athletics, ignorance of the rules is not seen as an excuse, as many recent decisions will support. Remember the movie, “The Blindside”, and how stringent the NCAA Rules are enforced byy their compliance personnel.

It’s real…… and for players that are not careful, “it’s reality”…….

You see, I am not simply “fear mongering”, I have spoken of the real facts, and am taking steps to try to fix this injustice.

Where it will become very interesting is how players who wish to keep the future options alive for the possibility of playing NCAA hockey in the future.

Remember…. NCAA Rule 12.2.1.1 states; In men’s ice hockey, a student -athlete remains eligible in a sport even though, prior to enrollment in a collegiate institution, the student-athlete may have tried out with a professional athletics team in a sport or received not more than one expense – paid visit from each professional team (or a combine including that team), provided such a visit did not exceed 48 hours and any payment or compensation in connection with the visit was not in excess of actual and necessary expenses…… and I am going to suggest that the NCAA Infractions Committee does not take this sort of stiff lightly. They will not “brush it aside:, and that is what future teams need to worry about.

In this newsletter, I have included some articles regarding some of the harsh decisions handed down by the NCAA for infractions that you or I would seem to be minor, but they cost the affected programs and athletes dearly.

Most 15 year old players who still wish to keep their NCAA eligibility usually still attend a Main Camp of the major junior franchise (who drafts them) for 48 hours at the team’s expense and not play any exhibition games, not sign anything, and not accept anythin

If, at some point we can help get the NCAA Cabinet to rule that in this particular case, players may have been innocent victims and may be allowed to participate upon appeal by the potential respective college teams, under Rule 12.2.1.1, because they have already received this benefit from a team (or a combine including that team)…., will they accept the opportunity to attend an expense paid Fall Main Camp, at the risk of being in violation of the rule again?

Interesting!

Wishing you all a great week, I remain,


Sincerely,

David MacDonald, SPAD
Hockey Family Advisor


 

 

Posted in Newsletter

NCAA Bans Homeless Football Player For Taking Improper Gift Of Sleep On Friends’ Floors

By Dan Weber –

 

Silas Nacita has been homeless since he was a senior in high school, yet he managed to overcome that adversity and work his way onto two NCAA football teams. Unfortunately, he did all that while having the ever-loving gall to want to sleep inside, so the NCAA has ruled him ineligible. The Dallas Morning News brings us this story of the NCAA wallowing in its own crapulence.

And infractions in the NCAA must be punished! Infractions such as drinking from the wrong bottle of water and not wanting to die of exposure are the kinds of things that the NCAA simply cannot tolerate from its student-athletes.

As a senior in high school, Nacita posted a 4.1 GPA while sleeping on friends’ couches, and he enrolled and played football at Cornell the next year. But Cornell isn’t exactly known as a stepping-stone to the NFL, so Nacita transferred to Baylor. Baylor accepted his transfer, but the school wanted Nacita to pay full tuition.

There aren’t many homeless students who can afford Baylor’s $34,000 annual tuition, and Nacita was unable to secure a loan. So he enrolled at McLennan Community College, got a job waiting tables, and waited for his chance. That chance arrived last June, when he competed for and won a walk-on (non-scholarship) spot on the Baylor Bears football team. SB Nation gives us a taste of what Nacita did in his one year in Waco.

Nacita walked on at Baylor in June, homeless and hungry, sleeping on friends’ floors and taking pictures of book pages from the campus store to study on his phone. He still made Academic All-Big 12. As a sophomore last season, Nacita ran 31 times for 191 yards with three touchdowns and also recorded nine tackles.

iSo, obviously, the NCAA had to take action against Nacita, lest his hifalutin, floor-sleepin’ ways cheapen the NCAA’s sacred vows of amateurism. Baylor fan site Our Daily Bears points out that if Nacita had been a regular student, Baylor and the NCAA literally wouldn’t have cared where he was sleeping. But since he is a foo’baw player where he sleeps matters, though it doesn’t matter enough to actually provide Nacita with housing — that’s a privilege reserved for scholarship players only.

Here’s Nacita’s full statement on the matter:

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 10.04.55 PM

 

 

Posted in NCAA Eligibility

Mind Games: Using your brain to improve your game

Developing Skills Between The Ears Can Be As Important As Mastering Skills On The Ice

By: Jim Leitner

Grant Standbrook sounds more like a martial arts instructor than one of the most successful assistant coaches and recruiters in the history of NCAA Division I hockey.

In addition to a masterful command of teaching the fundamentals of the game, the 74-year-old believes in helping hockey players develop skills between their ears. That explains why, even though he retired from the University of Maine in 2008, impressionable youngsters still hang on his every word.

“If you’re walking down an alley and you’re accosted by two thugs, your natural tendency is to tighten up all your muscles and hold your breath, and that’s the last thing you want to do,” said Standbrook, who won three NCAA championships at the University of Wisconsin and two more at Maine.

“You want to be relaxed, you want to be calm and you want to be breathing properly so you can think clearly and handle the situation.”

The same principles apply to hockey. Late in a close game, the star player tends to receive added attention in the way of cheap shots and verbal taunts in an attempt to throw him off his game.

“It’s natural to want to drill the guy back,” Standbrook said. “But you have to know the situation and what they’re trying to do. You have to be able to keep your composure to help your team finish the game.”

According to Standbrook, great athletes seem to have an innate ability to be relaxed and comfortable in pressure situations. But over the years, he has found that these are skills that can be learned, with the right coaching.

Standbrook developed an appreciation for improving his players’ mental side of the game while at Dartmouth College in the early 1970s and applied that knowledge to two U.S. National Teams and the 1976 Olympic squad. In the rough-and-tumble world of hockey, he introduced to his players the benefits of yoga, proper breathing techniques, meditation and visualization.

One of his protégés, Jim Montgomery, applied many of those techniques during an all-American career at Maine and a 12-year run in pro hockey. The captain of the 1993 National Championship team and the Black Bears’ all-time leading scorer, Montgomery hired Standbrook as a part-time consultant when he became the head coach and general manager of the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints in 2010.

“I did a lot of those [mental] exercises when I was down with injuries, because they kept me mentally sharp and gave me a chance to visualize game situations and being successful in them,” said Montgomery, who led Dubuque to the Clark Cup in his first season.

“You have to understand how to focus and prepare for games to have success, and that’s one of the big reasons I brought in Grant to work with our players.

“If everyone has the same physical skills and the same level of teamwork, what separates the performance is the mental toughness of the athletes involved. – Dr. Patrick Cohn, the president and founder of Peak Performance Sports in Orlando, Fla.

“It’s important to visualize situations before you’ve actually experienced them. Then, when you’re on the ice, those situations feel more natural.”

Dr. Patrick Cohn, the president and founder of Peak Performance Sports in Orlando, Fla., empowers athletes in all sports with mental toughness by helping them discover confidence, composure and focus through powerful mental skill games.

