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December 22, 2016
Minor Hockey Talk: Oldschool Vs Newschool
With Special Guest Rick Lanz

If there’s one thing we know it’s that there’s not one specific way to make a hockey player. They come in all shapes and sizes, from various economic back grounds and more and more from all over the world. It’s like buying furniture from Ikea, following the instruction and then voila…you’ve got yourself an NHL player. There are a lot factors at play in player’s development, many of them out of their control.

In this episode of Minor Hockey Talk our guest is Rick Lanz. He’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet at a rink and has had a profound impact on a number of players in the area as both a coach and scout. Rick joined us on Minor Hockey Talk to discuss his unique path through minor hockey and what he considers a gap in player development.

Rick Lanz hockey coach The former first round pick has taken one of the more interesting paths to the NHL. Rick grew up in Ontario and settled in Vancouver, the city where he began his NHL career at the age of 18. Lanz birth place was actually in Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia and his family defected to Canada when the Soviet Union invaded in 1968. He was 7 years old at the time. He didn’t begin playing hockey till he was 10 and spent the first two years of his career playing house hockey. Six years later he was playing in the best league in the world.

Following his playing career Rick got into coaching and would go on to lead the BCHL’s Burnaby Express to the 2006 Royal Bank Cup (Canadian Jr A National Championship). He was also the chief western scout for the Colorado Avalanche for 9 seasons. Through his playing, coaching and scouting career Rick has noticed that while advancements have been made in how we develop individuals players on the ice, not much is available to prep players emotionally and physiologically for the rigours of chasing the elusive NHL dream.

Rick’s story is fascinating and his insight into how players are developed is a must listen for anyone involved in grassroots hockey.


Oh…and Merry Christmas from Aaron and Kelvin!!

Listen here!


December 7, 2016
Minor Hockey Talk: Why Better Athletes Make Better Hockey Players

w/ special guest Mark Fitzgerald, Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Anaheim Ducks

Today – We are here to PUMP YOU UP! With a little help from our friend Mark Fitzgerald, Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Anaheim Ducks.

Mark was a speaker at our TeamSnap Hockey Coaches Conference in Vancouver this past summer and is clearly passionate about developing athletes of all shapes, sizes and abilities. The Ducks were recently in Vancouver to play the Canucks and Mark was kind enough to swing by The Coaches Site headquarters to talk about how great athletes make great hockey players.

Mark offers some great stories and tips on how to engage your team and develop a culture focused on long term athlete development. By doing so you’ll not only better support those players who have the potential to play the game at an elite level, you’ll also inspire habits that contribute to leading a healthy and active life style.

Of course Mark also touches on what it’s like working with some of the best athletes on the planet on a daily basis, what sets them apart and what we can learn from them.

Listen here!


November 10, 2016
Believe it or not, the way your minor hockey system is set up is likely very different from the way it’s set up in other places around the world. If we know anything, it’s that there isn’t one way to develop hockey players.

BUT, if we learn a little more about how other people and organizations are doing it, maybe it gets us a step closer to figuring out the best way!

Enio Sacilotto is currently the Director of Prospect Development for the WHL’s Victoria Royals. Prior to this role he was an Assistant Coach with the club for 6 years. And prior to joining the Royals he coached everywhere, literally!

Well almost.

In total, Enio has coached in 7 countries with over 12 different organizations. This might seem like a lot but frankly ask any coach that’s been in the coaching game as long as Enio and they likely have a similar looking resume.

What’s great about Enio’s experience is that he’s seen how players are developed all over the globe and has some great insight on what’s different and works in other parts of the world.

We also got to ask him what his favorite jersey was of all the European teams he coached and he went with the Bracknell Bees of the British Ice Hockey League.

Enjoy and if you have any feedback, tips of your own or want to suggest a topic for us to discuss in a future episode, hit us up on Twitter (@TheCoachesSite) using the hashtag #MinorHockeyTalk.

Listen here!


November 2, 2016
Goal scoring: where does it come from and how do you find more of it?

Unfortunately the answer isn’t – It grows on trees!

Kelvin, as you may know by now, is the Assistant Coach with the UBC men’s hockey program and on their opening weekend of the season, they were snake-bitten offensively. Aaron and Kelvin had a conversation about how to produce offence and to convince the UBC players that they WOULD find the back of the net in their home opener against the U of A Golden Bears. Low and behold the “Birds” exploded for 5 goals and a 5-2 WIN! (You can watch the highlights HERE)

Moral of the story = Aaron gives great coaching advice.

…and for the UBC Thunderbirds, as is the case with most teams at all levels, goal scoring is a continuous work in progress.

So if you haven’t guessed by now, in this week’s episode we’re talking about goal scoring. Hopefully, some of our tips and anecdotal stories will resonate with you coaches, parents and MHA folk trying to squeeze more goals out of your players.

Enjoy and if you have any feedback, tips of your own or want to suggest a topic for us to discuss in a future episode, hit us up on Twitter (@TheCoachesSite) using the hashtag #MinorHockeyTalk.

Listen here!


October 20, 2016
Where is the line between Punishment and Discipline?

Being a great coach means establishing discipline in your players. Even so called “Players’ Coaches” have to keep players in line.

But where is the line where discipline crosses into punishment? And when it does, what is considered a reasonable level of punishment in minor hockey?

Recently a minor hockey coach in Montreal came under fire for making his team do push ups (various reports have the number of push ups between 100-500) following a loss. If you didn’t hear about it, you can catch up HERE.

In this week’s episode of Minor Hockey Talk we discuss this coaches actions, our own experience disciplining our teams (we’re not always proud of it), and we share some examples of coaches who have a great outlook on disciplining players without punishing them.

Listen here!


September 30, 2016
Minor hockey talk is back! You may or may not remember Aaron’s legendary chats with skills aficionado Derek Popke. Well, the boys are back in town, only this time they have the dulcet tones of host Kelvin Cech to control the chaos.

In today’s episode, we’re talking early season hotspots. How much skill development? How much are we focussing on systems?

We also share some advice we’ve learned over the years in the rink and on the road.

Listen here!



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