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there would have been no chance to hold nationals

in Terraria Server 21.08.2020 04:30
von gdshutter • Holzfäller | 2 Beiträge

"With the season officially cancelled, the USHL recently awarded the Anderson Cup to the Chicago Steel. The Cup goes to the team with the most points and the Steel certainly earned it with a 41-7-1 record that included two 13-game win streaks and dominance over the scoring race: four of the top five producers came from the Steel, with only Dubuque’s Ty Jackson cracking the streak. At the time the season was called, the Steel were 15 points clear of Dubuque and Waterloo, who were tied for second.
“We came into the year expecting to be one of the top teams in the league and obviously had a good year,” said defenseman and 2021 NHL prospect Owen Power. “The team was dominant.”
So how did they do it? Talent, of course, but preparation helped as well. GM Ryan Hardy put together a rigorous program that called for a certain kind of dedicated player, then went out and got those kids. Whether it was through the draft (like Power and 2020 NHL draft prospect Sean Farrell) or trade (2020 draft prospect Brendan Brisson), Hardy gave coach Greg Moore the talent needed. When Moore was hired away by the AHL’s Toronto Marlies in December, Brock Sheahan stepped up behind the bench and continued the Steel’s successful run.
“It’s just the mindset every day of getting better,” Brisson said. “All the resources coming together really makes it easier to succeed as a player and a team. We take it really seriously here.”
Hardy’s stint with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program helped. The Chicago GM was the NTDP’s director of player personnel for three years, giving him a crash-course in running one of the top producers of NHL talent in the world.
“It helped me in so many ways,” Hardy said. “I was able to look at the setup they had there and also analyze the players; why some were successful and some weren’t. A lot of our cultural pieces came from there – there are probably games where we’re not at peak rest, but we’re not going to sacrifice a (gym) lift that would help the players long-term – that’s something we took from them.”
Surrounding his staff and players with experts also helps.
“We contract with a company for mindset resilience development,” Hardy said. “And we have an agreement with Darryl Belfry and Adam Nicholas from an on-ice development standpoint, so from a recruiting perspective, it certainly helps.”
Belfry is the skills guru whose clients have included Patrick Kane and John Tavares – he also works with the Maple Leafs during the season now. Nicholas is another top skating and skills coach renowned in the business.
Looking at the 2020 NHL draft, the Steel will be well-represented. Brisson is a potential first-rounder, while Sam Colangelo and Sean Farrell are top-100 prospects in their own rights. Fellow forward Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, who was passed over last year, will likely be taken too. But the party isn’t going to stop next year, as the Steel tendered one of the most exciting young prospects in the world, 2023 NHL draft prospect Adam Fantilli. The Toronto-born center will play at least 55 percent of Chicago’s games next year in exchange for the Steel coughing up their first-rounder in the next USHL draft.
With all the talent that has been coming through Chicago in the past couple years and all the preparation that went into making this year’s edition a force in the USHL, it’s no surprise top-end kids keep picking the Steel."
"Graeme Roustan: Today we have Pat Kelleher, the executive director of USA Hockey on with us today for Sports Illustrated and The Hockey News. How are you doing today?
Pat Kelleher: I’m doing all right, Graeme, thank you for having me.
GR: How are your employees and your staff doing during these times?
PK: I think the best part is we have a lot of people that work for USA Hockey that are truly deeply dedicated hockey professionals and passionate hockey people. So they are trying to grind their way through this. We have people in Michigan at our arena and the national team program. We have our national office in Colorado Springs. We have people that work remotely for us across the country regularly. So everyone is trying to stay engaged, connected and we’re trying to find ways to connect with one another and try and connect with our community. We’ve had our hockey department conduct Zoom meetings with coaches and hockey directors. We’re just trying to help people as best we can through this time by finding ways to talk about hockey, which is not easy right now. But our staff is committed, and we’re committed to our staff. We want to try and do a weekend to find our way through this challenging situation, or, as I’ve trademarked in our office this “fluid situation,” and make sure that when we do come back we can get back on the ice.
GR: Some states obviously are more affected right now than others, like the state of New York. Do you find that your team in New York is in need of more attention right now than other states?
PK: I don’t think we have one particular area where people are more in need. Where we are, we try and communicate with everybody and understand that everybody has different challenges. We have different volunteers throughout the U.S. that we do communicate with and some are in different situations for sure. We have coaches and people that participate in youth hockey out there that are frontline healthcare providers. We feel for those people and certainly appreciate all that they’re doing. We’re just trying to connect where we can with people in hockey and maybe give people a little break from some of the things they’re dealing with. Just to try and talk about hockey or engage in hockey in a different way. And I think that goes for kids that play, too. Kids are not in school, they’re not out with their friends. How can they be active at home and shooting pucks or stickhandling? I think that’s important, too.
GR: Has USA Hockey, essentially shut down your programs? When do you think they’ll be up and running again?
PK: Yeah, I wish I had the crystal ball to tell you when we’d be up and running again. That would be fantastic. I think it was back on March 11 when we made the really difficult decision at the time to cancel this year’s national championships. That was really the front end of when everything really picked up. And I remember speaking to Bill Daly from the NHL that day, and we both were like, “things seem to be going a lot faster right now.” And they did. Things happened really quickly. At the front end, it was really agonizing, because you didn’t know what we were going to be dealing with. Our national championships for youth hockey would have started on April 1, and it was March 11. When we made the decision, we had a long, long, difficult discussion and listened to every angle on what we should do and what we could do, but we went with what was the safest decision then, but not an easy decision, to cancel nationals at that time.
Obviously, three weeks later, there would have been no chance to hold nationals. One of the tougher parts is we are a membership organization for youth hockey. And we have kids and families that engage all year long in hockey and love and have a great experience. A select few and their teams are fortunate to qualify to play for a national championship at whatever age level – boys, girls, sled hockey, and all those things run through USA Hockey. To have to cancel that and not finish the season is really difficult. And frankly, it’s difficult for our volunteers and for our staff. I mean, people work for two years at a time to prepare to host a national championship. So that’s just agonizing. For the kids and the families and the coaches and the volunteers who put so much time into trying to get to that end-of-season tournament or national championship, no one wants to have the season finished without the chance to play it out at the end."


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