“The mental side of the game is everything,” Cohn said. “If everyone has the same physical skills and the same level of teamwork, what separates the performance is the mental toughness of the athletes involved. By improving the mental game – regardless of whether the athlete has internal or external challenges to overcome – you can perform at your peak more consistently.”

He agreed with Standbrook that mental toughness can be a developed skill.

“It’s like your stickhandling. You always want to learn something new or try a new strategy to take your stickhandling to the next level,” Cohn said. “The same applies to the mental game. You always want to learn new things to improve your mental game.”

Cohn teaches athletes to refocus when they’re distracted and feel confident despite mistakes or setbacks. The key comes in trusting the skills an athlete has developed through years of practice and repetition.

More importantly, athletes must overcome the challenges that suppress mental toughness. High expectations and fear of failure can prohibit athletes from reaching their potential.

“Athletes always feel as though they have to perform perfectly all the time, so they bind themselves up or get frustrated easily when they’re not perfect,” Cohn said.

When he begins working with an athlete, Cohn asks him to let go of expectations that cause pressure. He then focuses on the process of taking one play or one shift at a time.

Confidence can become a controllable mindset if a player focuses on what gives him positive results, such as repetition in practice, good coaching or previous successes. Confidence killers – such as high expectations, self-doubt, negative mental images and comparisons to other players – must be minimized.

Cohn uses Wayne Gretzky, the NHL’s all-time leading scorer, as an example of how the proper mindset can influence a player’s career. Extraordinary cerebral skills enabled Gretzky to envision plays before they occurred.

It started with his pregame warm-up where the Great One would get himself in the right mindset. From there he would review his game plan and make adjustments.

“I would take a few moments in the locker room and visualize myself on the ice to help me avoid distractions and focus on my game plan,” Gretzky said.

Everything in hockey happens so quickly that players don’t have a lot of time to think. But that doesn’t mean they should ignore the mental side of the game.

“Because the game is so fast-paced, it’s more of a reaction sport, which is good, because athletes in sports like golf, baseball and tennis can bog themselves down and overthink things,” Cohn said.

“But, on the other hand, if you’re indecisive or second-guessing yourself for a split second, your opportunity may be gone. So, it’s critical that hockey players are decisive, confident and trust what they’re doing out there.”

 

Posted in Attitude, Mental Game, Tips

NHL Playoffs 2016: Where players and coaches got their start in NCAA hockey

Courtney Martinez | NCAA.com

The NHL Playoffs begin on this year with the Stanley Cup on the line and the rosters are chock-full of players that made their way up from the ranks of NCAA hockey.

Out of the 60 teams in Division I, 36 different programs have combined for 121 players on current 16 NHL playoff rosters. Minnesota leads all teams with 11 former players while recent champion North Dakota and Wisconsin tie for second with nine each.

As far as which professional franchise has the most former players, the Pittsburgh Penguins have 15 players on their roster while Minnesota Wild have 14, including five that also played college hockey in The Land of 10,000 Lakes. The Eastern Conference outnumbers the Western Conference by 11 players..

2009 Boston University championship team

Greg Fiume | NCAA Photos

2009 Boston University championship team

The most members from a NCAA championship team goes to the 2009 Boston Terriers, represented by Nashville’s Colin Wilson, Islanders’ Brian Strait, Pittsburgh’s Nick Bonino, San Jose’s Kevin Shattenkirk. Fellow Beanpot member Boston College has three with its 2012 national championship team (Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider for Rangers, Brian Dumoulin for Penguins).

A total of 18 players won a national championship during their time in the NCAA, with Paul Martin and Matt Carle the only two to win a pair of NCAA titles. Martin won back-to-back national titles with the 2002 and 2003 Minnesota team and Carle followed the feat with the 2004 and 2005 Denver teams.

The NHL playoffs aren’t just limited to the players on the roster, but the team’s head coaches as well who either played or coached in the NCAA.

Flyers and former UND head coach Dake Hakstol

North Dakota Athletics
Flyers and former UND head coach Dake Hakstol

Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill was at the helm of Western Michigan’s program for just one season, but earned several coach of the year honors with the Broncos. Mike Sullivan, who took over as Pittsburgh head coach in December, spent four seasons at Boston University from 1986-90 before a successful 11-year playing career in the NHL. NY Islanders’ head coach Jack Caupano remains the highest-scoring defenseman for the University of Maine.

Phildelphia Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol, who has reached the playoffs in his first season, played and coach at North Dakota. Hakstol attended UND from 1989-92 and made seven Frozen Four appearances in 11 seasons as head coach with a 289-141-43 record.

Here is the full breakdown of players by college, NHL team and years played based on College Hockey Inc databases.

*Editor’s Note: Rosters and figures are current at time of publication.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 8.48.13 PM

