(ESTERO, FLORIDA – August 19, 2020) – Total Package Hockey (TPH) Chief Academic Officer Bill Simms announced the addition of Lisa Cannon as the Director of Academics for its Florida Division Wednesday. Cannon is joining TPH following nine years as a teacher lead at Oasis High School in the City of Cape Coral Charter School Authority.
“Lisa’s a fantastic new hire for us and is an experienced educator who’s worked with students at various grade levels and at various capacities whether it’s direct instruction or academic support,” said Simms. “She’s very familiar with the Edmentum learning platform and has used it extensively at her current school setting. Her experiences are going to bring a huge advantage for our students in her ability to understand where our students are at and where they need to go. She’ll help build a successful academic plan for each student.”
The TPH academic staff work on site as coaches and mentors to student-athletes. They mentor students on site in learning labs and help teach organization skills, accountability and provide support when needed. Aside from the classroom, the academic staff serve as great communicators with parents, teachers and hockey staff. For Cannon, she’ll be communicating to the students, and their parents, about the high expectations she has for them.
“I want to put across the high expectations on how important education is,” Cannon said. “My son is an athlete as well, and I’ve always said that as much as you love this, no matter where you go with it, your education has to be the most important thing to get you where you want to be. I think always having high expectations for my students, no matter what they believe about what they can accomplish, that they’ll always try to rise to that expectation. That’s when you’ll see the best from them. When they believe it, you’ve done something right as a teacher.“
Cannon brings with her a tremendous amount of experience not just in education, but also in leadership. She has served as a faculty advisor for the National Honor Society, Student Government Association and Oasis High School Leadership Team for over five years. In addition, she was awarded 2018 Teacher of the Year by the City of Cape Coral Charter School Foundation. Developing a well-rounded person requires education on becoming a leader and learning how to be a good teammate both on and off the ice.
“Teamwork is an important leadership skill,” said Cannon. “You have to be able to know that those people that are there with you, whether it’s in the classroom or on the ice, are working together as a unit. It shouldn’t just be about you. It should be about that person next to you. We grow better when you work as a team and not by yourself. “
Communication is at the core of education and leadership. The Director of Academics is charged with relationship building and having a high-level ability to communicate and connect with their students as well as with TPH staff. Given her award-winning background, there’s no doubt Lisa Cannon will be an incredible addition to the Total Package Hockey family.
“I’m very excited to be a part of this innovative form of education,” said Cannon. “I truly believe this is the direction education is going. I’ve been an educator for the past 10 years, and I’m just very excited to be a part of this growing company and the direction that it’s going.”
Ice hockey isn’t a sport people associate with the South, but one Huntsville native is making strides to change that.
Nichelle Simon is taking her shot on the ice and heading to the National Women’s Hockey League but her journey to get to this point hasn’t been as smooth as ice.
“It’s absolutely a dream come true,” Nichelle Simon said.
She’s been playing ice hockey since she was 17 years old.
“I started ice hockey later in life, and I didn’t feel like, I don’t feel like I’ve played my best years of hockey yet,” Simon said. “And I’m a better hockey player now than I was in college and I’m just not done playing yet.”
At the beginning of September, Nichelle got the chance to turn her dream into reality with a week long tryout with the NWHL’s Metropolitan Riveters.
“Actually after the very first practice that I had, they gave me the heads up that I’d be getting offered a contract,” Simon said.
But a year and a half ago, Nichelle didn’t know if she’d ever get to play hockey again after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I had a bi-lateral mastectomy in march, a year a half ago in march,” Simon said. “And I was going to try for the league that year, but obviously that put a quick stop to that.”
The next four months would prove to be the toughest challenge as she went through chemotherapy.
“I mean I struggled to make it up a flight of stairs, I had to stop three times, and that was hard for my boyfriend to watch,” Simon said. “I mean I was extremely strong before that. I lift heavy weights and stuff and I’m working out hard and here I am I can barely walk up a set of stairs you know.”
“When she had it, she went through the ‘am I going to die?’ and I said ‘no, you’re not going to die. We’re going to get through this.’ and we did,” Simon’s boyfriend, Eric Smith said.
Nichelle and her boyfriend, Eric, set big goals to help push through chemo.
“I kept saying to her, you’re going to get through this and play hockey,” Smith said.
Simon agreed to what her boyfriend said about playing hockey and added, “all I wanted was to get through so I could start working out again, and get strong and healthy as quickly as possible.”
Nichelle might not have been physically ready to be back on the ice after her treatments, but she was mentally ready to start training again.
“It was slow the first few months,” Simon said. “It was a struggle working out. It was hard to lift a five pound weight, let alone anything heavier than that. It was hard to run. It was hard to do everything.”
Now, there’s no stopping her from shredding on the ice.
“I think girls need to see them playing, no matter what; whether you get paid a lot or a little,” Simon said. “Getting paid anything to do something you love is an incredible opportunity and I want to be there to be a role model for girls and women who are coming up in the sport and it’s a very big honor to be able to do that at the highest level.”
Nichelle told WAAY 31 that no one really knows how strong they are until they are pushed to do something they didn’t think they could do. She’s proven anything’s possible if you keep believing and working hard towards your goals.
Now, Nichelle has also been a coach at the Huntsville Iceplex for 12 years and has taught a lot of kids how to play hockey and skate. On Saturday, September 14, Nichelle signed her contract for the Riveters at the rink in front of family, friends, and current and former students. Everyone we talked to said Nichelle is going to be greatly missed, but they’re all looking forward to going up to New Jersey to watch play.
