COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Hockey today announced its staff for the 2011 U.S. Men's National Select Team that will compete at the Deutschland Cup, Nov. 11-13, in Munich, Germany.
Jim Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations, will serve as general manager of the team, while Don Waddell, whose distinguished 25-year professional career has included stints as a head coach in both the National Hockey League and International Hockey League, has been named the head coach of Team USA.
Chris Chelios, advisor to hockey operations of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings, and Bill Guerin, player development coach of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, join Waddell as assistant coaches.
USA Hockey also announced the following support staff for the 2011 U.S. Men's Select Team: BobWebster, team leader; Scott Aldrich, equipment manager; Stan Wong, athletic trainer; Peewee Willmann, massage therapist; and Mike Shindle, team doctor.
NOTES: The Deutschland Cup has been held every year since 1987 and will feature Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland and the United States ... Team USA has participated in the Deutschland Cup on six different occasions (2002-05, 2007, 2009) ... The U.S. won the tournament in 2003 and 2004, garnered second-place finishes in 2007 and 2009 and finished third in 2005 ... The U.S. Men's National Team Advisory Group, comprised of Brian Burke, David Poile, Don Waddell, Ray Shero, Paul Holmgren, Dean Lombardi, and Dale Tallon, was formed in Feb. of 2007 and assists USA Hockey in the selection of staff and players for all U.S. Men's National Teams.
In his 12th year at USA Hockey and fifth as assistant executive director of hockey operations, Johannson is responsible for the day-to-day management and integration of all in-sport related initiatives.
A two-time Olympian as a player (1988, 1992), Johansson was part of the management team for the silver medal-winning 2010 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team in Vancouver, B.C. He served as the senior director of hockey operations for Team USA at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, and was the team leader of the silver medal-winning U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Johannson, who will serve as general manager of the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team, has worked with 11 previous U.S. National Junior Teams, including as general manager of the bronze medal-winning 2011 U.S. National Junior Team and the gold medal-winning 2010 U.S. National Junior Team.
Johannson, who played college hockey at the University of Wisconsin, spent five years as the general manager of the Twin Cities Vulcans, a Junior A team in the United States Hockey League. Under his guidance, the Vulcans captured the 2000 USA Hockey Junior A National Championship in Green Bay, Wis.
A former National Hockey League and International Hockey League head coach, Waddell took his first position behind the bench in 1988 following a lengthy professional playing career. After serving as a player-assistant coach for the IHL’s Flint Spirits during the 1987-88 season, he took over the reins as head coach for two seasons (1988-90) and led them to a playoff appearance his second campaign.
Waddell accepted the head coaching position with the IHL’s San Diego Gulls for the 1991-92 season, and led the club to a 45-28-0 record and a playoff appearance. He then moved to the administrative side of the game, and was named the IHL’s Executive of the Year in 1993 and 1996. Waddell eventually became an assistant general manager of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, and helped guide the club to its second straight Stanley Cup in 1998.
Beginning in 1998, Waddell became the general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers, a position he held until 2010 when he was named the team’s president. During that time, he served as head coach of the Thrashers for most of the 2007-08 season, leading the club to a 34-34-8 record.
A member of the U.S. Men's National Team Advisory Group since its inception in 2007, Waddell has played an instrumental role in the selection process of U.S. Men's National Teams that compete in the Olympic Winter Games and the International Ice Hockey Federations Men's World Championships. Additionally, Waddell served as the general manager of the 2006 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team that competed in Torino, Italy. He also served as the general manager of Team USA at three IIHF Men's World Championships (2001, 2002, 2005).
Chelios is in his second season as advisor to hockey operations of the Detroit Red Wings. He works closely with the Red Wings front office staff, as well as the team's coaching staff to provide insight on a wide range of on-ice issues.
Chelios, who will be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Dec. 12 in Chicago, played 26 seasons in the NHL for the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Atlanta Thrashers. Chelios won three Stanley Cups (1986, 2002, 2008) and three Norris Trophies (1989, 1993, 1996) and is the all-time leader in games played by a defenseman in NHL history (1,651).
Internationally, Chelios is one of only two male players to represent the United States at four Olympic Winter Games (1984, 1998, 2002, 2006) and captained his final three Olympic squads. He also helped the U.S. defeat Canada in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, one of 10 total times he represented the U.S. on the international stage.
Guerin is in his first season as player development coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins and works with young prospects throughout the Penguins organization.