Player College Yrs NHL
Jay Beagle Alaska-Anchorage 2 Washington Capitals
Colton Parakyo Alaska-Fairbanks 3 St. Louis Blues
Matt Read Bemidji 4 Philadelphia Flyers
Patrick Eaves Boston College 3 Dallas Stars
Michael Matheson Boston College 3 Florida Panthers
Rob Scuderi Boston College 4 Los Angeles Kings
Chris Kreider Boston College 3 N.Y. Rangers
Kevin Hayes Boston College 4 N.Y. Rangers
Brian Dumoulin Boston College 3 Pittsburgh Penguins
Brian Boyle Boston College 4 Tampa Bay Lightning
Brooks Orpik Boston College 3 Washington Capitals
Charlie Coyle Boston Univ. 2 Minnesota Wild
Colin Wilson Boston Univ. 2 Nashville Predators
Brian Strait Boston Univ. 3 N.Y. Islanders
Nick Bonino Boston Univ. 3 Pittsburgh Penguins
Matt Nieto Boston Univ. 3 San Jose Sharks
Kevin Shattenkirk Boston Univ. 3 St. Louis Blues
Kevin Bieksa Bowling Green State 4 Anaheim Ducks
Ryan Garbutt Brown 4 Anaheim Ducks
Nate Prosser Colorado College 4 Minnesota Wild
Jaden Schwartz Colorado College 2 St. Louis Blues
Willie Mitchell Clarkson 2 Florida Panthers
Chris Wagner Colgate 2 Anaheim Ducks
David Jones Dartmouth 3 Minnesota Wild
Tanner Glass Dartmouth 4 N.Y. Rangers
Ben Lovejoy Dartmouth 4 Pittsburgh Penguins
Nick Shore Denver 3 Los Angeles Kings
Jason Zucker Denver 2 Minnesota Wild
Beau Bennett Denver 2 Pittsburgh Penguins
Paul Stastny Denver 2 St. Louis Blues
Matt Carle Denver 2 Tampa Bay Lightning
Chris Kunitz Ferris St. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins
Dominic Moore Harvard 4 N.Y. Rangers
Alex Killorn Harvard 4 Tampa Bay Lightning
Scott Darling Maine 2 Chicago Blackhawks
Jimmy Howard Maine 3 Detroit Red Wings
Gustav Nyquist Maine 3 Detroit Red Wings
Teddy Purcell Maine 1 Florida Panthers
Ben Bishop Maine 3 Tampa Bay Lightning
Reilly Smith Miami (Ohio) 3 Florida Panthers
Alec Martinez Miami (Ohio) 3 Los Angeles Kings
Dan Boyle Miami (Ohio) 4 N.Y. Rangers
Jeff Zatkoff Miami (Ohio) 3 Pittsburgh Penguins
Tommy Wingels Miami (Ohio) 3 San Jose Sharks
Andrew Cogliano Michigan 2 Anaheim Ducks
Dylan Larkin Michigan 1 Detroit Red Wings
Luke Glendening Michigan 4 Detroit Red Wings
Al Montoya Michigan 3 Florida Panthers
Steve Kampfer Michigan 4 Florida Panthers
Eric Nystrom Michigan 4 Nashville Predators
Carl Hagelin Michigan 4 Pittsburgh Penguins
Kevin Porter Michigan 4 Pittsburgh Penguins
Shawn Horcoff Michigan State 4 Anaheim Ducks
Duncan Keith Michigan State 2 Chicago Blackhawks
Justin Abdelkader Michigan State 3 Detroit Red Wings
Drew Miller Michigan State 3 Detroit Red Wings
Alex Goligoski Minnesota 3 Dallas Stars
Nick Bjugstad Minnesota 3 Florida Panthers
Thomas Vanek Minnesota 2 Minnesota Wild
Jordan Schroeder Minnesota 2 Minnesota Wild
Erik Haula Minnesota 3 Minnesota Wild
Nick Leddy Minnesota 1 N.Y. Islanders
Kyle Okposo Minnesota 2 N.Y. Islanders
Brady Skjei Minnesota 3 N.Y. Rangers
Phil Kessel Minnesota 1 Pittsburgh Penguins
Paul Martin Minnesota 3 San Jose Sharks
Nate Schmidt Minnesota 3 Washington Capitals
Justin Fontaine Minnesota Duluth 4 Minnesota Wild
J.T. Brown Minnesota Duluth 2 Tampa Bay Lightning
Jason Garrison Minnesota Duluth 3 Tampa Bay Lightning
Matt Niskanen Minnesota Duluth 2 Washington Capitals
Ryan Carter Minnesota State 2 Minnesota Wild
David Backes Minnesota State 3 St. Louis Blues
Andrej Sustr Nebraska Omaha 3 Tampa Bay Lightning
Jonathan Toews North Dakota 2 Chicago Blackhawks
Rocco Grimaldi North Dakota 3 Florida Panthers
Matt Greene North Dakota 3 Los Angeles Kings
Zach Parise North Dakota 2 Minnesota Wild
Chris Porter North Dakota 4 Minnesota Wild
Brock Nelson North Dakota 2 N.Y. Islanders
Chris VandeVelde North Dakota 4 Phildelphia Flyers
Taylor Chorney North Dakota 3 Washington Capitals
TJ Oshie North Dakota 3 Washington Capitals
Stephen Johns Notre Dame 4 Dallas Stars
RIley Sheahan Notre Dame 3 Detroit Red Wings
Anders Lee Notre Dame 3 N.Y. Islanders
Ian Cole Notre Dame 3 Pittsburgh Penguins
Bryan Rust Notre Dame 4 Pittsburgh Penguins
Erik Condra Notre Dame 4 Tampa Bay Lightning
Mike Santorelli Northern Michigan 3 Anaheim Ducks
Josh Manson Northeastern 3 Anaheim Ducks
Jamie Oleksiak Northeastern 1 Dallas Stars
Anthony Bitetto Northeastern 2 Nashville Predators
Ryan Kesler Ohio State 1 Anaheim Ducks
Zac Dalpe Ohio State 2 Minnesota Wild
RJ Umberger Ohio State 3 Philadelphia Flyers
Matt Taormina Providence 4 Tampa Bay Lightning
Brandon Pirri RPI 1 Anaheim Ducks
Matt Cullen St. Cloud State 2 Pittsburgh Penguins
Jonathan Quick UMass 2 Los Angeles Kings
Conor Sheary UMass 4 Pittsburgh Penguins
Justin Braun UMass 4 San Jose Sharks
Christian Folin UMass-Lowell 2 Minnesota Wild
Carter Hutton UMass-Lowell 4 Nashville Predators
Scott Wilson UMass-Lowell 3 Pittsburgh Penguins
Trevor van Riemsdyk UNH 3 Chicago Blackhawks
Daniel Winnik UNH 3 Washington Capitals
Shayne Gostisbehere Union 3 Philadelphia Flyers
Patrick Sharp Vermont 2 Dallas Stars
Viktor Stalberg Vermont 3 N.Y. Rangers
Danny DeKeyser Western Michigan 3 Detroit Red Wings
Matt Tennyson Western Michigan 3 San Jose Sharks
Brendan Smith Wisconsin 3 Detroit Red Wings
Jamie McBain Wisconsin 3 Los Angeles Kings
Ryan Suter Wisconsin 1 Minnesota Wild
Craig Smith Wisconsin 2 Nashville Predators
Derek Stepan Wisconsin 2 N.Y. Rangers
Ryan McDonagh Wisconsin 3 N.Y. Rangers
Justin Schultz Wisconsin 3 Pittsburgh Penguins
Joe Pavelski Wisconsin 2 San Jose Sharks
Brian Elliott Wisconsin 4 St. Louis Blues

 

 

 

Posted in Academics, NCAA, NHL

After deep NCAA sanctions, Alaska ‘feels like it let down its current students’

 


By Dan Rubin • Atlantic Hockey Columnist •

The NCAA imposed penalties and sanctions on the Alaska athletic department on Wednesday as a result of a series of infractions first discovered by the Fairbanks school during the 2011-12 academic year.

The infractions impacted the men’s ice hockey program as well as eight of the school’s nine Division II sports from 2007 through 2011.

The NCAA found that six hockey players competed in games during the four-year span despite being academically ineligible. The athletes either had not declared a major or had not completed sufficient credits toward their degree program.

The NCAA further found that four athletes were ineligible because they enrolled in a pre-major program instead of a regularly enrolled degree program. These infractions started in 2008 and continued through 2012. (Read the full NCAA documentation here.)

The ruling summed that “all hockey contests from 2007 to 2011 included competition by ineligible student-athletes and more than 60 percent of the contests in 2011-2012 included competition by ineligible student-athletes.”

“These infractions were the result of university errors and were not due to any wrongdoing by student-athletes,” Alaska-Fairbanks Chancellor Brian Rogers said at a news conference Wednesday. “Our student-athletes are high academic achievers. They have integrity in their sport. I’m proud of our student-athletes.”

The infractions came to light as a result of the university misunderstanding an NCAA policy in 2011, school officials said.

The school self-reported the infractions to the governing body and imposed new methodology by which they would remain compliant. They also self-imposed sanctions, including scholarship reductions.

