THE #ESHOW
THE #ESHOW

Episode · 8 months ago

Hitting The Century Mark | Episode 100

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this week's episode of the #EShow we celebrate hitting the century mark with a pair of very special guests. First up, we welcome Mick Deaver to the podcast (1:18). Deaver spent two seasons playing for the Boston Bandits in the EHLP. Tragically, his hockey career ended on a fluke play, but since then has learned to walk again after spending months in rehab, and has become a true inspiration. Following up Deaver is Mark Kumpel (30:48), the first Commissioner of the EHL. Mark and Neil look back on the years they spent together highlighting stories from All-Star events and past editions of the Frozen Finals. Wrapping things up at the very end we provide a brief update on the #ECrew Fantasy Challenge (1:03:53).

Welcome to the e show with Neil Ravin. Founded in two thousand and thirteen, the EHL has become the college placement leader on the East Coast. Sit Back and learn more about the next step in your junior hockey career. Welcome to the e show, presented bought the play box foundation. The foundation's mission centers around their daily motto we take care of our own as they help out all of those within the hockey community who experienced to castrophic event. Learn more at belly box foundation DOT ORG. What's up? My name is Neil Raven and this is episode number one hundred of the e show. On this week's episode we celebrate hitting the century mark with a pair of very special guest first up, we welcome Mick Diev to the podcast. Diver spent two seasons playing for the Boston bandits in the EH LP. Tragically, his hockey career ended on a very flute play, but since then he's learned to walk again after spending months in Rehab and he's becoming true inspiration. Following up diva is Mark Kumpel, the first commissioner of the EHL. Mark and I look back on the years that we spent together highlighting stories from All Star Events and past editions of the frozen finals. Wrapping things up at the very end, we provide a brief update on the e crew fantasy challenge. I'm honored to be joined now by MICK DIV or. Has It going, Mick? Good? Good, yourself the one. Well, hope you had a good thanksgiving. David coming on the east show podcast a hundredth episode of various special guests and a very special story that we're going to tell here on the PODCAST, because you've been through just so much and I hope a lot of people got a chance to watch your instagram video that you posted, because it just tells so much. In that video, though, let's start off, you kind of told the story about what brought you to Boston when you first started playing junior hockey here. Can you kind of retell that story? Yeah, so I was. I was fortunate enough to not only go to one nationals, but two of them and win one of them as well. It was at the second nationals where coach Mark Jones from the Boston band it saw me and you know, he reach out to me after one of the Games and we talked a little bit. Give me a little bit about like, you know, the organization and you know what they believed in and obviously you can't really commit something right then and there, but I, you know, went home and talk to my parents and you know, at first I actually did say no. Wanted to stay at home, stay close to home, try out and St Louis again. And for some unforeseen circumstances didn't work out in St Louis and you know, we reach back out to mark Jones is, thanking him for the opportunity and offer, you know the offer. He actually asked if I had a spot, you know, landed yet and you know, if you run into each other during the season we had. We told him no, you said that you have twenty four hours to decide yes or no. I actually remember I was that one of my buddies graduation parties them and that one he called or email back and said that and said of my dad. Right then and there I was like I'm going. You know, there's there's no if sings are butts about. I'm going to Boston. Yeah, and so you know, one thing, let do another and come August I'm that's a Boston. When you get that almost ultimatum, I guess you could say, did youse you feel pressure? Now, I never felt the pressure, but you know, I thought to myself right then I was like opportunities like this don't come around twice, you know. So I you know, if I wanted to hop on the opportunity, I had to do it now. And for those that don't know, the divisions called the EHLP. Now, when you were playing in the League, I think it was called the elite division. Mick, play for the Boston bandits in the two thousand and fifteen sixteen and two thousand and sixteen seventeen season. Had you ever been to Boston before? No, I've got so. I think the farthest East I ever went with plain in St Louis, was like Detroit or Indianapolis. And when you...