“She is not just like ‘oh we’re going to play around.’ she is a hard worker, and she says you have to do that,” Simon’s player Ian Sharpe said. “She does not let you piddle around and she’s very tough and strong she really works hard.”
“You get to see her from like when she coaches you and then when she’s actually a professional,” Matthew Brown said, another one of Simon’s players.
Nichelle was only back in Huntsville for that one day and actually is headed up to New Jersey Sunday to start practicing full time. The Riveters first game of the season is coming up quickly at the beginning of October.
Thunder Hockey would like to congratulate Karlis Zirnis for being named the head coach of the Shreveport Mudbugs. The Mudbugs will play their inaugural season in the North American Hockey League (NAHL). Please click on the link below to watch the press conference and for more details.
The Shreveport Mudbugs, proud members of the North American League, have announced that Francis Anzalone has been hired as the team’s associate head coach ahead of its first season in the NAHL.
A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Anzalone has spent seven seasons working in the NAHL and USHL and brings a wealth of knowledge and league experience to the Shreveport coaching staff.
“I feel very fortunate to be joining the Shreveport Mudbugs,” Anzalone said. “The vision of the organization, the quality of the people involved and the passionate fan base makes this a very intriguing opportunity.”
Mudbugs general manager Scott Muscutt said the addition of Anzalone bolsters a Shreveport franchise whose culture is built around character and passion for hockey and community.
“The Mudbugs are extremely excited to have Francis join our club,” Muscutt said. “He brings extensive NAHL experience and his energy, work ethic, attention to detail and passion for the game makes him a pro. He brings a long history and ability to develop and advance players to college hockey. He also not only possesses character, but has always demanded it from his players.”
The 28-year-old most recently served as head coach of the NAHL’s Aberdeen Wings. In Anzalone’s three seasons with the Wings, fifteen players advanced to the Division I level. In addition, five of the six goaltenders Anzalone coached made Division I commitments, including future UND Fighting Hawk Peter Thome, who was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the sixth round of the NHL draft last month.
Prior to his time in Aberdeen, Anzalone spent four seasons with the USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, working as a scout before being promoted to assistant coach. Alongside Shreveport head coach Karlis Zirnis, Anzalone believes his time spent in the top two junior leagues in the country will benefit the Mudbugs on and off the ice.
“I want to take all of my experiences and all of the knowledge I’ve gained and use it to help the organization and the players,” Anzalone said. “I want to help accelerate the process of fostering the right culture and help build a great program that the fans in Shreveport will be proud of and the right people in the hockey world will connect with.”
Behind the Shreveport bench, Anzalone and Zirnis will continue a hockey relationship they’ve had since 2008 when the new associate head coach worked at the bantam AAA level. Anzalone and Zirnis met at the Elite Edge Hockey Showcase in Nashville, which has further fostered the partnership between TPH and the Mudbugs.
Additionally, Anzalone’s father, Frank, was a longtime professional and collegiate coach and has worked in the same circles as Muscutt. The elder Anzalone is presently the NCAA Scout for the NHL’s Calgary Flames.
In Shreveport’s first season in the NAHL, Anzalone hopes to make an impact on the Mudbugs players and community.
“I love to teach and I love to make an impact on the players, not only as athletes but also as people,” he said. “I’m going to do everything I can to support and grow the vision of the Mudbugs and help each individual player be the best that he can be on and off the ice.”
BE ON THE AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR SEASON 9
I’m so proud to announce that I am going to be on the
AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR SEASON 9!!
I’ve trained for a year and a half and my training has paid off! I want to especially thank my boyfriend Eric Smith for supporting, motivating and working out with me throughout this journey and for Chris Moore providing the path to success! I will be running the course in Daytona Florida on April 7-8th! If you want to come watch you can get tickets online at here.
IIHF Hall of Fame names 20th induction class
The International Ice Hockey Federation’s Historical Committee has announced the 2017 induction class to the IIHF Hall of Fame.
Former players Saku Koivu, Uwe Krupp, Angela Ruggiero, Joe Sakic and Teemu Selanne, along with builder Dieter Kalt will be inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame.
Former Great Britain national team player and coach Tony Hand has been selected to receive the Richard “Bibi” Torriani Award.
French ice hockey executive and former player and coach Patrick Francheterre will be given the Paul Loicq Award.
The 2017 IIHF Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place in Cologne, Germany on 21 May, the final day of the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
Click here for a complete list of all of the IIHF Hall of Fame’s honoured members.
b. Klagenfurt, Austria, 29 July 1941
A star player during the 1960s in the Austrian league, Dieter Kalt has been the very face of Austrian hockey for half a century and more, first on the ice, and then in an executive capacity.
On the national stage, Kalt led Klagenfurt to championships in five seasons during a six-year period – 1966, 1967, 1970, 1971, and 1972. In all, he played for Klagenfurt from 1957 to 1967 and again from 1969 to 1980. He also played for Graz from 1967 to 1969 while finishing his law degree.
Internationally, Kalt first represented his country at the 1962 World Championship in Colorado Springs (B pool). He played in every major IIHF event from 1962 to 1972 except the 1963 Worlds and captained the WM team in 1969 and 1972. As well, he wore the “C” for Austria at the 1968 Olympics, his second.
After retiring, Kalt worked as a referee and later a coach. In 1976, he started working with the Austrian Ice Hockey Federation (OEHV) as a team leader in charge of sport development.
From 1996 to 2016, he was President of the Austrian Ice Hockey Federation, and, upon retiring in 2016, Kalt was named Honorary President by his federation. Kalt is also a long-time member of the Austrian Olympic Committee.