While hockey competes at the Division I level in the WCHA, the remainder of the school’s sports compete in the Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

“These infractions are the university’s responsibility,” Rogers said. “They are old news. We discovered and reported them first in 2011. It took three and a half years to conclude the NCAA process. It was not intentional. It was self-reported. There are new procedures [already in place]. This is all well-documented, and we took responsibility.”

“The penalties range from the university to the individual sports,” said athletic director Gary Gray, “and they include university sanctions that were already self-imposed.”

The sanctions include a three-year probation period, during which Alaska needs to devise a program designed to educate athletes about eligibility and requirements. The school already fulfilled that request, having created an athletics academic advisor position before the NCAA handed down its sanctions.

“[The program] has been in place for some time,” said Gray. “We will continue to educate everyone, and we have a great process in place. We have monthly meetings with the registrar’s office and advisers, and I would hold [our process] up as a model.”

Per the university’s athletic website, that advisor position is filled by Andrea Schmidt, who is responsible for “overseeing the academic advising of Nanook student-athletes, including major and minor exploration, career goals, course registration, compliance, and eligibility related to Progress-Toward-Degree requirements.”

As a result of the findings, the hockey team lost one scholarship per year for three years (down from 18 scholarships to 17). It did receive credit for two years of self-imposed sanctions leading up to the governing body’s decision, meaning that punishment will last only one year.

The team also must vacate all wins, points and individual statistics for games during the impacted period.

That means the Nanooks’ 2010 appearance in the NCAA tournament will be wiped away, as well as two Governor’s Cup wins over Alaska-Anchorage. Coach Dallas Ferguson, who had 103 wins after last weekend and was within two wins of the all-time program record, instead lost 63 victories.

Ferguson could not be reached for comment.

The team also is ineligible for postseason play for this season. While it can win the WCHA’s regular season championship, the NCAA sanctions being honored by the league means the Nanooks will be unable to play beyond the regular season.

If the Nanooks finish in one of the WCHA’s eight playoff-qualifying positions in the standings, the teams below them will move up a spot so the ninth-place team is the last team to make the postseason. If the Nanooks finish in the top four, the fifth-place team will gain a home series where it ordinarily would be on the road.

All of Alaska’s regular season games count toward the league standings and in Ratings Percentage Index and PairWise Rankings calculations.

The WCHA affirmed its support for Alaska while also affirming the NCAA decision.

“[The league] has to be prepared for anything that might come down the line,” said Matt Hodson, the WCHA’s assistant commissioner for public relations. “That includes anything that’s celebratory and those unfortunate times when things aren’t so celebratory. We were alerted [Wednesday] as to the NCAA’s decision, and we’re going to respect that decision.”

The next step for the Nanooks is to identify the records, games, statistics and awards that will need to be vacated for the sports impacted by the 40 student-athletes (across nine sports) who were declared ineligible.

They will have 45 days to identify those records and report back to the NCAA, something that will fall under the umbrella of the new positions and processes created by the institution.

“Both the chancellor and the athletic director are proud of the new model in place,” said Drew Desrosiers, Alaska’s assistant AD for athletic communications. “The university has already completed some of the steps required by the NCAA, and there are monthly meetings already in place to ensure this never happens again. They see the current model as something that can be used for other institutions.

“That said, it doesn’t fix the past,” Desrosiers continued. “The school feels like it let down its current students. It takes full responsibility for what happened and what is happening. But we’re going to continue to grow, and while it’s unfortunate, we’ve taken strides toward some great progress.”

 

Posted in NCAA Eligibility

Prep schools battle to be the next big hockey factory

By: Ryan Kennedy, the Hockey News, on

 

St. Andrew's alum Warren Foegele (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

St. Andrew’s alum Warren Foegele (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

 

 

The first-ever National Independent School Invitational Championship is happening now, just north of Toronto. Hosted by St. Andrew’s College and Upper Canada College, the 10-team challenge brings together a lot of prep programs that are familiar with each other, but organizers hope this shindig will also increase the level of exposure these hockey teams receive.

While New England prep schools have long been known for hockey excellence, programs such as St. Andrew’s and Stanstead College in Quebec are just beginning to rise up. St. Andrew’s boasts Carolina Hurricanes third-rounder Warren Foegele as an alum, while Stanstead produced Calgary Flames first-rounder Mark Jankowski.

“The idea for us is to have a place for student-athletes to achieve both their hockey and academic goals under one roof,” said St. Andrew’s coach David Manning. “And not have to sacrifice on either.”

Naturally, the gold standard for schools such as these is Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Minnesota, an institution with one of the most impressive alumni lists anywhere in the hockey world.

“They’re a measuring stick for everybody,’ Manning said. “They’ve gained a lot of notoriety, obviously because of players like Crosby, Toews, Parise and Okposo. I wouldn’t say we want to be just like Shattuck’s, because their model may be a little different than ours, but we want to compete with them for sure. They’re the top of the pyramid.”

And it’s worth noting that when Manning’s Saints took on Shattuck’s a few weeks ago, his boys split a pair of games with the Sabres. This year’s main draw for St. Andrew’s is defenseman Austin Cho, a 2015 draft prospect committed to R.P.I. While he’s not slated to go as high as Foegele, scouts are still watching.

“He’s got good hockey sense and composure, doesn’t panic,” said Dan Marr, head of NHL Central Scouting. “He’s always on top of the play in the right position so that he’s not getting in trouble. And he’s got some prickliness.”

The key for Marr and like-minded talent hawks is seeing Cho and others in this tournament (Stanstead’s David Jankowski, Mark’s little brother, is the other big name) in the right situations. Though St. Andrew’s has played Shattuck’s and other name prep teams such as Culver Military Academy (2015 prospect Karch Bachman) and the Dexter School (Boston Bruins pick Ryan Donato), there is a lot more variance in the competition than there would be in say, the Ontario League or United States League. So how do they evaluate players such as Cho and Jankowski?

“You learn how to take the parts of the player’s game that you can apply for comparison purposes and take the elements of the level of competition and remove that from the equation,” Marr said. “It’s not an exact science but over time scouts have their own ways of evaluating that.”

Marr chose to watch Cho and the Saints play Ridley College at this tourney, for example, because he knows the Tigers play a physical, competitive style.

For Cho, the decision to come to St. Andrew’s was about getting an education while playing hockey, something he will continue to do at R.P.I. Though he’s already pretty solid at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, the blueliner wants to get stronger and St. Andrew’s employs a full-time trainer and plenty of gym time. Plus, there’s the unique aspect of boarding at the institution.

“It’s really cool,” Cho said. “You get really close to the guys you’re playing with and it’s a whole community. It’s good for bonding.”

A puck-moving blueliner who is also solid in his own zone, Cho is a Drew Doughty fan and he can certainly jump into the play in a way that the L.A. Kings star would appreciate. But he’s also a heady player.

The hope at St. Andrew’s, of course, is that next year’s Saints will also have someone on the NHL radar like Cho. Foegele put the program on the map last year and his coach could not have been prouder of how the current University of New Hampshire Wildcat handled himself.

“He worked for it and he handled the microscope very well all season,” Manning said. “When NHL teams came to watch us, they came to watch him.”

