The ninth annual Warren Strelow National Goaltending Camp will feature a new look Friday when it opens for the first time at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. But the location isn’t all that’s new for 2016. The event will also feature a first-time gathering of USA Hockey’s freshly appointed goaltending development coordinators, a group that will serve USA Hockey affiliates locally while also forming a nationwide network tasked with enhancing grassroots goalie development in the United States.
“Adding more resources and support for goaltenders, both on the national level and the local level, is a priority for USA Hockey and our American Development Model,” said Phil Osaer, USA Hockey ADM manager for goaltending. “The goaltending development coordinators will play an important role in that process, giving young goaltenders support and guidance from experienced coaches with a wealth of goaltending experience.”
The coordinators’ multifaceted duties will include educating local goalie coaches, meeting with clubs and associations to implement goalie training curriculum and leading USA Hockey’s student goaltending coach programs. Each coordinator was nominated by a USA Hockey affiliate, a process that produced a sage group to lead the initiative. Maine, Michigan and Minnesota were among the first affiliates to appoint coordinators, bringing Ray Jean (Maine), Darren Eliot (Michigan) and Steve Carroll (Minnesota) into the fold.
Jean is a former goaltender at the University of Maine who played professionally in the American Hockey League, the East Coast Hockey League and the Central Hockey League. For more than a decade, Jean has operated his own goaltending school, and for the past three seasons, he has served as the Black Bears’ volunteer goaltending coach.
A sixth-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 1980, Eliot was an All-American goaltender at Cornell University before embarking on a professional career that included games in the NHL with Los Angeles, Detroit and Buffalo. He serves currently as director of hockey operations with Little Caesars Amateur Hockey, and also as an in-studio analyst for Fox Sports Detroit during Red Wings telecasts.
Carroll starred at Mankato State University (now known as Minnesota State University, Mankato), backstopping the Mavericks to an NCAA Division II national championship in 1980 and earning national tournament MVP honors. He has operated his own goaltending school for more than 20 years, serving also as an assistant coach with the Gustavus Adolphus College women’s hockey team. Additionally, Carroll directs the Dave Peterson Goalie Camp as part of the CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance Program.
In all, some 21 affiliates will be represented when the coordinator summit commences Friday, including some – like Wisconsin, California, Mid-American, Michigan and Massachusetts – that tabbed multiple coordinators. Among them will be Brian Daccord (Massachusetts), who serves currently as a Toronto Maple Leafs goaltending consultant and worked previously as the Boston Bruins’ goaltending coach.
During USA Hockey’s training and collaboration event, the coordinators will create a collection of goalie development practices and devise strategies for introducing more athletes to the position and improving their development opportunities. The group will also see a demonstration of a new quick-change pad that will allow young players to try the position, and in a matter of minutes, conveniently remove the gear while on the ice to allow other players a turn between the pipes.
Summit presenters will include longtime NHL and Team USA goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck, who will cover goalie development in junior hockey, and USA Hockey’s Ron DeGregorio, co-chairman of the board, former Team USA goalie and a passionate advocate for goalie development, who will be on hand to open the event.
For more information on USA Hockey’s goaltender development program, click here.
With another registration season upon us and the uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation, this 2020-21 season is likely to be like no other. The challenges we all face to make a safe environment requires everyone involved in hockey to be creative, flexible, respectful and patient. Although we would love to have all of the answers for you right now, the reality is the unknown still exists; so, we are doing our best to bring everyone up to speed on what to expect over the summer months for registration.
USA Hockey continues to post updates regarding COVID-19 on our main website. This information is to keep our membership informed of specific programs and the changing safety recommendations that will be in place when hockey returns. Be sure to check back regularly for the most recent news and for other hockey information.
First, a quick update on the Advanced Officiating Symposium scheduled for Providence, R.I., in late July. The current landscape has made it impossible to conduct a program of the scope and nature that we strive to achieve through the Advanced Symposium. As of now, the 2020 event has been postponed until August 6-8, 2021, and will still take place in Providence. We appreciate the interest and commitment of those who had already registered. We will simply roll over those registrations to the 2021 event. For those still interested in signing up, more information will be available soon. Registration for the 2021 Advanced Officiating Symposium will open in September.
Officials can register for the 2020-21 season on May 26. The open book exams and the online seminar curriculum is scheduled for May 27. Check out the links to the registration rules and tips that are included in this edition of STRIPES so you are up-to-date with the current process and requirements.
SafeSport Training (required for anyone born in the year 2003 or earlier) and background screening (for those who have reached 18 years of age by June 1) are also available to complete at this time. Since COVID-19 still has things slowed down in early June, this is an ideal time to fulfill these requirements.
The biggest unknown is the timing and formats in which we will be able to conduct seminars. This is where creativity, flexibility and patience will be most prevalent as our volunteer District Referees-in-Chief navigate the landscape in their respective areas. The uncertainty of availability of facilities and potential restrictions on gatherings means that in-person seminars may not be posted or scheduled as quickly as it has in the past. The use of virtual seminars is being explored and will undoubtedly become part of the solution in some areas of the country. All of the necessary information will be posted on the seminar registration page as it becomes available over the summer months. Please check there regularly.
Retention of officials continues to be a significant issue within USA Hockey. Three initiatives will be emphasized prior to the start of the next season.
The first initiative is an update to the Zero Tolerance Policy. It strongly recommends for local youth hockey associations to take a more active role in spectator behavior issues and hold those of unsportsmanlike behaviors accountable for their actions. They are also mandated to support officials by strictly enforcing Rule 601: Abuse of Officials and Other Misconduct.
The second initiative asks our experienced officials (those with five or more years of experience) to take an active role in mentoring new officials. The goal is to provide new officials with support and guidance through the registration process as well as working games. This is in an effort to create a positive experience so they will get hooked on officiating and return to our ranks year after year. Look for more information on the Mentor Project in the coming months.
USA Hockey also recognizes the critical role assignors play in the environment that is created for local grassroots officials. Therefore, additional resources for assignors and local youth hockey associations are being created. This initiative will encourage the parties to work together and hold each other accountable in following best practices in the operation of an officiating development program. It will also help create a positive atmosphere in which the game can be played.
Finally, the Officiating Program is launching a new weekly Officiating Webinar series in June. These webinars are open to all officiating members free of charge and will focus on topics that are pertinent to today’s game. USA Hockey’s top instructors from professional, international and grassroots hockey will lead the sessions and a Q & A opportunity will be included after each presentation. Stay tuned to USAHockey.com, social media and your inbox for a complete listing of June webinar topics and registration information.
Thank you for your continued support of USA Hockey. Don’t hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do to make your hockey experience a better one. In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy and be prepared to be back on the ice soon.