His son, Dieter Kalt, Jr., had an extraordinary career in his own right. Internationally, the younger Kalt played at 13 World Championships between 1993 and 2007 as well as three successive Olympics (1994, 1998, 2002).
b. Turku, Finland, 23 November 1974
Perhaps the greatest competitor that Finnish ice hockey has ever produced, Saku Koivu was a player of skill, heart, dedication, and honour. In a career that lasted nearly two decades both internationally and in the NHL, Koivu captained his team to many great moments.
Although he was part of Suomi’s bronze medal at the 1994 Olympics, and a silver medallist a few months later at the World Championship, it was a year later that Koivu first achieved something historic.
Playing on a line with Jere Lehtinen and Ville Peltonen at the 1995 World Championship, the trio led Finland to its first ever gold medal at that event. All three players on the team’s top line were named to the All-Star Team, and Koivu was named IIHF Directorate Award Best Forward.
That fall, Koivu left Finnish league hockey to begin an historic career with the Montreal Canadiens. As a rookie he scored 20 goals and was a brilliant addition to the team, displaying great skating speed, soft hands with the puck, and great two-way play.
It was in 1998 at the first NHL-led Olympics that Koivu wore the “C” for the first time, and when Finland defeated Wayne Gretzky and Canada, 3-2, in the bronze-medal game, Koivu’s legend only increased.
In 1999, he was given the honour of wearing the “C” for the Canadiens, the first-ever European captain for the storied franchise. It was a letter that adorned his “chandail” for ten years. Only the great Jean Beliveau wore it as long in team history.
Koivu’s career was punctuated by injury, and each and every time he fought back to resume playing at the highest level. He suffered bad injuries to his knees and legs as well as an eye injury that has affected his vision to this day, but nothing was as traumatic as when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He missed almost all of the 2001/02 season, including the 2002 Olympics, but as always he battled back and returned to a standing ovation.
Koivu’s participation in the World Championship was as faithful as any player of his era. His credo was simple – if I can play, I will. He took Finland to another gold-medal game in 1999, this time against the Czech Republic. The best-of-two format culminated with a sudden-death overtime, where Jan Hlavac’s goal forced Suomi to settle for a hard-fought silver.
In 2004, at the World Cup of Hockey, Koivu again wore the “C” and again took his team to the championship game, this time losing 3-2 to Canada. And in 2006, at the Turin Olympics, Finland capped another historic run to the finals before a narrow 2-1 loss to arch-rivals Sweden.
In all, Koivu participated in 11 top competitions for Finland, winning eight medals. In the NHL, he finished his career in Anaheim alongside Teemu Selanne before retiring in 2014. He played in some 1,124 regular-season games as well as 79 in the playoffs.
Never the biggest man on ice by height or weight, Koivu was a giant and legend in terms of skill, sportsmanship, and dedication. He battled through injuries and opponents with equal determination, and he achieved glory for his country as few players have in the game’s history.
b. Cologne, West Germany (Germany), 24 June 1965
It’s difficult enough making an impact at the top levels of hockey, but it is doubly so for players outside the “Big Six,” because their chances of crafting an impressive resume through medals is greatly diminished.
Yet it is easy to name Uwe Krupp as the finest hockey player Germany has ever produced. A defenceman of imposing size, he was nevertheless a fluid skater who brought the puck out of his zone with fluid consistency.
As a result, legendary coach Scotty Bowman wasn’t disappointed that Krupp failed to register a point at the 1983 World Junior Championship. And he wasn’t disappointed that Krupp’s offensive production with Kolner Haie was similarly low. Bowman saw behind the numbers, and while GM of the Buffalo Sabres selected Krupp 214th overall at the 1983 draft.
Krupp stayed in Germany for three more seasons, but in 1986, after a brief but impressive showing at the World Championship, he was ready to try his hand at the pro level in North America. Although he played several games with the Sabres that year he spent most of the 1986/87 season in Rochester where he helped the Americans win the Calder Cup. After that, Krupp was an NHLer for the next 14 seasons, making history for himself and for Germany.
At 198 cm (6’6”) tall, he was the tallest player in the league for several seasons, but, impressively, mobility was never his weakness. Krupp played for the Sabres for the better part of six seasons before being traded to the New York Islanders where he continued to develop his offensive skills.
It was at the 1994 draft that Krupp’s career took a turn that would change his life. He was traded to the Quebec Nordiques with a first-round draft choice for Ron Sutter and a first-rounder. Just one year later, the Nordiques, a Stanley Cup contender, moved from Quebec to Denver, Colorado. The team reached its zenith by advancing to the Cup finals against Florida, an expansion team making its first appearance in the finals.
The Avalanche won the first three games by scores of 3-1, 8-1, and 3-2, but game four was goalless through 60 minutes of regulation time. The fourth period and fifth period were also played without a goal, but at 4:31 of the sixth period Krupp scored to give the Avs the Cup and cement his own legacy. He was the first German to score a Cup-winning goal and the first German to win the Cup.
In addition to a brief appearance at the 1998 Olympics, Krupp was part of another Cup-winning team under Bowman, this time in Detroit in 2002. By this time back injuries had severely compromised his career, and he retired soon after.
Krupp later returned to Germany to coach the junior and senior teams, leading the national program from the 2006 Olympics through the 2011 World Championship. He started as a German pioneer in the NHL, made history during his career in North America, and returned home to teach a new generation of players what he had learned.
b. Panorama City, California, USA, 3 January 1980
From the school room to the board room to the arena, no woman has commanded the respect and accomplished as much as Angela Marie Ruggiero. Playing hockey as a teenage girl in California was an unlikely starting point for someone who has reached such lofty heights, but Ruggiero always thought big and aimed higher.