...got to Boston, was it what you expected? Obviously you were in Bridgewager, which is South Doub Boston, but was it what you expected? Oh, absolutely, even I know more. You know, I started playing sixteen. You and a little bit of Eight. Seen you here and there, but you know, I remember even when I joined the each other kids already committed into the league, like within the LEA. You know, I was just like wow, like this is what I asked for. This why I wanted so, you know, because I wanted nothing more than a division one scholarship, so you know, and some of those kids already had one and they had my dream. I wanted it. I wanted that as well. Were you at all? Did you feel at times like you're just this kid from Missouri? or where were the rest of your teammates from at the time? We were from all over the country and the world, you know. I teammates from Alaska, California, Florida, Texas, all that and you know, within the US, and then Latvia, Germany, Sweden, just all, you know, all those eastern European countries and Russia. You know, it was just, it was, it was all over. So it is great. It was great experience getting to play with them and, you know, learning, you know, because we all play had different styles of play. So it was great to learn things from them and you know, that was that was awesome. And in terms of your coaches, you know some of them are still involved in the EHL suwheer in different leaks now. Todd spilling is still involved with Wallpoul Express, Scott Trevitch and a differently. Now I don't drevits was your actual coach? What was the connection like that you had with your coaches and in particular, I was told to ask you about a guy that you referred to us as busy BOP. Yeah, so the coaches were, every single coach was unbelievable. You know, I I was always wanting to get better each and every day and I I know I for sure noyed them with all the questions I had, but they were always willing to answer them and tell me what was good and bad about a play or practice for this or that. And Yeah, Busting Baha's pretty special. He bless ee Bob. He use our bus driver for pretty much every single team. He took us to every single game almost, and he was a special guy and I remember, you know, he had, I think he had a knee surgery at one point, or knee replacement surgery, and you know, you said on his days that he struggled, that he looked to me for resilience and motivation and that that really meant a lot to me because, you know, all he wanted to ever do is see us succeed, and for him to say that about me, that meant a lot. I think that's a great transition to start getting into what happened to you, because when I came across your video, yeah, the time I have this all works out that it's been five years. It's the hundredth episode, so you are a very special guest with every year that passes. Like, how much time do you spend going back to that moment in your career and that injury? I really don't spend too much time, you know, thinking about it or anything like that because, you know, something I've really taken into perspective is that you know, things happened like bad, bad things can happen. That's life. It happens to everyone. You know life's going to hits you with the unintentional, the unexpected at any given moment, and that's what happened to me. It was just another normal game day. We are down on a four day, four game road trip down south, coming off a big win against the Philly Revolution. The night before we were playing in the New Jersey rockets and you know, guy was coming down the ice, took a shot on our goalie. He got it to the sideboards like every goal he's supposed to, and I read that play and took a couple crossovers and my teammate Pat, you know, touch, passed it to me and I started...

...skicking up the ice and in the video you can even see there they're wanting me to go down the sideboards and I was, you know, wanting to make more of that play, so I banked the puck off the boards and try to cut into the middle. Is when I cut into the middle that I just lost my balance and basically fell into the guy. You know, I dove right into the guy and in and that process, my sea five vertebrae exploded, basically as a burst fracture is what the doctors called it, and paralyzed for my shoulders down. You know, I was one of those, you know, to second blackouts when you run into someone you're my bad, I didn't mean to do that. It was kind of like that and I first off, you know, looked to see who I ran into. Before I even try getting up, I see the kid holdings like leg and right then in there's that's when I try to get up. I couldn't. You know, I felt like my shoulder is getting off the ice, but it didn't move at all. My feet fell like they're up in the air and I just remember, you know, I quickly right then in their new everything changed, you know, im teammate him up to me as like, deeves, come on, baby, you know you got it, like you're good. I said, dude, I can't move, like I'm paralyzed, like I know it right now. And you know, trader came on the ice and you know, obviously we couldn't do much on the ice. So em Te's came to me the hospital. Had Surgery that night. My parents were watching the game live back home in Missouri, so I was able to talk to my dad and the ambulance ride over and couple different times in the hospital, but really not much. So I just kind of isolated there with my thoughts. You know, something that no seventeen year old, anyone, should have to go through. But, like I said, life it's you unexpected at you know, at random times. So I want to ask a few questions about that whole story, because you say you don't go back, you don't second guests and said this that. How do you not second guess in your head that if you had hit an inch differently in either direction of the players leg, or if you hadn't move the puck off the wall and I got in different direction. How do you not second guess that in your head? You know, I just grown up. Growing up, I was always the youngest and every single sport I played and I, you know, have been given a lot of resources while growing up playing sports to you know, never let anyone say that they're better than you. Never give up. You're only as good as your last play. So I knew that with everything in my mind, that that last play at in New Jersey that night is you know, I gave everything I had. Like you know, it wouldn't it wouldn't have been me if I didn't skate the puck up. We were winning by a big margin. Yes, but it doesn't it doesn't matter because you never know who's watching. You like the game. As long as it was, as long as the clock doesn't have three Ziers on it, then the game's not over. So you have to try one hundred percent, one hundred percent at the time. So you know, I knew that, you know, in the hostile room, when I was laying there by myself, you know, I you know, all I could do is look at three stars on the ceiling and the clock just ticking and I was you know, of course you're asking the questions. Why me? You know I'm this close to my dream, I'm this close to the next step, this, you know, this close to this close, and there's right then in there I was like, you know, you know the clock. It's not midnight yet, when it hits midnight, it's a brand new day and all I can do is move on and get better, because you know it. There's no point in it's not you know. There's no point in be you know, the woes and the hyme's, because that's not going to help yourself and that's not going to help your family and friends or the doctors or anyone. So I knew right then and there that, you know, it starts to be...