While Foegele went straight from the draft to UNH, Cho will most likely play another season elsewhere before he heads to R.P.I. Cedar Rapids owns his USHL rights, or he could stay at St. Andrew’s. Either way, he’s excited to play for the NCAA’s Engineers in the future.

“It was kinda like here,” he said. “The coaching staff impressed me, the facilities were nice and everything just fit. I watched a game and loved their style of game.”

If an NHL team loves his style – and half a dozen have already come calling – he may just hear his name called in Florida this summer. And even if he doesn’t, he’s still well on his way to a college hockey career. Some of his teammates with the Saints will join him on that circuit, but as Manning points out, the worst-case scenario is that his charges get an education at one of the best independent schools in the country.

And there’s no downside to that.

 

Road to the Pros: NCAA hockey, a rising trend

Patrick Iradukunda/The Dartmouth Staff    B

Patrick Iradukunda/The Dartmouth Staff

When you walk into Thompson Arena, the features you are most likely to notice are the larger-than- life portraits that line the rink’s walls depicting Dartmouth graduates who have gone on to careers in professional hockey. Undeniably, the College has a strong presence in the NHL.

In this year’s playoffs, three former Big Green standouts competed in the annual quest for the Stanley Cup. David Jones ’08 and the Minnesota Wild fell to the Dallas Stars in six games in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. While former teammate Ben Lovejoy ’06 and the Pittsburgh Penguins knocked out Tanner Glass ’07 and the New York Rangers in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Lee Stempniak ’05 and the Boston Bruins fell just short of garnering the eighth and final seed in the East. On top of those four players, Bill Daly ’86 serves as Deputy Commissioner of the NHL, second in command to Gary Bettman.

Across the board, more former college hockey players are playing in the NHL than ever. According to collegehockeyinc.com, 36 percent of NHL debuts over the last seven years are former college hockey players. College players are not just playing in the NHL, but excelling in it. Among those stars are Duncan Keith from Michigan State University and Jonathan Toews from the University of North Dakota of the Chicago Blackhawks, Joe Pavelski from the University of Wisconsin of the San Jose Sharks and T.J. Oshie from the University of North Dakota of the Washington Capitals. This year’s class of NHL rookies features three future superstars in Jack Eichel from Boston University, Shayne Gostisbehere from Union College and Dylan Larkin from the University of Michigan who have pundits believing that the rise of college hockey is not temporary.

Dartmouth men’s hockey coach Bob Gaudet ’81 credits the NHL for developing the game, making it a more popular sport nationwide and enticing some of the best young American athletes into the game.

“The NHL has done a really good job of expanding hockey, so kids are playing really all over the country now,” he said. “The NHL has teams in California and Florida along with the traditional areas. I honestly think that hockey in the United States is getting really high caliber athletes to play. Kids that are really good athletes are playing hockey and spreading the word about the game and the energy and the excitement of the game.”

To Gaudet’s point, the 2016 NHL playoffs featured three teams from California, two from Florida, one from Tennessee and one from Texas. In the upcoming NHL draft, the consensus number one overall pick is Auston Matthews, a center who was born in San Francisco and grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona. Clearly, hockey is taking roots in regions where previously it was either absent or irrelevant.

A frequent reason young hockey players opt for the more traditional junior path as opposed to collegiate hockey is the lengthy schedule major junior teams play, more closely replicating an NHL schedule.

As Eric Robinson ’14, currently playing for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the East Coast Hockey League, an affiliate of the Nashville Predators of the NHL and Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League, points out, the number of games in the season is the only major discrepancy between junior and college players.

“They play over two times as many as we do. You can’t go out and watch a practice not knowing who’s who and point out which guy is a college guy and which guy is a junior guy,” Robinson said.

While many experts have previously pointed to the difference in schedule as a disadvantage of college hockey, Gaudet argues that fewer games can actually be beneficial to his players. He said that the team usually plays 34 games, depending on how playoffs go. Junior players play almost double that.

“So the amount of practice time you have to hone your abilities is a lot less,” he said. “A lot of your practice is just maintenance type things because you’re getting ready to play again. With us, there’s real development. We’ll do skill work. We’ll have weight training that will be meaningful with a high-caliber strength and conditioning coach. The NCAA and Division I hockey is a great development model.”

Now more than ever, Gaudet thinks that the speed of the NHL game requires players to be in elite shape through exceptional development.

“I see the game as being better now than it was a couple years ago at the pro level,” he said. “The speed, the creativity, for a little bit it was getting bogged down with so much shot blocking, and there’s quite a bit of that now, but the skill level, the creativity, and the speed of the game right now is just fabulous. Enhancements in coaching and training has really improved the game. Our kids are practicing more than they’re playing, and that’s a really good developmental model. We [are around] a 3-to-1 practices to games ratio, so our kids are working on skills, conditioning and injury prevention through stretching and nutrition. The speed of the game is increasing, and our kids have been able to keep up with that.”

Both Tyler Sikura ’15 of the AHL’s Portland Pirates and Robinson agreed that the NCAA offers young hockey players a unique opportunity for development.

“The great thing about college is you have four years to improve yourself,” Robinson said. “Whether or not Philadelphia or anyone else knew that Shayne Gostisbehere was going to be quarterbacking the Flyers’ power play in the playoffs, he did his time in college and proved himself there, and he definitely deserves to be where he is. My time at Dartmouth definitely developed me for the pro game.”

Sikura points out that some players may be naturally predisposed to not showing their potential until later in their careers.

“There’s a lot of late bloomers coming out of college after having gotten a couple of more years to develop,” he said. “College really prepares you for the pro game in terms of being a well-rounded person and in terms of time management and being away from home.”

Gaudet contends that the players at Dartmouth who have gone on to NHL careers have been his hardest workers, and most willing to take advantage of the developmental opportunities at the College.

“[They] are the hardest working, most dedicated guys on our team because they’re trying to get every ounce of ability out of them,” Gaudet said. “They tend to be really good students because I think comprehensive excellence is a really big thing. You can’t be great in one thing and really poor in something else. If you’re diligent and detail oriented, you typically are across the board.”

Gaudet said Lee Stempniak, a player who has been in the professional circuit for about a decade, still comes back to talk to the Big Green’s strength coach.

“He still comes back to get better,” Gaudet said. “That’s why he is who he is. It’s quite a passion and quite a commitment to play at that level.”

He went on to use Stempniak as a specific example of the hard work necessary to make it from college to the NHL. He noted that Stempniak was one of his first players to be interested in yoga.

“He was a very bright kid and was interested in the kind of flexibility to get a half or a quarter step quicker in his stride. I thought it was really interesting, and it’s something we’ve incorporated. The roots of that were with Stempniak who wanted to branch out and be the best he possibly could be,” Gaudet said.

While Gaudet takes pride in his program’s NHL pedigree, he is quick to emphasize that NHL success is not the program’s primary objective.

“The number one thing is that kids are coming here to get an education,” Gaudet said.

