Appreciating MIAC hockey

 

By Kevin Hartzell
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

I was lucky enough to get out and watch a bunch of hockey again this past week. Being home with no coaching duties has allowed me to sample a lot of hockey. And I find just about everything I see to be intriguing. I see players with confidence and players without. Teams who play well together, and teams that are not so good. It is a difficult game in so many ways and the skills needed to play a complete game are varied with few players possessing them all. It takes a unique blend of talent and a good coach to put it all together to be successful.

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Final thoughts on the NTDP

 

The four-year budget for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program is $13 million. Is there a better use for that money?

 

By Kevin Hartzell
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

I have received a good amount of feedback from hockey professionals in our Minnesota area on my questions asked of USA Hockey and its National Team Development Program (NTDP) and the answers provided by Jim Johannson. When I say hockey professionals, I am referring to coaches, player agents, scouts and so on. Not one, let me repeat, NOT ONE supports the idea of the NTDP.

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Tough (unanswered) questions for USA Hockey’s NTDP

An attempt to hold USA Hockey accountable for the over $3 million per year National Team Development Program

 

By Kevin Hartzell
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

As I travel about the arenas in Minnesota, I often get to hear what’s on the minds of many Minnesota hockey enthusiasts. This includes fans, coaches and scouts. One of the issues that is still hotly debated around our rinks is USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (NTDP). It is a program that is run under the USA Hockey umbrella for the development of some of our nation’s best 17- and 18-year-old male talent. The teams (an Under-17 team and an Under-18 team) are housed in Ann Arbor, Mich., where this young American talent is groomed for the elite stage. In most years, Minnesota loses a small handful of our elite high school players to the program.

Read more: Tough (unanswered) questions for USA Hockey’s NTDP

Follow-up thoughts on the NTDP questions

 

By Kevin Hartzell
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

This past week I went to see “American Sniper.” I recommend you go see it. It is the first time I have cried at a movie in a long time. On so many levels this movie affected me. The story of Chris Kyle, so well produced by Clint Eastwood, made me feel small, humble and unimportant … much in the same way a good church sermon does to me. Later in the week, Let’s Play Hockey published my questions to USA Hockey regarding the merits of the National Team Development Program (NTDP) (LPH, Jan. 22). Wow … the responses, and from far and wide. E-mails, texts, phone calls and the LPH office has reported to me the same level of response. The column and questions struck a nerve with many.

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Observations from a former coach

 

By Kevin Hartzell
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

I have to admit that I am now really starting to miss coaching. I know this because I am finding myself being more watchful, appreciating and even critical of the various hockey games I am watching. A few observations from the past couple of weeks include:

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