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2007 NHL Draft Fueled 2014 Olympic Team

06/26/2014, 1:15pm MDT
By Mark Burns, USA Hockey Magazine

It has been seven years since one of the most memorable NHL Drafts for American-born players took place in Columbus, Ohio.  Ten Americans were chosen in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, a record at that time.

Of the Americans picked early, five played in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia:

1.     Patrick Kane (1st overall, Chicago Blackhawks)

2.     James van Riemsdyk (2nd, Philadelphia Flyers)

3.     Ryan McDonagh (12th, Montreal Canadiens)

4.     Kevin Shattenkirk (14th, Colorado Avalanche)

5.     Max Pacioretty (22nd, Montreal Canadiens)

Since the 2007 NHL Draft, there has been only one draft (2010) that has seen more Americans selected in the opening round (11).

Patrick Kane


Kane

The Chicago Blackhawks drafting Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y.) with the No. 1 overall pick in 2007 marked the first time that American-born players were drafted in consecutive years at No. 1. In 2006, the St. Louis Blues picked Erik Johnson with the top selection. During his career, Kane has won two Stanley Cups (2010, 2013) along with a Conn Smythe Trophy for the most valuable player during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoff. A product of the U.S. National Team Development Program, Kane helped the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team earn a silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. At the 2014 Olympics, Kane tallied four assists in six games.

James van Riemsdyk


van Riemsdyk

The Philadelphia Flyers drafted James van Riemsdyk (Middleton, N.J.) with the second overall selection. It was the first time ever that two Americans were selected 1-2 at the NHL Draft. Van Riemsdyk played two years at the University of New Hampshire before heading to the Flyers’ affiliate in the AHL.  Since 2007, van Riemsdyk has moved on from Philadelphia to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He recently concluded his best professional season yet, eclipsing the 60-point plateau with 30 goals and 31 assists. At the 2014 Olympics, van Riemsdyk paced Team USA in scoring with a goal and six assists.

Ryan McDonagh


McDonagh

Midway through the first round, Ryan McDonagh (Saint Paul, Minn.) went to Montreal at No. 12. Two years later, the Canadiens traded McDonagh’s rights to the New York Rangers. After winning the 2007 Minnesota Mr. Hockey award at Cretin Derham Hall, McDonagh played three seasons with the University of Wisconsin. He has been a mainstay on the Rangers’ blue line the past three years, with 2013-14 being his breakout campaign as he tallied 14 goals and 29 assists during 77 games. It is no surprise then that McDonagh grabbed Rangers MVP honors at the conclusion of the regular season. At the 2014 Olympics, he contributed a goal and an assist and had a +1 rating.

Kevin Shattenkirk


Shattenkirk

Two spots later, the Colorado Avalanche selected Kevin Shattenkirk (Greenwich, Conn.) with the No. 14 overall pick. From 2005-07, Shattenkirk played in 101 games with the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based U.S. National Team Development Program. He then spent three years at Boston University, helping the Terriers win the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four championship. Like McDonagh, Shattenkirk has become a steady top-four NHL defenseman with the St. Louis Blues. This past season he notched 10 goals and 35 assists in 81 regular season contests. Shattenkirk notched three assists during the 2014 Olympics and earned a +3 rating.

Max Pacioretty


Pacioretty

Finally, the Montreal Canadiens selected Max Pacioretty (New Canaan, Conn.) at No. 22 in 2007. After one-years stints with the Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) and the University of Michigan, Pacioretty transitioned to the American Hockey League and the Hamilton Bulldogs. He has consistently played in the Montreal lineup the last three seasons. In 2013-14, Pacioretty scored a career-best 39 goals and dished out 21 assists. He signed a six-year extension with Montreal in 2012, which will keep him with the Canadiens through the 2018-19 year. Over five games during the 2014 Olympics Pacioretty tallied one assist.

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INTEGRITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN OFFICIATING

08/25/2015, 3:30pm MDT
By USA Hockey

No one has ever said that officiating, and especially officiating ice hockey, was easy. Rule knowledge, communication skills, fitness, skating and a natural presence are just some of the skills necessary to be a successful official.  Some possess more of these skills and those are the officials who advance to higher levels. But regardless of the level achieved or the skill set the official possesses, the one quality that should be equal among every official is a high level of integrity.