He knows from his own experience that many professional careers will be over before they ever gain traction. Gaudet was offered a contract from the Quebec Nordiques, an NHL team at the time. After going back to school, Gaudet said he signed with the Winnipeg Jets as a free agent.

“I know very well that the game ends,” Gaudet said. “I wasn’t in the right place at the right time, which is really a key factor, or potentially, I wasn’t good enough. What I had was the opportunity to get a world class education and have the chance to be a pro. I never played in the NHL, but I was given a chance. The point is that the game ends — sometimes it ends early on in careers and sometimes guys play longer — but to have the opportunity to go to college and have a passion like hockey is a great thing.”

Robinson keeps this mentality in mind as he continues to pursue his own NHL dreams.

“For now, I hope [hockey is my career],” he said. “If I keep getting injured, maybe not. When athletes choose to play their sport at a school like Dartmouth, typically they realize that the sport is not going to last forever. I realized that before I got here, and I still do, but I love hockey, I’ve loved hockey since I was five years old. I want to make a career out of it until my body [gives out] or an organization doesn’t want to employ me. I will work to make that goal, but I’m pretty realistic and the fact that I have a degree from Dartmouth makes it so that there’s no pressure on me to play longer than I really should be.”

Robinson and Sikura are among several former players from the Big Green who have signed Amateur Try Out contracts. These contracts allow players who have finished their collegiate or junior seasons to transition into the NHL, AHL or ECHL. More recently, James Kruger ’16 signed an ATO with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays, an affiliate of the Capitals.

As more Dartmouth players attempt to take advantage of the growing sport of college hockey, Gaudet emphasizes that his players have a unique opportunity to play elite hockey and receive an elite education. Gaudet said the team opens against the University of Michigan on Oct. 29 at home. The team plays and hosts nationally ranked talent such as the Wolverines, the Boston College Eagles, the Boston University Terriers, the University of Denver Boones and the Quinnipiac University Bobcats.

“We don’t need to take a back seat to anybody,” Gaudet said. “We’re playing one of the top schedules in the country. Our guys have the opportunity to play and aspire to be the best. We haven’t done that yet, but we’re challenging our guys with the best competition, with the highest level of hockey in the country at the college level. It’s a great level of hockey on top of a world class education.”

 

Posted in Academics, NCAA, NHL, Options

A Solid Program To Get You Solid For Hockey!

For hockey performance, it is most important to build strength and flexibility in the ‘speed center.’ Here we will share a training program that will surely get you back in shape for Hockey. Check it out!

As they watch the Stanley Cup finals, this is the time of year where many young hockey players begin to dream of next season. In North America, most players are on the ice year round, with only small breaks between winter hockey and summer hockey. And even if a player does not commit to a summer team, almost all players are back on the ice by mid-August.

With these timelines in mind, CB ATHLETICS has developed an 8-week preparatory program for hockey.

Eight Week Program.


Strength Training From The Coaches

Coach Peter Twist:

Strength and Conditioning Coach Peter Twist of the Vancouver Canucks says, “For hockey performance, it is most important to build strength and flexibility in the ‘speed center.’ This includes the abdominals, low back, hip flexors, hip extensors, adductors, abductors and glutes.”1

Coach Randy Lee:

Strength and Conditioning Coach Randy Lee of the Ottawa Senators adds, “Train for athleticism and a strong core. We use lots of single leg exercises, even doing dumbbell rows on a single leg. We also use the stability ball for some exercises. We do this all year round and really see the benefits, even during the season.

“These exercises even benefit the guys that are already strong in traditional exercises. Single-leg exercises make players much more stable on the ice and help the players from getting knocked off the puck.” When it comes to strength training, experienced coaches have many valuable tips.

Charles Poliquin:

Charles Poliquin recommends the use of the step-up over the use of the squat in development of skating power.1 While it is great for all of these muscles to be strong, it is also important for the player to be able to move explosively.

Coach Mike Gough:

Coach Mike Gough offers an intensive and comprehensive hockey (and football!) preparation program each summer in Ottawa, Ontario. When asked to summarize his training philosophy, Mike said, “Hockey demands high levels of speed, power, agility and anaerobic fitness.

“A comprehensive strength-training program is the foundation of a hockey specific conditioning program. But even more important are the Speed, Agility, Plyometric and Anaerobic training which is what makes the difference with elevating on-ice performance. I feel that this type of training takes my athletes to the next level.”

Increases in speed, footspeed, power and lactic acid tolerance are the keys to elevating an athlete’s hockey performance. I suggest 3 intense speed-agility-plyometric sessions per week complemented with three to four strength training sessions per week.

As the season draws near, I usually lighten up on the volume (reducing it to only 2 strength sessions) as the athletes are conditioning on-ice as well.” You can learn more about Coach Gough’s program and experience at www.optperformance.com and www.cbathletics.com.

Many players may ask why the emphasis is not on bench presses and leg extensions? Coach Gough explains the value of more important explosive training, “Train at high speeds.

Do every speed, agility and plyometric drill as fast and as explosive as possible. Constantly change exercises or drills to challenge the body, increase the difficulty, and add stability and balance into drills. Remember we must not only train the muscles but also the brain!”

Becoming Informed:

It is very different to prescribe a “one size fits all” program over the Internet. As a player, it is your best bet to become informed and to identify your priorities over the off-season. What is holding you back from being the best player you can be? If it is on-ice quickness, then focus on developing explosiveness outside of the weight room.

If you simply need to gain muscle, then you may want to include up to 4 weight workouts per week, plus a major overhaul on the nutrition program to make sure you are eating properly. The MASSIVE ACTION program has all the details for that.

The CB ATHLETICS hockey program and MASSIVE ACTION manual are not restricted to hockey players, as both will benefit all athletes in power sports. The speed-agility-conditioning sessions are also excellent for all athletes.

Strength Training Summary:

  • ou don’t need to spend 5 days a week in the gym following a bodybuilding program. The CB ATHLETICS program recommends strength training only 2 days per week for most athletes, with the option of up to 4 workouts per week.
  • Focus on leg strength. Pro hockey players have strong and massive legs that enable fast skating, puck control, balance and injury prevention.
  • Leg exercises should be modified to address the groin. Sport-specific training decreases early season injuries.
  • Some exercises should be modified so that they are performed in a single-leg stance to help improve balance, as recommended by Randy Lee.
  • No direct lat work is necessary, just upper back work. Emphasize rowing movements.
  • Abdominal work can be done for strength and explosiveness (using medicine ball drills – wait for an upcoming newsletter that will describe a wide variety of drills).

References

  1. Journal of Hockey Conditioning and Player Development. 2(2): 6-9, 1997.


56 Days Till Camp:
Sample 8-Week Strength & Speed Program.

With the belief that many players will be back on the ice as early as mid-August or early September, the following 8-week program arrives just in time to help them develop the strength and speed necessary to make next season their best ever.

The 8-week program will follow a 7-day training schedule, outlined below. However, the program will change quite dramatically over time as strength is developed and explosiveness and agility become the training goal.

