This week's cover: November 25, 2015

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On the Wooger, Hartzell, Herbie and youth hockey


By John Hamre
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

A couple of Saturdays ago I had breakfast with Doug Woog, a dear friend, foundational mentor of my coaching and one of the state of Minnesota’s great players and coaches. We talked about many topics.  He shared much about his family and his grandchildren who he and his wife Jan are busy and proudly following and supporting. He asked about my life since we had last spoken in the spring and summer. Typical of time spent with Doug, you always feel better about things after time speaking with him. The “Wooger” is a special person. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the impact he has made upon my life’s work and hope to continue paying his impact forward.

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Goalies and skaters should take turns


By Jeff Hall
Stauber’s Goalcrease Coaching Director

In the old days when hockey was an outdoor, semi-organized sport, teams did not have two goalies. They may not have even had one. So they took one of their best players and strapped some magazines around his legs for pads and gave him a first baseman’s mitt and catcher’s chest protector. That is the origin of the old saying, “The goalie should be best skater on the team.” It would have been a lousy strategy to put their worst athlete in the hardest position. What if we tried a similar approach today?

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An open letter to coaches: Positive coaches


By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist


The following letter went out to all of the Elite League (boys and girls) and Elite Development League coaches and assistants for the 2011 season. It was one of the items identified as a “focus” for that year’s play. As you all likely know, I feel the psychological portion of the game is as important as the physical, and in fact, often controls the physical aspects.

 It would be worthwhile for all associations and schools to hand the letter out to all of their coaches at all levels.

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In Gretzky’s office


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

For those of you who weren’t rabid hockey fans during the 1980s and 90s, “Gretzky’s office” refers to the area behind the net where Wayne used to set up a lot of his goals and assists. The area behind the net is a critical offensive tool that isn’t used nearly enough in girls’ hockey.

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