She made her debut with the U.S. National team as a 17-year-old at the 1997 Women’s World Championship in Kitchener, Ontario, and by the time she announced her retirement, on 28 December 2011, she had produced a career worthy of the Hall of Fame.
Unlike many female players of her era, Ruggiero was big and strong. As a defenceman she used those skills at both ends of the ice and became the cornerstone of the American blueline corps for more than a decade.
Without a doubt, her greatest thrill came early. The youngest player on Team USA at the 1998 Olympics – the inaugural event for women’s hockey – Ruggiero helped her team stun Canada in the gold-medal game.
As special as that moment was, though, she experienced frustration repeatedly at the Women’s Worlds, finishing runner-up time and again. But in 2005, the final game another Canada-United States showdown, it was Ruggiero’s goal in the penalty-shot shootout that proved the margin of victory, the first Women’s Worlds gold for the Americans.
Ruggiero went on to win three more World Championships, and her name was a virtually constant presence at every end-of-tournament all-star team or Directorate Award announcement.
By 2011, though, having accomplished all that she could on ice – and feeling the effects of injuries to her 31-year-old body – Ruggiero retired from the game. She was, however, only starting her career in sport administration.
Indeed, education was always more important to her than hockey. She attended Harvard University from 2000 to 2004 where she graduated cum laude with an undergrad degree in government while also being named the Patty Kazmaier Award winner in 2004 as the best female hockey player in the NCAA.
Ruggiero later earned a master’s degree in sports management from the University of Minnesota as well as an MBA from Harvard Business School. In 2010, Ruggiero was named to the evaluation commission for the 2018 Olympics, one of only eleven athletes who would inspect facilities for prospective hosts for those Olympic Winter Games.
This proved only a starting point for her involvement with the IOC at an executive level. In 2013, she was named to the IIHF Athletes’ Committee, and in 2016 she was promoted from Vice-Chair to Chair of the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission as well as being named to the executive board of the IOC.
She was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in 2015. A champion player on the ice, Ruggiero is proving to be equally successful off of it in the name of promoting and enhancing sport worldwide.
b. Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, 7 July 1969
The 12th member of the IIHF’s Triple Gold Club, Joe Sakic was a winner from the beginning of his career to the end. A leader and gentleman, he also possessed the most effective wrist shot in the game and was admired and respected by teammates and opponents equally.
Sakic started his NHL career in 1988 after being drafted 15th overall by Quebec the previous year. The team had wanted him to play right away, but he insisted on taking another year in the WHL with Swift Current, during which time he helped Canada win gold at the 1988 World Junior Championship in Moscow. At season’s end, he was named the best junior player in Canada.
He quickly established himself as a powerful forward whose quick release made his shot so effective. He scored 23 goals as a rookie and a year later he eclipsed the 100-point plateau for the first of six times in his career.
What was also obvious to all who knew him was his quiet leadership abilities. Not a screamer by nature, he nonetheless inspired those around him to raise their level of play when it mattered most. Fiercely competitive yet even-tempered, he was a leader in the Steve Yzerman mold, and in 1992 Sakic was named captain of the Nordiques. He would wear the “C” for the next 17 years of the franchise’s history.
Sakic played in two World Championships early in his NHL career, winning silver in 1991 and gold three years later, the first for Canada since 1961. The Nordiques, however, moved to Colorado in 1995, and in the first season won the Stanley Cup. That was a career year for “Gentleman Joe,” who had 51 goals, 69 assists, and a career high 120 points. In the playoffs, he scored the winning goal in six of the team’s 16 wins and was named Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
The Avalanche won the Cup again in 2001, but it was a gesture by Sakic in celebration that remains in the mind’s eye. Instead of raising the Cup high over head, as is tradition for the Cup-winning captain to do, Sakic swooped the trophy low and handed it to Ray Bourque, the former Boston Bruins defenceman who had never been able to win the trophy with the Bruins in nearly two decades.
Sakic was also part of Canada’s historic 2002 Olympic team that won gold for the first time in half a century. He scored a pivotal goal in the gold-medal game and was named tournament MVP for his brilliant play in Salt Lake. He won the World Cup in 2004 with Canada and two years later captained his country at the Turin Olympics.
By the time he retired in 2009, Sakic had won everything there is to win. His NHL statistics were staggering: 1,378 games played, 625 goals, 1,106 assists. He had his number 19 retired by the Avs the year he retired and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.
Sportsman, victor, leader, Joe Sakic was one of the game’s legends.
b. Helsinki, Finland, 3 July 1970
Gordie Howe is known as Mr. Hockey. Glenn Hall is called Mr. Goalie. It is only right, therefore, to refer to Teemu Selanne as Mr. Olympics, for no hockey player has ever appeared in the Olympic Winter Games as many times as the six appearances by arguably the greatest hockey player ever to come out of Finland.
Although he was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in 1988, fans had to wait four years before he made his NHL debut. In the interim, he played at every top international tournament possible, from the World Juniors in 1989 in Alaska, to the 1991 World Championship, 1991 Canada Cup, and 1992 Olympics in Albertville, where the 21-year-old tied for the goal-scoring lead with seven.
Making his NHL debut in October 1992 as a 22-year-old, Selanne played with a maturity far beyond any other first year player. By the time the season was over he had scored a staggering 76 goals and 132 points, both records for a rookie and which might never be broken. He was, of course, awarded the Calder Trophy, and although he never reached those lofty heights again he did establish a level of consistently high play that made him an elite player.
Selanne was called the “Finnish Flash” because of his breakaway speed, but he had a fantastic shot as well. Once he created an opening with his skating, he was more than able to finish the play with a wicked blast.