  • Day 1 – Speed-agility-conditioning
  • Day 2 – Upper-Body Strength Training – Conditioning Intervals
  • Day 3 – Active Rest
  • Day 4 – Speed-agility
  • Day 5 – Lower-Body Strength Training
  • Day 6 – Speed-agility-conditioning
  • Day 7 – Active Rest

According to Dr. Duncan MacDougall, professor emeritus of McMaster University, hockey players need to begin training in the pre-season for oxygen extraction and muscle strength.

As the pre-season approaches, interval training should become more intense and muscle power should be the focus of training.

Preferably, more than 8 weeks is scheduled for training, but unfortunately, many players take a long rest between their last playoff game and their first off-season workout.

Whatever your current fitness, don’t get caught up in the trap thinking more is better.

According to neuromuscular physiology expert Dr. Digby Sale, “It should be noted that many speed and power athletes are probably doing too much, especially low intensity, high volume activity that may be used simply to kill time in a training session.” Don’t workout simply for the sake of training, workout with a plan!


Week 1-3:

Start smart. If you haven’t trained in 2 weeks, you are going to be sore if you jump right back into a full workout. If this is the case for you, perform half the volume listed in your first week. CB ATHLETICS also has valuable advanced recovery tips for all athletes in the archives thanks to Strength and Conditioning Coach Dr. Jonathon Fowles, Ph.D.

Dr. Fowles believes that athletes that don’t follow the advanced recovery tips “end up with dead legs in a week. This is one area of research that I am using to tailor into my advanced training area, to balance advanced training with advanced recovery.” Expect more exciting news on advanced recovery from Dr. Fowles and his lab at Acadia University in the future.

Day 1: Speed-Agility-Conditioning.

Follow the workout guideline found in ISSUE #74. Spend extra time in the warm-up, making sure to go through the circuit 3 times. Perform only 1 set of each plyometric drill in week 1 and add one set each week.

Pick 2 agility drills and do only 2-3 reps in week 1, adding a repetition each week. Next, grab your medicine ball and do 2-3 sets of lying abdominal tosses and standing rotational tosses. Finally, finish your workout with three sprint intervals of 30 seconds. Follow up with the advanced recovery techniques.

Day 2: Upper Body Strength Training.
(2-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions per set)

Conditioning Intervals:

      • The intervals on this day will be longer than on day 1. For a complete description, check out the “Sport-specific” interval newsletter.
      • Each interval should last 2-3 minutes and you should reach your maximum heart rate by the end of the interval. Each rest interval should be of equal length.
      • Begin with 3 intervals in week 1, and add 1 interval per week.
      • Follow up with advanced recovery techniques.

Day 3: Active Rest.

Day 4: Speed-agility.

Perform a similar routine to day 1. However, choose different drills for plyometrics, agility, and medicine ball work. There are no intervals on this day.

Day 5: Lower Body Strength Training (2-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions per set)

 

Day 6: Speed-Agility-Conditioning.

        Perform the workout as in day 1, but finish your workout with 5 intervals of 30 seconds. Follow-up with advanced recovery techniques.

Day 7: Active Rest.


Week 4-6: Training To Meet Your Individual Needs!

Researchers have looked at the relationship between different jumps and skating performance. The static squat jump had the greatest correlation to the near blue line time, suggesting that the squat jump provides a great estimate of starting strength. Chances are that if you improve your squat strength, you will also improve your skating start.

Depth jump performance had the greatest association with fast skating to the far blue line. This indicates higher intensity repeated jumps (i.e. sets of 6 squat jumps) may be more effective in helping skaters become faster over longer distances because the athlete will become better at using stored energy from the previous stride. You can see why all types of jump training are recommended for a successful overall program.

Depth Jump.

For strength workouts, athletes must choose their sets and reps to meet their goals. Players looking to put on mass will benefit from more volume (3-4 sets per exercise and 6-10 reps per set). They must also make sure to consume additional calories.

In contrast, athletes that simply want to increase maximal strength can use heavier weights and fewer reps per set (2-5 sets of 2-5 reps per exercise).

 

Day 1: Speed-Agility-Conditioning.

Adjust your workout to emphasize the jumps that will improve your performance the most. Choose 2-3 jumping drills and perform 3-5 sets of each. Once you notice your performance and technique dropping, move on to the next drill.

If agility is your weakness, place a greater emphasis on performing several different agility drills. Make sure to move with a bend in your knees and your head up, just as you will on the ice. Mike Gough uses the speed ladder to really help his guys with agility, “I feel that the Speed Ladder has a great transfer ability to on-ice movements.

“I think that it is especially great for defensemen doing patterns backward keeping their head up, just like they are challenged by a forward on-ice. Also they usually have slow feet so it’s great.”

For medicine ball work, there are numerous exercises you can choose from. If you need to concentrate on explosiveness, perform overhead throws with the ball, releasing it at the top of the movement. You can also carry the medicine ball through your agility drills to increase the difficulty. Finish off with a couple of medicine ball-based ab exercises.


Overhead Throw.

How is your conditioning? If you just can’t make it through a double-shift, keep pushing on the intervals. Add more intervals or increase the intensity and decrease the rest between intervals. You will definitely need to follow up with the advanced recovery techniques after these workouts.

 

Day 2: Upper Body Strength Training.

 

Conditioning Intervals:

        • Perform up to 6 sets of 2-minute intervals.
        • Follow up with advanced recovery techniques.

Day 3: Active Rest.

Day 4: Speed-Agility.

Day 5: Lower Body Strength Training.

 

Day 6: Speed-Agility-Conditioning.

In this workout, perform the warm-up, jumps, agilities and medicine ball work as you normally would. However, in place of the sprint intervals, you can try an alternative form of conditioning called sled pulling. You will need a 100-200 foot dragging space, a sled (toboggan, weighted tire, etc.), and some weights that you can throw on the sled.

Drag the sled for up to 6 intervals of 200 feet. Train with a partner so you rest while they pull. You can walk forward, backward and laterally. All of these movements will condition your legs in a manner you have not experienced before.

Alternatively, you may use wheelbarrow walks (push a loaded wheelbarrow). Also, you have no worries about looking a little out of place. After all, you’ll be dragging a sled in the middle of summer.

Does it work? Non-elite player Brad Pilon says it has helped him play the best hockey of his life. “I attribute it to the sled pulling, med balls and plyos.” Follow up with advanced recovery techniques and post-workout supplementation.

Sled Pulling.

 

Day 7: Active Rest – Well Deserved!


Week 7-8: Concentrate On Game Preparation.

Day 1: Speed-Agility-Conditioning.

Injuries occur when an athlete is not prepared for the specific task at hand. Groin-specific agilities and conditioning are important. Train to improve your weaknesses with the drills that you have found worked best in the previous weeks.

Day 2: Upper Body Strength Training
(3 sets of 5 repetitions)

 

Sprint Intervals

        • Perform up to 6 sets of 30-second intervals.
        • Follow up with advanced recovery techniques.

Day 3: Active Rest.

