John Russo

Concern for hockey’s future – Part I

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

I think I’ve written about Mites in each of the past several years. The reason is that I have great concern for our great sport’s future in many areas – and I have some concern for how young players are developing. I want to comment about both. While this is mostly about Minnesota, it applies most everywhere.

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Coaching defensemen

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Most defensemen coaches are assistants at almost all levels.  While they may also be in charge of the penalty kill and/or some other aspect of the team strategy, their primary duties are working with and directing defensemen, including during games.

Consequently, there are several pretty specific and a few more general things that they must do to optimize the defense group.

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Offseason hockey training: Untangling the web

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Each year (for 25 years), I have had a guest writer for the “Coaches Corner” – to provide a new and fresh view from an outstanding young coach.

A Wayzata native, Judd Stevens starred at Wayzata High School where he earned All-Conference, All-Metro and All-State honors and was a 2001 Mr. Hockey finalist in his senior year. He went on to be a part of two national championships for the University of Minnesota, and was captain in 2004-05. He was Academic All-Big Ten and Academic All-WCHA in 2003-05, then went on to play pro hockey in Sweden.

Read more: Offseason hockey training: Untangling the web

Performance

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

I was most recently talking to a high school coach and mentioned that I want “performance” from my players – and if I got it I didn’t care if we won the game or not. The coach asked me to define “performance” and did I really think that was the only thing that mattered.My response went something like what I’ve written below.

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Hockey coaching should really be called hockey motivating

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Each year (for 25 years), I have had a guest writer for the “Coaches Corner” – to provide a new and fresh view from an outstanding young coach.

A Wayzata native, Judd Stevens starred at Wayzata High School where he earned All-Conference, All-Metro and All-State honors and was a 2001 Mr. Hockey finalist in his senior year. He went on to be a part of two national championships for the University of Minnesota, and was captain in 2004-05. He was Academic All-Big Ten and Academic All-WCHA in 2003-05, then went on to play pro hockey in Sweden.

Read more: Hockey coaching should really be called hockey motivating