Despite his status, though, the Jets traded him to Anaheim in a deal that brought young players Chad Kilger and Oleg Tverdovski to the Jets. It was a deal Winnipeg fans had a tough time accepting, and an inspired Selanne responded with consecutive 50-goal seasons with the Ducks.
Selanne played in his second Olympics in 1998 when Finland beat Canada to win the bronze medal. A year later, the Finns lost in overtime to miss out on a World Championship gold medal, settling for silver.
Like all superstars, Selanne was not only highly skilled – he was incredibly consistent at this high level. He scored 684 goals in 21 NHL seasons, three times surpassing 50 in a season. In 1998/99, he won the “Rocket” Richard Trophy with 47 goals, tops in the league. In all, he recorded 1,457 total points in 1,451 regular-season games.
Despite the numbers and personal success, though, his greatest memory of NHL play was the 2006/07 season when he helped the Ducks to their first, and only, Stanley Cup.
Ultimately, though, it was his storied career with Suomi that fans remember. Selanne donned the blue and white one last time, in Sochi in 2014 at age 43. There he played so well while leading the Finns to a bronze medal that he was named tournament MVP. He retired as the all-time record holder in Olympic hockey for total points (43).
“Bibi” Torriani Award
b. Edinburgh, Scotland, Great Britain, 15 August 1967
A Scottish mix of Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe produced Great Britain’s greatest hockey player. In the manner of Gretzky, Tony Hand recorded more than 200 points in a single British Hockey League season four times. And in the manner of Howe, Hand played in the BHL and its successors for 32 years!
Starting with the Murrayfield Racers of the BHL in 1983 as a 14-year-old, Hand went on to play in the British ISL (Ice hockey Super League), the BNL (British National League), the EIHL (Elite Ice Hockey League), and, finally, the EPIHL (English Premier Ice Hockey League). By the time he retired in 2015, he was 47-years-old.
From 2001 to 2015, he was a player-coach, most notably with the Manchester Phoenix for whom he became full-time head coach in 2015 after finally retiring as a player.
Early in his career his play was so impressive that Edmonton Oilers’ general manager and coach Glen Sather, drafted Hand 252nd overall in 1986, the first British-trained player ever selected. Hand attended training camp two years running but was homesick and worried about being buried in the team’s junior system.
Internationally, Hand has the unique distinction of playing at the World Championship in A pool (1994, the last time Britain appeared at the top level), B pool / Division I (1993, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007), C pool (1991, 1992), and D pool (1989, 1990). He also played in three U20 events (C pool) and in all played in 91 IIHF tournament games.
In 2004, Hand became the first ice hockey player ever honoured with the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II.
Paul Loicq Award
b. Lille, France, 19 November 1948
A career that started on ice, continued behind the bench, and endures to this day at the executive level, Patrick Francheterre has been involved in French hockey for the better part of half a century.
He started playing for Lille when he was 13 and joined Croix (its successor) in the pro ranks at the age of 18. At the end of his first season Francheterre played at his first World Championship, C Pool, in 1967. That fall, despite still being a teen, he was named player-coach for Croix, a position he held for the next 12 years.
Francheterre played in every World Championship for France between 1967 and 1977 (eight tournaments, all C Pool) as well as the 1968 Olympics on home ice, in Grenoble, the first time France had played in the Winter Games since 1936.
Even during his playing days, Francheterre turned to coaching. He started as an assistant in 1979 for the national U20 team, and two years later he was head coach of France’s U18 team.
In the fall of 1984, Francheterre became player-coach of the Bordeaux hockey club, and a year later he was named national team coach, a position he assumed for two seasons. In 1985, France won C Pool under his guidance, and a year later, in B Pool, the team finished fourth and has never played lower than that since.
It was only in 1988 that he retired permanently as a player.
Continuing to succeed at the executive level, Francheterre became team director for France in 1992 and three years later the assistant sports director. In 1999, he became club president of Bordeaux, a position he held for two years
It was in 2001 that he started his involvement at the IIHF level, becoming the chairman for European tournaments. He has also worked on the IIHF’s technical commission and served as the general manager for France’s hockey teams at the Olympics and World Championships, from 1993 to 1997 and again from 2004 to 2014.
Read full story here.
Total Package Hockey is pleased to announce the addition of Francis Anzalone to its executive team, as the company prepares for its 16th year as a leader in the on and off-ice development of student-athletes. Anzalone spent the 2016-2017 season as the Associate Head Coach of the Shreveport Mudbugs in the North American Hockey League. TPH helped oversee the hockey operation of the Mudbugs during Anzalone’s tenure in Shreveport, and will continue to do so moving forward.
“We are excited to have Francis play a much bigger role in the TPH family,” President Nathan Bowen said. “His organizational, communication and leadership skills, combined with his passion for mentoring players, will assist us in maximizing our ability to positively impact the lives of our student-athletes, while growing our brand at the same time.”
Anzalone will serve as Vice-President for the TPH Way. In his role, the 29-year-old will develop strategies to strengthen the culture of TPH, by first and foremost, implementing a life skills and leadership program that will eventually reach all TPH teams and programs, starting with the newly founded Center of Excellence Hub. He will interact with TPH athletes on a daily basis, and help craft new ways to accelerate the development of players who train in TPH programs. In addition, Anzalone will take on a management and advisory role with the Shreveport Mudbugs, and maintain his connection to an organization that received NAHL Franchise of the Year honors last season.