...in it starts with depositive mindset, because if you don't have a positive mindset, then you're just going to stay stationary. At seventeen years old, to compose yourself like that, it's it's incredible. And in the story that you shared it on your Instagram, you talked about how you got on the phone with your parents in the ambulance, tried over, but you would not tell them in that ride that you were paralyzed. Why was that? Because no parent really needs to hear that over the phone or in you know. Ever, you know, I knew they were watching the game. I knew they watched the hit. It's just, you know, there's certain things you know and like you know, I you know the EMT. She took off my skate and touch my foot and I said I felt that. So that was already a good sign. I know. I didn't, you know, realize with paralysis that there is loss of sensation and loss of motor movement. Okay, it really I didn't know that at the time. So so when I felt her touch my foot, I was like, Oh, I'm good, it's you know, it's not going to be as bad as what we may be thought. But it back in the back of my mind I still knew I was always going to be, you know, I was paralyzed. But yeah, I told I told my dad that it was just a Stinger and to tell mom. How so when what you able to actually tell them what I actually they happened, and when did they when did they come out? Because you're on the road in New Jersey, their home in Missouri, all your stuffs in Boston. Like how quickly did things got to unfold the next few days. Yeah, so I you know, I really have to tell them. You know, all the circumstances. Since I was seventeen, I was technically I'm a minor. So you know, the doctors, the one have, you know, the doctors not coming to me and saying, Hey, we're doing this or surgery. Yeah, like he gave me an update of what we're going to do, but he had to get my parents consent for everything. Yeah, all the medicine they gave me, all this, all that. So you know, they I remember, you know, my dad saying that they try going to bed that night but they couldn't sleep. It like zero in the morning. They had a flight at like seven am or eighty in the next day, like zero in the morning. They just got up and left to go to St Louis. You know, they jode to my grandparents house, you know, left the car there and came out to New Jersey. I remember the very first thing I can actually remember after the surgeries is them coming into the room, but I don't remember the conversation or anything, because there's all. You know, it's all kind of a blur. That whole first week's kind of a blur. Don't remember much, but I had surgery at three am or two am that night and then not of the injury and then a couple days later they went back through had another surgery and then I was in the pick you for twenty one days and then I moved to Rehab in New Jersey for six months, four months in patient, two months out. And while you're in New Jersey you get to meet guys like Scotty Kramer and Alec Ericlick Grant, who as the name that I recognize more. When you got to meet, I guess you can call them bigger personalities that have been through similar experiences that you have. Did it give you kind of a settling feeling and make you kind of more at ease with what had taken place? You know? So with so, with Eric, I I even heard of Eric when he got her back in two thousand and ten I will I used to walk, you know, I used to watch sports center every day and I remember, you know, watching, you know, the injury and all that. You know all about his story and keeping up with him. So I really turned to Eric for lots of guidance,...

...you know, because by the time I got her, is seven years post injury for him. So I turned to him for a lot of guidance. And then with Scotty. I met him in Rehab, like I met him at veryhead facility, and he was awesome. You know, we were with each other every single day. You know, had therapy at the same times, we ate lunch and dinner together, like we are literally attached at the hip pretty much, and with him I really turned to him for, you know, motivation. We were both athletes. Both got hurt doing what we love. Both were complete fluke accidents. Would never happen again. Just that, you know, the life. Life hits US unexpectedly and we both kind of understood that. So we both weren't angry or upset with our injuries. It was just, you know, this is how life is right now. We have we just have to attack it head on. And as you begin the Rehab Process, you know what's what sticks out for me, as you just there's so many numbers and dates that you will never forget and you recite at the stop stop of a finger and you said February fourth you walked again. What was that part of the journey like for you? How is that was amazing. So you know, it was a Saturday and you know, you know, we go Monday through Friday like three and a half hours of therapy or four and at like four hours of therapy every single day. So Saturdays are kind of more of a chilled day to you know, kind of you know, we stretch, maybe do some other balancing movements or whatever we may do, depending on your situation. You know, I was going in expecting that and I go in and I, you know, get to like at this time we're working on, you know, standing just in general. It's called a standing frame. So I was kind of expecting to be in that. We're just working on my blood, blood circulation, my blood levels and just things like that. And so we get in and I get in. You my dad stays in the room at this morning and he and I got so, Hey, what are we going to work on today? She goes, we're going to walk. I said, excuse me, she's walking today. I was like, well, all right. So we still we didn't start off in that standing frame, just you know regulate my blood levels and and then from there we moved me into the parallel bars. Well, you know, we're always still doing is just for the time being we're kind of just working on standing me up, Santa me up and standing me up, and and then since your blood circulation and your you know, are all that, your blood levels like it. So Hey, like whacky, when you get hurt with his spinal cord injury that you know, my therapist goes to the helping aid that we haven't therapy. She Goes Hey, well, you go to his room Gravi, a gatorade or whatever, like for Electro Lights. So she's yeah, so she goes to my room. You know, my dad thinks he's the ultimate candy crusher. So he's in the room playing candy crash and the aid gets in there and goes hey, can we get a gator from Mickey goes yeah, here we go. What do we work like? What's you working on today? She goes, all, we're walking, that said. Excuse me, like what do you mean? You were walking? Yeah, and so he came to the gym and therapy gym and and yeah, we were walking and I remember, you know, every time you would stand me up, I was just like just please, don't pass out, please don't pass out like where. You know, we're once again rights to this next level. Right. So this next step that were this close to what, you know, my next goal is is walking. And and so yeah, we got me up and took some steps and that was that was so special because I, you know, my my left leg, my whole left side still is a little bit affected today, but you know, it was really affected back then. And so the left side,...

