USA Hockey Magazine

November 2013

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STOPs & STARTS USA HOCKEY NEWS & UPDATES NHL Ranks Have More Of A Red, White And Blue Hue T he number of American players in the NHL continues to rise as opening-day rosters for the 2013-14 season featured a record 23.2 percent of all players hailing from the United States. Of the 603 skaters and goaltenders who have played at least one game in the NHL this season, 140, or 23.2 percent, were born in the United States. Those 140 players were born in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Minnesota is first with 34 players, followed by Michigan with 27 and New York with 25. The total of players from New York by itself is greater than all countries except Canada, the Czech Republic and Sweden. The percentage of U.S.-born players in the NHL when it expanded from six to 12 teams in 1967-68 was 2 percent. That number rose to 12 percent during the 197980, the season of the "Miracle on Ice" at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., and to 17 percent in 1996-97, the season following Team USA's triumph in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. "To me, it's amazing the growth of hockey in the U.S. over the last six to eight years," said Mark Johnson, a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team who coached a team at the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game. Johnson attributes the increase to the NHL's growth into non-traditional markets, such as Texas, Arizona, North Carolina and California. "I think you're seeing the byproduct of that in the number of kids who have been drafted in recent years," he said. Judging from the 40 players who participated in the All-American Prospects Game, the future looks even brighter. According to NHL Central Scouting, at least seven players are considered strong candidates to be selected in the first round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Yohe Tabbed To Lead Sled Team Having Andy Yohe on the ice is like having another coach in the middle of the action. His experience in international competition and his strong leadership in the locker room made him the obvious choice as the captain of the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team. Sled hockey veteran Taylor Chace and former U.S. Marine Sgt. Josh Sweeney were named alternate captains. "Andy Yohe was captain of the 2010 U.S. Paralympic Team that won the gold medal in Vancouver, and the players in our locker room have great respect for him," said Jeff Sauer, head coach of the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team. In addition to leading Team USA to the gold medal at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, Yohe and Chace were members of the bronze medal-winning U.S. squad at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy. Pond Hockey Event The Hottest Ticket On Ice In less time than it took to say, "baby, it's cold outside," pond hockey players snatched up every available spot at the 2014 Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships. Registration for the signature event began on July 29, and the first division was sold out within minutes. Every spot in all 19 non-check divisions was filled several hours later. For the ninth consecutive year, Eagle River, Wis., will host the Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships from Feb. 7-9, 2014 on Dollar Lake. The 2014 edition will feature more than 330 teams competing in 612 games on 30 rinks. The inaugural event in 2006 included 40 teams, six rinks and 240 players. TORTORELLA NOT TICKLED OVER TWEETS Twitter has become a way of life for many people who express themselves 140 characters at a time, and athletes are no exception. But apparently new Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella is not a fan. "I think it's the most narcissistic thing I have ever seen, Twitter," Tortorella said. Tortorella, who became as well known for his icy encounters with the New York media as he was for his success behind the Rangers bench, called social media, "nothing but trouble," and wants his players to limit their Twitter use. However, he will not ban the use of social media among Canucks players, but he doesn't want them tweeting info from inside the locker room. "I also respect that social media and all that stuff that we talk about. … I am going to try and respect that," he said. "Our locker room is our locker room and I believe our guys understand that. I haven't banned it. I am not going to treat them like little kids." A Twitter user in his own right, Tortorella said he only Tweets to promote his family's charity work. "It helped me tremendously with our dog walk out in New York, and we raised a ton of money," he said. "But not for, 'here I am, I'm having a roast beef sandwich, I am saying hello to my fans.' That is just ridiculous." THEY SAID IT "We have four players who have military experience, and it's unbelievable the discipline that they bring to our unit. The discipline that they show on the ice, any coach will tell you is important when you get into heavy competition." — Head Coach Jeff Sauer on the military presence on the U.S. Sled Hockey Team 04 NOVEMBER. 2013 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM PHOTOS BY Getty Images (2); USA Hockey Magazine Archives (2)

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