“I am extremely grateful for this expanded role within TPH,” Anzalone said. “This is an incredible career and life opportunity that doesn’t come around every day. I love development. It’s more than a buzz-word. It’s an art. It’s something I have a passion for. To have the opportunity to work alongside likeminded people who share that passion is an absolute thrill. To then be able to use that collective passion to make our people and our process better in this new role created by TPH is something I just could not pass up.”
Prior to his time in Shreveport, Anzalone spent three seasons with the NAHL’s Aberdeen Wings. He was Associate Head Coach in 2013-2014, before being promoted to Head Coach for the 2014-2015 campaign. Before that, the Sault Ste. Marie, MI native worked for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL for four seasons. He occupied a variety of positions for the RoughRiders, ranging from Regional Scout to Assistant Coach. Francis has been coaching at the youth, amateur and junior levels since he was 18. It was early in Anzalone’s career, when he was introduced to Nathan Bowen, and immediately became involved in the Elite Edge Hockey Showcase, held each June in Nashville.
Bowen adds that the addition of Anzalone to TPH’s executive team is just the beginning of a renewed commitment to a vision that has been growing year after year since the founding of the company in 2001.
“The mission of TPH is to perform at a standard that exceeds expectations, one choice at a time. The decision to make a greater investment in the growth of our athletes by adding this position and putting a person like Francis in the role is a choice that we know will have a great impact for years to come.”
COACH ANZALONE AND COACH ZIRNIS JOIN TEAM LATVIA AT UPCOMING 2018 WORLD JUNIOR HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Total Package Hockey is pleased to announce that Francis Anzalone, Vice-President, TPH Way, and Karlis Zirnis, former TPH coach/instructor and current Head Coach of TPH hockey partner, the Shreveport Mudbugs, will team up to coach the Latvian Under-20 Men’s Hockey Team at the upcoming 2018 World Junior Hockey Championships in Meribel, France next month. This assignment will reunite Zirnis and Anzalone, who coached together in Shreveport during the 2016-2017 season, when the tandem helped guide the expansion Mudbugs to a successful 35-win inaugural season in the NAHL.
“We are very excited for Karlis and Francis to coach together on this big stage,” TPH Managing Partner Nathan Bowen said.
“Karlis and Francis share the same amount of passion for getting the most of out players. While their personalities and leadership styles differ, they see the job of a coach, the game of hockey and the vision for their teams the exact same. They made a great one-two punch last season in Shreveport and I know they will give their best with Team Latvia.”
Zirnis began coaching with TPH after retiring from professional hockey in 2010. He guided teams at the Bantam and Midget levels for TPH, coaching in the Thunder ‘AAA’ organization. He also led the NA3HL’s Nashville Jr. Predators for two seasons, amassing an impressive 73-17-4 record. After a memorable first season in the NAHL last year, Zirnis has the Mudbugs off to a terrific 16-4-1-1 start through the first 22 games of the 17-18 NAHL season.
The 2018 World Junior Hockey Championships will be another one of many assignments Zirnis has had on the international stage. The Riga, Latvia native has served in various coaching roles for his native country at numerous international events, including the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where the 40 year old was as an Assistant Coach on Ted Nolan’s staff. The upcoming World Junior Championships will be Zirnis’ first assignment as a Head Coach for Team Latvia.
Anzalone returns to the bench after transitioning into an executive role with TPH back in July. Prior to coaching alongside Zirnis in Shreveport last season, Anzalone guided the NAHL’s Aberdeen Wings for three seasons, spending two as Head Coach. Before that, the Sault Ste. Marie, MI native spent four seasons with the USHL’s Cedar Rapids Roughriders, serving in various roles from Regional Scout to Assistant Coach. It was while coaching ‘AAA’ hockey and scouting for Cedar Rapids back in 2010 that Anzalone was first introduced to Zirnis. The two met at the Elite Edge Hockey Showcase in Nashville, TN and have grown their relationship ever since.
“Total Package Hockey has always been about connecting quality, like-minded people and building relationships so that we can make a positive impact on the lives of our student-athletes. Former NHL Coach and Stanley Cup Champion, Bob Hartley and the Latvian Federation believe in the impact that Karlis and Francis can have on the country’s top junior players. This speaks volumes to the kind of people, coaches and instructors that TPH student-athletes are consistently working with.” Bowen added. And it is just that, relationships, that Managing Partner Nathan Bowen has always taken pride in.
Former Michigan player has previously worked with Larkin and other NHL stars
DETROIT — The Detroit Red Wings do not plan to leave any stone unturned when it comes to developing their young prospects.
Shawn Horcoff, director of player development, and Dan Cleary, player development assistant, are in constant contact with all the young players in the organization, whether they’re in junior hockey, college hockey or over in Europe.
Now the Wings have added Brandon Naurato, managing partner and director of player development for Total Package Hockey, as a consultant.
“I had a meeting with Kris Draper (assistant to the general manager) and really my big thing this year was I clipped every single goal scored in the NHL this year and just started identifying trends and how to manufacture offense,” Naurato said in a phone interview Monday. “So I was showing Drapes and then he connected me with Shawn Horcoff and that kind of led into Horcs and I building a relationship. Then he invited me to present on some of the findings to the forwards and defensemen at development camp and then kind of push some pucks for (Grand Rapids Griffins coach) Ben Simon’s practice.
“That just kind of spiraled into opening up an opportunity as a player development consultant to support him and Dan Cleary from the player development side and work on some other stuff with the coaching staff. So it’s been good.”
Detroit coach Jeff Blashill has said many times this offseason that he and his staff are focused on finding ways to create more offense.
The Wings missed the playoffs for the second straight season, finishing with the fourth-lowest total goals with 212.