...you know, we just if I was able to take a step, it was like the tiniest step it would you would ever think of, but that right leg, I could really get a good step, I could really at least get that movement going and you know, so I I could feel that. You know, I could feel the blood rushing throughout my legs like moving, and that just was awesome again, because it's like I, you know, I never expected to feel that again. So I want to make a comparison. I don't know if he even applies here, but for you, did it feel like scoring a goal again? Yeah, I mean it's, you know, all that excitement, all that all that you know, adrenaline. It was all right there. But you know, just like in any big circumstance, you know, like whether it's a game or whatever, you know, I had to control myself because if I did get too excited I would passed out. So I definitely out of you know, keep it mellow and just focus on what I was, you know, doing at bad hand there. And when you're going through all these, you know, different stages. That the Rehab. This one sounds that kind of caught you off guard because you weren't expecting it that day. But did they write down? Did you guys write down goals together? It was this just what they came in and told you you're doing. That's what you were doing. I I mean I kind of will it was you know, I always said from the second I got her that I just need my hands to come back and then I'll start focusing on walking again. Okay, I got all the good and then, but you know, that's just the stubborn, hard headed, like I'm going to get better kind of thing. Where that is. That's certainly not the case for respond quent injuries. So that's just a blessing in itself. But I know when I got into Rehab, you know, is really just you know, I told him, I was like I want to walk again, and you know they did. We just you know, it's really you work with what you get back, because you don't know what's going to come back. You don't know how strong muscles, when they do come back, or how strong you can get them they will be. So it's really just kind of a good day by day process, week by week, month. My bones that you just deal with what you got and, you know, go from you with what you do have. You explode it, you know, you explode from there and just focus on that. And after that moment on February fourth, what were the next few months like and whether it times when you said to yourself, all right, I'm ready to go home. And so it was, you know, is my senior high school, so my friends are graduating and doing the prom and all that stuff where, you know, if I was playing hockey I would have well, all, I'm playing hockey, I don't know, it test matter to me? Yeah, but you know, I wasn't at this time. So it was kind of like yeah, you know, I'm ready to get home see my friends, you know, because yes, I had Scotty and I eric there and I had, you know, cut my teammates come down. You know, I once you meet, living in New Jersey at the time, like you know, I had them, but it's you know, they're still in season, they're still doing their thing. So for the most part is just me and my dad and you know, I just you know, once we got to outpatient Rehab, it is definitely towards the end about patient Rehab that I was like okay, I I'm ready to go home. So I came home the day after what I would have graduated from high school. So that was fun. You know, I got to see all my friends and family because it was a summer got to hang out with them and, you know, at some people definitely took it. You know, they are scared to see me just because, you know, I'm I'm completely well what they thought was a completely different person. But now I tell them, like, you know, my body has changed, not my character, not my personality. So and once they got to see me and like see how I interacted with everyone, they definitely, you know, that calmed their nerves and, you know, things are back to normal, but it was you know, is is never question of wanting to get better. Is just the time to be like, yeah, it's time to go home. You know, see what we can...

...do back there. Why? But you brought up an interesting point there, because it's something that some of us will never experience when you see friends for the first time and they're almost afraid to give you a hug. How do you even respond to that? Yeah, I mean it was definitely, you know. You know, the thing with me is, you know, I always tried to put things, you know, into a brighter perspective. Okay, like you know, I would always make jokes, you're you know, try to get them to laugh first or, you know, say like things are okay. But, like you know, I'm still who I am as a human being. Like I said, this doesn't change my character, that doesn't change my personality. Am I going to be able to run miles and miles miles again? Most likely not, but that's okay, like you know, but I you know, just my personality has never changed. So once, like I said, once they we're able to see me and like be able to, you know, touch me ands be around me, things were back to normal and and for myself personally, I know it was just my second year in the EHL. It's kind of type. Things like this have happened before different players, but for me there's always going to be two events that will always stand out. It's what took place for to make diver and the humble broncos. And I remember shortly after all this had taken place, you're going to the Rehab. You kind of came out and said like I'm gonna Skate again. Obviously not to the same extent, but you have skated again. When you touch the ice again, when you compare it to walking for the first time, how do those two feelings compare? Oh my God, it was amazing. I mean, you know, when I took those first steps and you know, and when we got to outpatient Rehab, I was when I really exploded with that walking. You know, when I came home, I was like, okay, I want to skate again. You know, I don't you know, I don't care how long it'll be or like, I'm going to skate again. You know, with me after my injury, you know, things were always look different. I can I can do whatever I put my mind to, but things might look a little different. Well, I see, you know, with I would so I want to do things what would be a normal way first. So, you know, people always mentioned to me about the sled hockey and I said no, I don't want. You know, I don't want to do sled hockey until I'm reached, I've reached my limit to skating like all my own two feet got it. And but the skating alone was just, you know, it was so hard because it was just using muscles I just either don't have or trying to use them, and that was beyond, you know, hard. But it was so special and you know, I you know is it was even more special that I was doing it at the rink that I fell in love with hockey at. You know, my dad was leasing my skates up for the first time again, like you used to, like, you know, eighteen years ago. Prior to that, it was a so special and you know, I had my close family and friends there and just to be able to do that in front of them, you know, the ones that have really been by my side from day one, has was unbelievable. And you other type of person that you're always thinking forward. But in that moment, was there ever a feeling of closure, that all of this Rehab was worth it? Absolutely, I mean it was definitely, like, you know, my first one of my first thoughts was when I did get her, I was like, well, my hockey career is over, and you know, I but it you know, whether that's hockey career, just being back on the ice for like a stick and pock, or just men's league, just whatever it may be. Like I just want to get back on the ice, or just skating in general. I just want to be back on the ice, you know, because when you're a hockey player, that's you know, that's your safe haven, that's where you can just be like whatever...