The national official staff members, along with our volunteer referees-in-chief and local supervisors, have heard growing concerns over a decreasing level of integrity among our youth hockey officials. It’s sometimes said that no one is holding them accountable. A portion of this perception is likely a typical “blame the officials” mentality, but some anecdotal evidence suggests there is also some merit to this concern. That’s alarming to USA Hockey, as it affects the credibility of our entire program, along with every member it represents. The blunt truth is this: even one official who isn’t on the up and up can and will damage the credibility of all officials who do take pride in the integrity of their work.

Whether we like it or not, officials are under a microscope, and by the nature of the business, are held to a very high standard. When we signed up for this officiating gig, we committed ourselves to represent the game of hockey, USA Hockey, our local group of officials and ourselves as people of integrity who accept the responsibility and guardianship of enforcing the rules in a fair and consistent manner. Most importantly, we must remember that the game is bigger than all of us and that the game itself is what we serve. Those who lose sight of that not only compromise the competitive fairness of the games, they also make life more difficult for all of the officials by damaging the credibility of the officiating community.

An example of this type of unacceptable behavior occurred last season. A Level 2 adult official tended to work his games with a chip on his shoulder. He often created confrontation with coaches, alienated his younger partners with inaccurate advice and disregarded their help in attempting to get some calls and rule applications right. Even though the help they were providing was correct, he chose to maintain his incorrect position that affected the outcome of several games. He also tended to identify certain players and single them out for various infractions and/or on-ice lectures as a means of emphasizing his authority.

Once the trends were identified, concerns were voiced by several parents and coaches to the local assigner and supervisor, who acknowledged they had never seen the official’s work, but would keep throwing him out there working the same teams and levels that had expressed concerns regarding his attitude. This included intentionally assigning him a playoff game involving the coach who was the most vocal in expressing concerns. This official was then instructed to “throw the coach out if he says anything.”

That playoff game went without a hitch – a tight 2-1 game with a couple of close off-side plays and maybe an icing or two missed. In the post-game dressing room, the official in question, in the presence of his partners and the officials scheduled to work the next game, said, “It’s always a great day when you can make one or both of the coaches mad. It’s too bad the white team coach didn’t want to play along today.” The partners sat there in silence until finally a 12-year-old Level 1 official who was working the next game said, “I don’t think that’s right. We’re not supposed to bait coaches.”

The official got dressed quickly and left the room without saying another word. Kind of ironic that it was the innocent 12-year-old that seemed to “get it” and instill a sense of accountability among those in the room. Imagine how any 12-year-old player feels on the ice when they see the official(s) displaying an attitude that is simply not to the standard the game deserves. And yes, more often than not, they can see through those who do not have the level of integrity expected.

Fortunately, these types of officials are few and far between. But they do exist and to simply stick our heads in the sand and not address the concern is irresponsible. Each of us, as officials, has an obligation to behave in a professional manner at all times and take our role seriously. We have made a commitment to approach each game with the understanding that the game is about the players and we should be invisible until the players require us to appear as a result of infractions that occur. Respect is a two-way street and simply putting on the sweater with the USA Hockey crest suggests respect is warranted, but only if supported by your actions.

USA Hockey has an obligation to create a non-threatening environment that promotes respect for officials and an opportunity for officials to improve through education and evaluation. USA Hockey does this through playing rules, points of emphasis, zero tolerance policies and comprehensive education programs for officials, coaches, parents and players.

In return, the game expects USA Hockey officiating members to bring a professional image to every contest and an attitude that creates a positive environment and makes the game better. We realize everyone makes mistakes – it’s part of the game. However, laziness or unprofessional behavior is unacceptable and being creative in rule enforcement and not holding players/coaches accountable for infractions will only make the next team of officials’ jobs much more difficult and set them up for failure.

The reality is that the game official must always hold themselves to the highest level of integrity and behavior both on and off the ice. Maybe that’s fair, or maybe not, but it is the expectation we are required to meet.

As we head into the 2015-16 season, ask yourself if you are willing to meet that expectation. If the answer is yes, welcome back and we look forward to a great season.

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