John Russo

Hockey player conduct/sportsmanship

 

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

Over the years, I have written about this subject a couple of times. I believe that how athletes conduct themselves and their sportsmanship are important, starting at the lowest levels. In fact, the “training” of players concerning sportsmanship has to start at the Mite/Squirt levels by the coaches – and, just as importantly, by parents. And it needs to continue on through youth hockey and high school.

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Goaltending troubleshooting at a glance

 

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

I ran this article in 2002-03, and it’s time for a “new generation” of goaltender coaches to see it. Goaltending is probably the most difficult position in hockey – and the most competitive. It truly takes exceptional talent, dedication, mental control and now size to progress as a goaltender.

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Our hockey icons are passing

 

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

When J.P. Parise died recently on a cold January day in Minnesota, it got me to thinking about our hockey icons in Minnesota. Like J.P., I didn’t grow up and play my youth hockey here. Actually, I played my youth hockey (no high school leagues) in Sault Ste. Marie and then at the University of Wisconsin. I have been here (almost) continually since 1982, however, and have a pretty good handle on the important hockey people in Minnesota.

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Three topics to think about

 

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

High School hockey in Minnesota and most other states is struggling to maintain itself. In Minnesota, high school has had the premier venue for hockey for 75-plus years; it is now under duress from a couple of different angles.

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Stay home for high school

 

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

I write a “you should stay in high school/don’t leave early” column pretty much every year because I believe that the benefits of leaving early (for 90-95 percent of the players considering it) are not substantial enough to warrant it. Also, the possible downside issues are numerous and highly likely.

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