Only Montreal (207), Arizona (206) and Buffalo (198) had fewer.
The Tampa Bay Lightning led the league with 290 goals.
“I always give the disclaimer and bad joke that I’m not an analytics guy and I’m not a video guy,” Naurato said. “But I came up with my own data almost to simplify the game and show where these goals were coming from, like zones on the ice, off of specific types of plays – was it off the rush, was it in zone – then just identifying the different ways to score and that showed this team scores this way, this team scores this way. There were trends that came up that showed the top five teams in the league were scoring in a similar fashion.
“Then when you clipped the bottom five teams in the league, it showed where the lack of offense is coming from. Clipping goals is one thing, it kind of gives you a snapshot but really clipping every shot attempt or scoring chance really tells the full story of what your identity is as a team and where you can improve, in my opinion, and where you’re good.”
One player who is already good but wants to be even better is Dylan Larkin, who worked with Naurato earlier this summer.
“Working on goal scoring, getting stronger,” Larkin said during the lunch break at the Larkin Hockey School on July 12. “I think my biggest thing is conditioning. I always try and run a lot and make sure I’m in great shape coming into camp. But I’ve been working with Brandon Naurato with a couple other pro guys about goal scoring and on my one-timer as well.”
Naurato said he’s also been working with Larkin on some different power-play options, depending on Larkin’s power-play role this coming season.
“With Dylan, he’s obviously an elite player and has great, I always call it tools in the toolbox,” Naurato said. “So with guys like that, it’s almost just giving them the visual of here’s some things that you do well. NHL players really don’t have glaring weaknesses or things that they’re doing poorly. But there’s some minor adjustments that they can make and you show those trends through the video to where it may make their lives easier or just make them more efficient.
“A random example that has nothing to do with Dylan would be if I show all the guy’s shot attempts in a 10-game segment, he’s going to see exactly where he’s getting his shots from, which shots are getting blocked, which shots are hitting the net and how he’s scoring his goals. If you find a trend that he’s getting shots blocked in a specific area, well then you just dive deeper and say why and is there some type of skill that I can help him acquire to start being more efficient and getting those shots through.”
Naurato, who played for the University of Michigan from 2005-09, said this sort of development work wasn’t readily available back when he was Larkin’s age.
“Absolutely nothing. I still feel that like analytics and skills and player development are still buzz words right now, like I don’t think there’s too many people out there that can really tell you what that means,” Naurato said. “There’s some industry leaders throughout the world or the country that do a really good job. My big thing was I’m not a tech guy but I wanted to be the first, one of the first guys to use technology and merge that with player development. That meaning analytics, the video, and I keep saying the same thing, but just identifying those trends because I feel like me as an adult at 33 or young kids, they’re visual learners as hockey players. So if we could show them what it looks like to kind of show the light at the end of the tunnel and then build that up with skills and a progressional plan, then you’re making players better.”
Through Total Package Hockey, Naurato and his staff have worked with many other NHL players, including Luke Glendening, Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau, former Wing Patrick Eaves, Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck and Columbus’ Zach Werenski.
They also work with players at all levels.
Defenseman Alec Regula, just drafted by the Wings last month in the third round, 67th overall, was with the OHL’s London Knights when he worked with Total Package Hockey.
“I started as an employee five years ago and I became an owner about a year and a half ago,” Naurato said. “Really what it was was just using my relationships from Catholic Central to Michigan to just kind of growing up in the area and just kind of reaching out to people and just slowly providing value and trying to do a good job and it just kind of grew from there. It’s pretty cool what we’ve built with the TPH thing where it’s kind of like that family atmosphere where guys have been through it for two, three, four years now. So they get the lingo. I always say it’s not that we’re reinventing the wheel, but we have a certain type of environment that we create or use a certain type of verbiage or lingo, now these kids understand it. Hopefully the cool thing is not only will they become better hockey players but better students of the game and hopefully maybe better coaches, whether that’s at the youth level or the NHL level when they’re done playing later on in life.”
In addition to working with Larkin, Naurato said he already has a few projects underway with a few other Wings and expects to be in Traverse City for training camp in September.
“Then I think I’m going to spend a lot of time in Grand Rapids and communicating with Ben Simon,” Naurato said. “Then obviously, supporting Cleary and Horcoff with some guys down in Grand Rapids to hopefully make sure that I can help them or be a part of the process to get them into the Detroit system and then when they do get here, they’ll have success as quickly as possible. I’m the new guy that, I believe in what I do and I’m confident in what I do because I’ve put the work in, but very humble to be working with the Red Wings and excited to learn and excited to earn my stripes and just be a support valve for the coaching staff, I would assume minor (league) right now, be a support valve for player development, be a support valve for guys like (video coach) Adam Nightingale, learn from him and ask questions.”
As a Michigan native, Naurato is enjoying the opportunity to work with his hometown team on what be believes to be cutting-edge development.
“I don’t think every NHL team is doing what we’re doing,” Naurato said. “I don’t think many colleges or junior teams are going this route and I think it’s going to, with technology now, it’s going to come quicker with this whole player development thing. But I think the Red Wings are in front of it. That doesn’t mean me, I think I’m a piece of the puzzle. I think Dan Cleary and Jeff Blashill and Shawn Horcoff and Draper, they think a different way and I think they’re trying to do this across the board.
“I’m just excited to be a part of it and hopefully do a good job and have an impact.”
Total Package Hockey is pleased to announce that Dwayne Norris will become the new Director of Hockey for TPH-Detroit. This announcement comes just weeks after former TPH-Detroit Director of Hockey Brandon Naurato accepted a position as a Player Development Consultant for the Detroit Red Wings.