Day 4: Speed-Agility.

Day 5: Lower Body Strength Training
(3 sets of 5 repetitions)

 

Day 6: Speed-Agility-Conditioning.

      • Perform up to 6 sets of 45-second intervals with only 45 seconds of rest between work intervals.
      • Follow up with advanced recovery techniques.

Day 7: Active Rest.


Week 9:

Hit the ice in your best condition yet!

Posted in Training

9 of the Most Absurd NCAA Violations in Recent Memory

By Nick Greene

Image credit: Getty / Photoshop by Rebecca O’Connell

The NCAA has a lot of rules and, as a self-governing body, they rarely have anyone standing in the way when they want to add, remove, or alter these rules. Their list of guidelines and regulations is changing all the time, and this frequently results in violations by students, schools, or school employees that, when put in the context of how a modern society operates, look pretty darn ridiculous.

Because the NCAA heartily encourages and expects schools to self-report any violations, many schools follow compliance very seriously, either out of respect for the order of the law or, as is often the case, to highlight the association’s inane nitpicking.

Here are some recent examples of ridiculous rules violations—most self-reported—according to the guidelines of the NCAA (a non-profit organization that, thanks to a separate set of wacky rules, boasts an annual revenue nearing one billion dollars).

 

1, 2, and 3. Oklahoma Football Team Eats Too Much Pasta; Coach Commits An Illegal Butt-Dial; Soccer Recruit Uses WiFi

In 2013, the University of Oklahoma self-reported a long list of secondary violations committed by the athletic department over an 18-month span. Included in this was a shocking confession: Three players ate more pasta than they were allowed:

Violation: Three current student-athletes received food in excess of NCAA regulation at a graduation banquet. The three had graduated from the school but returned for an additional season of competition. The players were provided pasta in excess of the permissible amount allowed. Resolution: The three were required to donate $3.83 each (the cost of the pasta serving) to a charity of their choice in order to be reinstated. The department provided rules education to applicable athletics department staff members.

The NCAA said they didn’t make that rule or order the ensuing punishment, and insisted that these were both determined by the university. The Oklahoman pointed out, however, that the school had likely been responding to NCAA bylaw 16.11.1.10:

16.11.1.10 Incidental Benefits—Reasonable Refreshments. An institution may provide student-athletes with reasonable refreshments (e.g., soft drinks, snacks) for student-athlete educational and business meetings and, on an occasional basis, for celebratory events (e.g., birthdays). [R] (Adopted: 10/28/99)

Because the pasta constituted a full meal and not a snack, Oklahoma wanted to be extra-vigilant. In addition, the school reported an assistant coach’s accidental butt-dial of a recruit that resulted in the player being declared ineligible pending further review:

Violation: Assistant coach Bruce Kittle pocket-dialed a recruit a day after receiving a permissible text message from the recruit. Resolution: Football staff was prohibited from initiating phone calls or correspondence with the recruit involved for four weeks and the recruit was declared ineligible for competition at the school barring NCAA reinstatement (self-imposed).

Besides pasta eating and butt-dialing, a woman’s soccer recruit ran afoul of the rulebook when she charged her hotel’s daily wifi fee to the university’s tab:

Violation: A recruit, staying in the Embassy Suites on an official visit, ordered Internet service for $9.95. Assistant women’s coach Graeme Abel did not notice the additional expense on the bill. Resolution: The recruit was ruled ineligible for competition at the school until repayment for the bill is made to the charity of her choice. The coaching staff was provided detailed rules education regarding additional lodging expenses. The form given to recruits on official visits was modified to include mention of additional lodging expenses.

 

4. Oregon Baseball’s “Impermissible” Laser Tag

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Like Oklahoma, Oregon self-reported a long list of violations that would strike many as peculiar. Paramount among these: laser tag. The school treated the baseball team to a meal (one of 12 permitted during an academic year) and some mini golf and laser tag. Jody Sykes, Oregon’s chief compliance officer, reported the afternoon of laser-based fun, assuming the NCAA would consider it “impermissible entertainment.”

“There are some silly rules in there,” Sykes told The Oregonian, “but we are part of the NCAA and we have agreed to be a member and we are responsible for those rules.”

 

5. Geno Auriemma’s Illegal Phone Call To Congratulate Little League Pitcher Mo’ne Davis

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Mo’ne Davis was the feel-good sports story of the summer of 2014, but when UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma called the 13-year-old little leaguer and fellow Philadelphian to pass along his congratulations, the NCAA slapped him with a secondary recruiting violation. The bylaws state coaches aren’t allowed to call prospects until their junior year of high school—not even to say a quick, “Way to go.”

6, 7, and 8. Mississippi State’s Illegal Table, Recruiting Stickers, and Caps and Gowns

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The Mississippi State Bulldogs self-reported a list of 21 secondary violations during the 2013-’14 school year, including improper stickers and the use of an egregious table. For “Junior Day” invites to football recruits, the school applied stickers to the envelopes which is, according to the rulebook, a no-no. They also had a table in the locker room to hold equipment which, under the guidelines, constitutes a “special addition,” so they had to report it.

They school also confessed to activity that fell under “Extra benefits provided to student-athletes.” In their report, they listed the violation thusly: “Barnes and Noble bookstore did not charge student-athletes a late fee for their cap and gown rentals.”

 

9. South Carolina’s Improper Icing On Cookies

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From an AP report on South Carolina’s self-reported secondary violations to the NCAA, which were submitted in 2014:

Impermissible iced decorations on a cookie cakes given to prospects.

 

BONUS: Illegal Dunks By North Florida Basketball Players

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There’s a rule—specifically Section 4, Class B, Article 1e—in the NCAA Men’s Basketball rulebook stating that players can’t dunk during the last 20 minutes of pregame warmups. Should they violate this, the other team is rewarded two technical free throws at the start of the game. This is what happened when Tennessee Tech beat the University of North Florida in 2014, and North Florida had illegally dunked during pregame. Tennessee Tech hit their two freebies, and you can probably guess what the final score looked like:

Tennessee Tech 82
University of North Florida 80

 

Looking For Players – The Boston Chowder Cup

 

Want to go to Boston and compete in the Chowder Cup in July?

We have been asked by one of the team’s organizers for the names of some good players who would like to go and compete in this prestigious event. 

His team generally does very well at the event, and his players come from all over North America and Europe.

As part of the membership on this team, players will arrive a day early in Boston, and practice as a team, and enjoy a college visit and some other bonuses. It makes for a wonderful eye-opener for players contemplating playing college hockey….., not to mentions, it is a lot of fun.

He currently has a couple of forward and defence spots for both the Junior Chowder Cup  ( July 19-24) and Senior Chowder Cup (July 12-17)…. sorry no goaltending spots are available. Player birth years can be from are from 1996 to 2001. The event is well-known to attract prep schools, U-18, junior and college recruiters, and is one of the best in the country.

If you are a very good hockey player, and would like to attend, please send a message to info@hockeyfamilyadvisor.com and please put Chowder Cup in the subject line.