...you want to be and, you know, play whoever you want to play. And so I definitely just wanted to get back on the ice and that was you know, I'm sure somewhere back in the day that I did say all I want to do is skate again. But yeah, I did go step by step, goal by goal. So, you know, accomplished one goal, move on to the next. So and what's the next goal? Where are you at now? And what do you want to do? But the future? So what I want to do is, you know, I definitely want to stick stay involved with hockey. You know, throughout this journey, my family now we've been able to create a non for profit foundation called the be strong twenty nine foundation, where, if you know, someone was affected by Spain of coort injury and maybe couldn't afford a ramp into the house or they needed some sort of equipment for their car, or whatever it may be that they need something to help them with their daily lives or their families daily lives. We would be able to help pay for some of that or pay for all of it. We've been able to donate money to the PT and OT programs here at the university Missouri where I'Send School. So I definitely want to stay involved at that. But then I also want to be able to give back through an NHL team. You know, I want to be able to bring a kid down to the locker room after a game or, you know, go to a hospital with a player of whatever organization it maybe, and, you know, surprise kids and sign, you know, give signed jerseys the kids, because I you know, that was given to me and I want to be able to give that back because I know how that made me feel, as you know, just a seventeen year old, and you know, to be able to give that back to maybe like a ten year old or a twelve year old. You know, that would just mean more than me, than anything, and you'll start this as soon as you graduate, as I'm already starting to now. Well, I can't thank you enough for coming on the PODCAST, I pas, as I mentioned before. You know, for me always remember that night looking at the box score and being like why is this game not finalized, and then talking with Mark Umpell's, another guests in this podcast coming on after you and learning about what took place, and it's just truly inspiring the way that you've embraced this and you've kind of just taken it on and run with it, and to hear your goals for the future. If there's anything that the Lee can do to help, we're all in I greatly appreciate and I you know I appreciate all your you know, your support and Mark Support in the League, support, you know, throughout this whole journey, because without it I, you know, I don't know where any of US would be. So well, take care and I'll talks to appreciate it. Thank you. I'm joy now for the very first time on the e show podcast by Mark Compo. How's it going, mark, that's been doing a pretty good considering the pandemic, the referee shortage, all the things that the hockey people are experiencing these states. I will tell you that the job that I'm in now. We're working to the east and hockey sideration is a big animal. Compared to the AHL with its thirty teams that we were running at yell, I'm at four hundred and fifty, sixteen thousand parents and seven thousand participants. It's it's a big it's a big job, a little different for sure. I've I've interviewed you once before, but for the first time on this podcast which we we started God, January of I couldn't even tell you what year, but, as you mentioned, we were kind of like each other's go to guys for a number of years. So I have to start off with my own personal question, because this is episode a hundred. We're bringing you on the first real commissioner of the EHL, but for the first two years it was just you and Jeff Nygard. I came on in season number three. How annoying was I pastoring you the first two years until I got a job at the leak? You...

...weren't annoying at all. The like my little rubber, garbage wool things that needed to be done. And you know what the I actually we knew each other from from up here on scarborough made. I watched to play high school hockey bit. You know, you have a great education. According to the act, you fit the build perfectly. I brought you in and I introduce you to Jeff Nygard. He patted me on the back. It is okay, we gotta sell us a little guy that can take care of all that stuff. And you know, I made up my mission to try and include you with all the things that I was doing. So you know somewhere along the way that I moved on, which I did, and now look at yourself. You become very bit, very big part of the EHL and the better for it. So you know it worked out well. So you know that's the coach and me. I've always tried to know you joyed coaching and see the epiphany and kids eyes when they figure stuff out. When you came in, you are blank slate and you you bobble up anything I threw at you. You were great and I appreciate that. I'm going to say thank you more than once on this podcast, probably, but I also kind of want to tell different stories over the years because we had so many moments that I found myself repeating to some of my staff members now, because every day was something different. But first I want to start with the story of what we just talked about on the podcast, where I got a chance to interview Mick diver and I said to Mick and the interview like I still remember that night, saying to you, why isn't this box score finalized? And all that you had for information at that time was something bad happened. Can you take us through from your perspective? You know what took place on that night, end of the next day. Well, as you know, the Ahl always had a put a lot of importance in information, whether it's the rosters, the scores, real time scores, video, made sure live barn was up and running, etc. Etc. So that was a real anomaly when that came out and you, as the information director at the time, was what's with the score mark, which the school market, I understand. So anyway, I could made a few phone calls and I found out that there was a terrible accident. My First of Oh my God, who are we going to have to suspend that it hour and in the reality is when when the evening shook out and I was able to see the video and whatnot, it was a completely incident. That was no malice, no nothing. It's just happened. Is One of those things in life that it's like a car accident with the tire falls off the off the wheel, and that's exactly what happened the player that that ultimately there was no opportunity to avoid what happened to nick and I watched that video probably seven or eight times, every single time that right now I just got to shure a thinking about how it happened in the ultimate outcome for Mick. What it was. It's it was horrible day. It's not to think, but all the Times that I played, all the answers I went and and I can stand up. I still play hockey this morning and things like this, and the think that this young man is going to be struggling for a long, long, long time. It's hardening, disheartening, you know. It's you wonder how I was lucky one and how free gas in like this effected this young man's life. And like I was thinking of this one I was interviewing him. Think about how many times you've shipped on skates jest by accident and you hit right here on the boards or right here on your buddy the way that he hit on the player's leg. Any inch in a different direction, it's totally different for him. Yeah, and you know it's it's a game of inches, you because whatever, there's all the club Chas. You're going to work. It was complete accident. It's a misfortune in life, even though, and you might be able...

