WALLA WALLA — Paul Huntsman, who coaches at the Blue Mountain Hockey School located at the YWCA Ice Chalet, recently returned from the Level 5 National Hockey Coaches Symposium in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The level 5 certification is the highest coaching level offered in USA Hockey.
According to Huntsman, the symposium was four days of intense presentations by some of the best collegiate, Olympic and NHL players, coaches and general managers. There were coaches from five countries and coaches representing 48 of 50 U.S. states.
Some of the presenters included: Lou Nanne, former NorthStar player and manager; Todd Richards, Minnesota Wild head coach; Bryan Trottier, former NHL player and New York Rangers coach; Eddie Olczyk, former coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins; Mike Eaves and Mark Johnson, University of Wisconsin coaches; and several other prominent players, coaches and general managers, including the 2010 men’s and women’s Olympic ice hockey coaches.
The highlight of the symposium, Huntsman said, was the 1980 U.S. men’s Olympic Ice Hockey panel. Four players (Neal Broten, Mark Johnson, Rob McClanahan and Buzz Schneider) from the Gold Medal team answered questions and entertained the crowd.
Some of the topics presented included, the importance of multiple sport athletes, half-ice drills, small-area competitive games, checking the right way, building offense and defensive models, player development, building your locker room, using technology, team building, developing a goalie and a common theme among all speakers — Have Fun Playing the Game.