As part of this transition, Naurato will remain in his capacity as both a Partner and Director of Player Development for all of TPH, and will continue to train TPH-Detroit student-athletes on the ice, through both the Center of Excellence and the 8 Week Progression Program.
“First off, we would like to congratulate Brandon on the unbelievable accomplishment of not only earning an opportunity to follow his passion at the NHL level, but also, for the chance to make a mark on his hometown team,” Total Package Hockey CEO Nathan Bowen said. “While Nar is passionate, bright and cutting edge, his desire to grind is his best quality. He has worked effortlessly to grow TPH’s presence in the Detroit market and has been the posterchild for our vision of positively impacting the lives of student-athletes through the game of hockey. We look forward to watching Nar succeed in his role with the Red Wings, while he continues to devout his energy to making all TPH student-athletes the best they can be.”
While Naurato is focused on playing his part in helping the Red Wings better develop its players, he is quick to point out that TPH will remain a priority as he begins a new chapter in his professional career.
“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to contribute to the Red Wings organization,” Naurato said. “What makes this opportunity extra-special is that it will allow me to keep impacting TPH. It’s not one over the other. I am totally committed to assisting Dwayne in bettering what we do, from training, to programming, to mentorship, and I will do everything I can to support our student-athletes in their development in hockey and in life. The kids have always been priority one. That will never change.”
In hiring Norris, TPH welcomes an individual with decades of experience in playing, coaching and management. The former Michigan State Spartan played four seasons in the green and white, from 1988 to 1992. Selected No. 127 overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, the St. John’s, Newfoundland native enjoyed a 16-year professional playing career after graduating from MSU. Norris spent the final 10 seasons of his playing career overseas in Germany. After hanging up his skates in 2007, Norris transitioned from the ice to the front office, becoming the General Manager of the Frankfort Lions, the team he played for during the previous four seasons.
Norris returned to the United States in 2010 and used his hockey management experience to begin a career in business. While working full-time, Norris has spent the last five seasons serving as the Director of Hockey for the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies program. During this time, he has coached Grizzlies teams at the U14, U15 and U16 levels. Norris will maintain his role with the Jr. Grizzlies, while taking on the Director of Hockey responsibilities for TPH-Detroit.
CEO Nathan Bowen calls Norris a “hockey man” and believes his diverse resume will greatly benefit all student-athletes within TPH-Detroit programs.
“Dwayne is an impressive guy,” Bowen said. “His hockey and business knowledge, leadership experience and passion for mentorship aligns perfectly with the vision of TPH. Both our hockey department and our student-athletes are in the hands of an individual we have the utmost amount of respect for and confidence in.”
Bowen also referenced his level of intrigue not just with Norris, but also his body of work with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies, a program known to be on the rise at both the Tier I and Tier II youth levels.
“For the past few years, I have watched the Jr. Grizzlies program grow the right way under Dwayne and Terry Bishop’s leadership,” Bowen said. “Quality organizations and quality people go hand-in-hand. I would like to thank the Jr. Grizzlies for allowing us to bring Dwayne on board. We would not have been able to make this happen without their cooperation and support.
Norris is energized to begin his new role and make hockey an even bigger part of his life.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to head the hockey operation for TPH in Detroit, a place my family and I have called home for 26 years,” Norris said. “TPH has an outstanding reputation across Detroit and the hockey world for helping players enhance their skills and develop into the types of young people that have success in life. When Nar and Nathan shared their vision for the future and outlined their five-year plan for TPH-Detroit, it became clear to me that this is an opportunity that doesn’t come around every day. To be part of growing TPH while I also maintain my commitment to the Grizzlies is very energizing and motivating.”
Hockey runs deep within the Norris family. Dwayne and his wife Traci are the proud parents of three boys, all of whom are chasing their hockey dreams at elite levels. Their oldest son, Coale will enter his sophomore season at Ferris State in the fall. Middle son Josh is a first-round draft pick of the San Jose Sharks and will be a sophomore at the University of Michigan, while youngest Dalton, property of the Tri-City Storm in the USHL, will skate for the U18 Jr. Grizzlies this season and attend the TPH Center of Excellence.
Norris hopes his experience as a “hockey dad” will help him better relate to families of current and prospective TPH players as they embark on their hockey journeys.
“The hockey waters can be challenging to navigate,” Norris said. “Traci and I are going through it now. I’d like to think the experiences we’ve had and the decisions we’ve made – the good ones and the not-so-good ones – will allow us to connect with moms and dads and sons and daughters who are trying to find their path forward. I am a dad first and foremost. I believe this will be an asset in my new role. My goal is to apply the same level of care to our student-athletes as I would if it were my own kids. Education is big in our family. It will be priority one within TPH-Detroit moving forward. If it’s not right for my kids, it won’t be done within TPH. That will be the litmus test for me in this role.”
With the 2018-2019 season right around the corner, Bowen was quick to point out that Norris’ arrival is just another addition to a long list of exciting happenings within TPH-Detroit, among them, the relocation of the Center of Excellence to Bloomfield Township, Michigan.
“We have a great opportunity in front of us in Detroit. The CoE is moving to an immaculate facility in a great location, where we are partnered with like-minded people in Steve Mazur, Jerod Swallow and Joe Neal, who share our vision. We have a terrific support staff. We’re coming off an incredible summer that saw four Detroit CoE alums get selected in the NHL Draft, 26 TPH-trained players attend NHL summer development camps, and now, we have a quality leader in Dwayne, who will build off Nar’s foundation and lead us forward. Now, more than ever, TPH is committed to our mission of exceeding expectations one choice a time.”