...to remind me, I can't remember the gentleman that was involved. You know, one of the other from from the rockets. I'm playing on the name myself. Yeah, but I mean there's nothing he could do. I mean that's what he has to suffer with every day, you know. So, yeah, it's a game of inches. It's it has, it has it. It's an awesome game. I still play. I played this morning little little little bit lesson I used to, but at the same time we have a good time and it's put a smile on my face and I hope that Nick, when he thinks about it, other than that, that that three seconds of time that it took, I hope they'll all these memories, are fond of the game because, you know, I believe it was. I talked once or twice for pretty close after the incident and you seem to have a very positive outlook. It's incredible why he's how he's just taking this on and Strad and in created and almost a new wife for himself and taking it and sit what he said to me that he knew in that moment he had left everything out there. It's like, man, this kid just totally gets it. But that's kind of the somber tone that I wanted to have, at least to start. But, as I mentioned, you kind of off the year too. There's there's different stories from each season that we had to get it. I want to touch on starting with my first year, which was the two thousand and fifteen sixteen season, a year with a New Hampshire monarchs beat the Philadelphia Little Flyers in the championship. And maybe this is still a little bit somber zone with the somewhat recent passing of Ryan Frew. But now when you look back on that championship and seeing Ryan, when it went your former assistant, Tony de Lessio, what was your initial reaction for that program? You know, it didn't surprise me that they were there. You know they have great pedigree before they join the HL. I know Tony delessio extremely well. He's extremely driven. I knew that they had recruited a good team, the Opol it was very good too. Yeah, I think back during that championship. First of all, it's a great pride in the fact that we had such a good championship. Hl came out of the old the ashes in the Aghel and became the ehl and it's something that I don't know how lucky it was to be at the right places other than somebody gave me the reins and try and row that league and bring it to a point where it was a premier junior league in the USA hockey. So I think that that particular championship. I had one championships, but I never sort of guided, had the hands on the stain wheel to get it to that point as an administrator and the the the show that was put on and in the fans of the fan base that was there and all those all those things above was a so surprise for me. Was Really was thinking about Ryan crew. He did a lot of great things for hockey in that area. He slowly missed. You you see this still running golf, chick tournaments to help the family and things like that. That's it does extremely well. Just speaks volumes of what people thought to Ryan and the quality of person and the quality of a hockey guy that he was. So and that's a great point because I feel that way now when I hand off the trophy. It's almost the culmination of everything that you work for for a whole year and that exact moment you can take a couple months to kind of decompressed and then do it all over again. And we did it all over again. Sorry, you go. It's two different ceilings. You. Yeah, I won the championship in the old age age album before became hl and you have the whole year, you have behind the bench and you recruited the Guy, just sat in people's living rooms...

...during the summertime and you convince mom and dad that you were the best thing since slice bregnent when you were going to help their kid. And then you see yourself in the championship game and you know, I feel if you walked into the wall Pole Arina right now, you could see the picture on the wall. For me, I put my self in the background, the kids were all in front of me because at that point I say, Hey, I didn't do this to me, it was for the kids. And you know, Ryan froves it for the kids and and now the chance. The first time when we had handed off that prophet that year was the first time I had a different look, you know, and I'm out on the ice and I had the microphone in my hand and I'm like what I really want to do? This isn't I didn't do it kids. But then you realize, hey, you know what, this is something that I had a big hand in and building and it was a good thing and I want to keep with championships, because the next year is probably one of the craziest stories that I ever get to tell. That was when it took the junior fires and little fires the solid thirteen days to finish a five game series, and halfway through that I went out to Detroit with my father to go see the Joe Louis Arena before they knocked it down. That series. Looking back on the three overtime games and the battle between the little fires and junior flyers that year, what do you remember most? My my ears were burning. Owners what's going on, and the coach is what's going on, and you're sitting in the position where you can't play favorite sea, nor that I have a favorite. That that fight anyway. Put it that way. You know it's yeah deal. I what do you say? Three overtime games, takes two weeks to finish up a little series. That what do you say? And I'll embarrass myself because you began the drive home. Well, I wrote the story on the website or whatever I was doing, and I was so tired that I tried to drive a little bit. Did I last fifteen minutes and then you're like, I don't trust you, I'm getting back behind me, give me the wheel. You know what you let's say that's the things that make it a you and I close and also why the League has had success, because they had people like you and I behind behind it, willing to do those things in the middle of the night, drive down and fight the fights that need to be have and keep peace and order and make sure all the rules of followed. You know this passion, this passion in you. That was passion to me at the time and and that's why the HL is still one of the premier leagues in the in the country. Those two years were awesome, starting in the seventeen eighteen season. To me, what I tell people is when things really started to take off because first in that fall we faced you, mask Boston for the very first time. I was the only game we had. Now we lost three, one with an empty netter, but we we you, and I took great pride in the fact that Nolan redler scored all three goals for you, Mass Boston, who was our alumnius and our go always made fifty six saves, something like that. But you have run where we wanted. You're the one that created that idea that we've turned it into. What. How did you come up with the idea to face the college team? It didn't it came to me, to be honest with it was the staff of you, Mass Boston. They kind of cooked it up and I took the ball and rant. You know, it was something that the coaching staff, they are, thought would be good take. I don't know what possessed under the even offer that. If you think about it, if we went in a beat of holy smokes and there's a coach, I would have said great, now I really have their attention. If I lost some, yeah, but the same time, if they do,...