A two-time Stanley Cup champion (1995, 2009), Guerin played 18 seasons in the NHL with eight different teams, scoring 429 goals and recording 856 points. Guerin posted two 40-goal seasons, scored 30 or more goals five times and 20 or more 13 times. The winger also played in four NHL All-Star games.
On the international stage, Guerin earned a silver medal with the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City and helped the United States capture the first-ever World Cup of Hockey crown in 1996. In all, Guerin represented the U.S. in seven international events.
For the last 15 years, Ian Walsh has crisscrossed the United States as an NHL official. In this Part 2 of our conversation with Walsh, the 42-year-old Philadelphia native fielded a series of questions discussing life on the road, his conditioning schedule, mentors, on-ice struggles, the evolution of the game and advice for aspiring officials.
USA Hockey: How do you think you've been able to maintain all of the officiating success you've had over the last 15 years?
Ian Walsh: I believe one of my strengths as an official is my work ethic. I come to the rink every night ready to work hard and give 100 percent. I also believe I am very coachable, and when I'm offered a suggestion for improvement, I try very hard to implement that advice into my game.
USAH: What is your conditioning schedule like during the NHL season? How about during the off-season?
Walsh: During the season, conditioning work is more about maintaining what you built up over the summer. The workouts aren't as intense but you must continue to take good care of your body. Game-day workouts usually include a 30-minute bike ride or a couple miles run at the hotel gym. I also like to do some core work and light strength training on top of that.
The weather in Portland is amazing in the summer, and I prefer to be outside and on my road bike. I usually get in about four days a week of riding outdoors to help build my endurance and strength. I try to play hockey a few days a week as well to help work on my skating.
USAH: When did you realize you finally had cemented your career as an official? What was that feeling like?
Walsh: I don't know if you ever get that feeling. Every night is a different challenge in our league. It is a hard, hard league to officiate. The scrutiny of every call, every goal, ever non-call is such a challenge for all of us. The best players and coaches in the world expect us to perform at such a high level every night, and we have to be ready for anything that comes our way. It’s a privilege to be on the ice in the NHL, and I think that is something no official takes for granted.
USAH: What has been your biggest accomplishment to date as an official?
Walsh: Being chosen to participate in four Stanley Cup playoffs is what I'm most proud of. It’s an incredible honor to be selected and that’s the goal for every official each year. Also, being part of the team that was chosen to represent the NHL at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics was a phenomenal experience and a great opportunity.
USAH: What has been the biggest hurdle/obstacle you've had to overcome in your officiating career?
Walsh: I’ve been lucky so far, knock on wood, that I haven’t had any serious injuries. Other than some bumps and bruises, I’ve been relatively injury-free in my career. The biggest challenge is to be able to bounce back from calls you made that aren't correct. In this day and age, we usually know within minutes after the game if we made a wrong decision. When you make a call that impacts the game, it’s hard on the mind. Unfortunately, we make mistakes and what most people don't understand is that nobody takes it harder than the official making that mistake. Being able to bounce back from a mistake is something all officials must learn to do.
USAH: Who has had the most impact on your officiating career over the past 15 years? What has that person or those people taught you?
Walsh: Nobody has helped me more over my NHL career than fellow referee Paul Devorski. I've worked a lot of games with Paul and we’ve had the opportunity to travel together on the road. As an elite, veteran referee, he has been able to pass down some of his knowledge to me to help me become a better official. Paul is retiring this year, and our staff will sorely miss him.
USAH: How has the game changed, besides speed, since you started in the early 2000s?
Walsh: I would say the biggest change besides the speed of the game would be the use of technology. It is amazing what you see at rink – teams have iPads on the bench, super slo-motion video replays, hi-def video scoreboards, etc. With all that technology, it makes the officials job appear easy. People forget that the official on the ice sees a play one time, in real time, and must make a split-second decision on that play. It often appears quite different when you see a replay in super slo-mo on hi-def after a game.
USAH: What advice can you give aspiring NHL/professional league officials as they progress in their career?
Walsh: I would say make sure you have a backup plan. Making it to the NHL is everyone’s goal, but there are very few jobs available. There are so many factors that go into hiring an official and a lot of those are out of your control. Go and work the highest level available to you. Don't worry about other officials, if you are good enough, the NHL will find you. Also, control what you can control – always work on your skating, know your rules and come to the rink every night with a strong work ethic and a great attitude.
Tag(s): Deutschland Cup