...it doesn't look good and you know, that was the hardest thing in that was trying to make sure that everybody got an opportunity to be part of that. It's a very difficult process when you had one game and you only going to bring twenty one players in. That's a game every player in the EHL at the time would want to play it. Yep, you had to make sure that you brought a team that that a justice to your league. But be you have you masked Bawson at the time, they stick in the neck up the say hey, come on it. So you have a responsibility to put a good hockey team on that ice and to put a good hockey team on the ice when you have so many of you got to hurt some fields and that's not a comfortable thing to do. But it paid dividends to the League, paid dividends for the kids that went on there. And you're right that Nolan reather, he was a paint of the net kid likes pretty also really was the pain of the that will. We played them in college. But he's good hockey player. And it's funny because you always call me around that time every year now to see how I'm doing, because I want to say thank you. The events great and they probably have twelve schools that want to play, but man is it. I had ache to put that roster together. It's really tough to right. The putting the the trip together is easy because I the ownership at the time and I'm sure the ownership now is one hundred percent behind it. They see the value and it. They see the opportunity for their players in there, let's call them, but they are the customers and theirs. So they they they were really good the ownership and in the EHL at the time. You know, I'm sure it's still the same. They were. They were very, very accommodating and they were very willing to back initiatives that you and I and Jeff Nyagar put together to try and make the league better. So that was those with the easy things, like getting getting to that roster, and so I try to make it easier. The next year we put together basically was a thirty guys and we thirty guys. Yeah, three, three teams of ten kind of shifted through one in three play game one, two and game when the too played, you know, whatever it was. And Yeah, but you know, on the other side of the coin and we didn't embarrass ourselves, you know, and which was a fear when you start to get down to the thirty roster, twenty eight, will you have enough to give the your opponent a good game? And we did. We did. They credit to credit to all the Hil coaches of the time and how hard they work to get their rosters set. It's it is a business, but every single one of those guys did anything and everything they could to have a roster that they could win with. Everybody knows whenning's fun. Yes, and I will divulge all the information right now, but for those listening, I am emailing coaches right now that are asked about being in that spot next year. And it's December of the current season. So, but I mentioned before, to me the two thousand and seventeen and eighteen season was when things really took off in my opinion, because first that event in the fall, but then the event that we had in what we'll call this spring and March. That was the first edition of the frozen finals, probably because the last finals took thirteen days to finish with the two flyers teams. But we created this for team round robin and again it was kind of more your idea at the time. Why was it was my idea, but at the same time you drove the PAS it you fell in love with it. Man. They spent a lot of times out of providence calls, making sure everything was settled in going and and that was the I think Chris sat only came up to visit me in the press box. I think next year I want to get to that story. Well, I have a better story from that year. That year, but here when John roguer...

...yelled up to you, couple, because he does the call, is kept not going in his favor. Couple, get down here and he wrote down back I'm not going anyway. That's the one thing, is it? All the coaches in the League, they looked at me, hey, I lived their life, you know, I was in the League and I coached for five six years, and so they appreciated that fact. But once you get in the position that you're R into, the position I was in, really you're not much more than a spectator once that pick drops before the game. After the game, you can have an effect, but once at Games in process and progress, the only people that have any ability to do the officials on the ice and the coaches in the game. That's it. I mean, I'm not going to go down there and change an offside call or telling hey, that goal wasn't in and that's that's there on the ice. YEA ultimately so. But there again, we talked about passion early. There's The Passion of John Roger Screaming from the bench and the visitation by Chris sell was in the press box. You know, guys wanted to win. They wanted the things to go well for them and in their players, because they don't know how their players work for them all year. I can't wait for Chris to hear this, because the background of Chris Yelling and climbing up into the press box was they gave up a goal against the little flyers and he was convinced that it should have been going interference because the little fires player went barreling through the avalanche goalie. But when you found the tape and you round back and showed him the avalanche, his own player Cross checking the little fires player into his own goalie, what sense of pride and being right did you get? Wait a minute, Chris didn't allow me to be right. I'm still wrong it all. That's one of the things that I had the luxury doing. The deal with my background in the years I've been in the game. I have associations around the country and I actually took a video and I sent it to three or four different people. I know the USHL referee and chief looked at it for me and, yeah, an a guy looked out it for me, the USA Hockey Guy. Anyway, long story short, ever, anybody came back out. That's a good goal. Yeah, so I knew I was right, you know, in the same time. But Chris look got a love them, but he wasn't gonna let me be right. So that if I was right, he won both years. He can't complain about anything. He won both years. He worked. Hey, Chris Rella works hard. Not that not anybody else doesn't. I mean Chris Rollers A. He's a very charismatic person, very bolicious, not afraid to share his opinion. Sometimes that Causes Jealousy amongst amongst the crew, so to speak, the coaching ranks. But at the same time Chris, like everybody else, works hard for his players and there's been a ton of players that go through his as well as as a Boston junior ranges is back as well as Walpole express with John Lawnsbury when he was there, and still moving on. Those guys, all, every one of those guys in the EHL works extremely hard and that's the one thing that myself and Jeff Niagard really went after was the push to to get kids in the college when I was when I was coaching, we had maybe five or sixteens in the league that we're really had that in mind. You know, the customer is here. Why did he come? Why is he giving us five six thousand dollars to play for us? was is who you're supposed to help him get exposure and help him get better and try and get them onto college things. And then, you know, at the time we implemented a I can't remember what we called it at the time, but it was basically a point system where the teams had to achieve.

My first year with myself and Jeff and I got quick it over. The teams had to achieve a certain number of a returning players. So that tells the people out there that they have really good program and they work hard. From we had to have the number of players that went on to on to college and situations and it was a point system and they actually was a fine system in place. Our owners. We're going to charge themselves money to make sure that everybody in the in the in the HL, was doing what they're supposed to, which we try to help those kids move on to a better situation, and that goes back to what I was saying about the AHL ownership. The time they were they were very, very on board about making the product great and it's it's funny because now what do you fast forward to where I am in my current role and the new groups that come in or apply and they look at our rules for the first time and they're like, whoa these are? These are pretty in death. But I think it's a credit to what you and Jeff did and what you tried to instell in me because, as in depth as they may be, it's what makes us that much better as a leak. Yeah, it does. Those rules was easy. It was easy because you open the book, there's the rule, apply it, be downe with it, you know, and that was that really came from Jeff Ny guard either expect for reading and with either black or white with him, and you know, when I came in, I think that's where I added a lot to the league my first year, where I took out the black and white and in the I did. I didn't take it out. I certainly started that the black and white and try to see if I could put some shades of color into it if I if there was an opportunity to do you ultimately we're not trying to be punitive as ministrators, or you don't want to be punitive, but you also have to keep some stability in the game and you want to make sure you want to get things right, but at the same time and you got to make sure that you're not trying to run down to the glass and change the call on off side. So so you know those things play, but you'll again Jeff Nigard was one of the guys did that. But you know, makes if you know you can go right to the you open that book. It's the same book I left there and you open it up and Oh, yeah, there it is right here. That's all I have to do. So but it was it was a process, but we have and I find myself maybe sounding like you at times. Oh that's ours ten, and they like wait, how do you know what that is? A I know exactly which one that is. This is what mark taught me. But maybe maybe four, episode two hundred all half. Jeff come on to talk more about that, but obviously that finals ends with Chris. And later that summer was when you officially resigned for new endeavors. And I thought it interesting because I've been watching some of the College football coaching changes that have taken place in the last week and a lot of coaches are getting just torn apart for the way that they've not delivered the message the right people first and then just left. You went out of your way to call me and say this is what's coming and I want you to hear it from me first. So again, thank you. And wasn't a tough decision to leave what you had built in from the from the very beginning? No, I wasn't tough, to be honest with you. Is a certain amount of this job satisfaction, you know. And as you said, listen, Marky, you that will book was intensive in depth. It was done. That part was done. We had record numbers of players getting put into college. That was done. It the job at that time had become wrote. It was the same thing every year. Just okay, just add...

...water. Let's do it again. You know, rents, repeat, Rinse, repeat, and shampoo bottle right and you know, so the job satisfaction was kind of left a little bit and, you know, an opportunity to go. One of the things that I have a regret when I stopped playing in the NHL was I went NHL directed directly into coaching and at the time my wife, who is French Canadian, really would have loved to have gone to Europe to play. So and I know that's what and I had opportunities. But when I had the opportunity to get into coaching, I said I'm going to try that. And the reason why I was I looked at the opportunities coaching, his longevity to play the stay in the game and make an effect on the game that I love and still love at that time. So I kind into coaching instead of going over the ear and now I done the coaching. I've been the commissioner the League. I'm a commission of another league and but the opportunity to go coach overseas, in this case it was China in the actually coach in the Russian professionally because we played in the VHL. Basically, how do you say no? How do you say no? I actually went over and I had a terrific time. I lived in Beijing for the season. Every away game, with the exception of the two other teams in China, were in a different country, mostly of Russia, but I've been the Russia was back in Staying Korea. What a great life experience as I had, and you know, born in one thousand nine hundred and sixty one, I was born with the Iron Curtain was still up in the Cold War was in full swing. So for a guy like me to travel through the yearls and it was back a stan and places like that, understand that it's open and to find out the people there just like me. They put it on the shoes and the pants, in the socks and everything the same way. It was a great experience and the only disappointment I had the whole thing is the covid pandemic came in and I had a two year contract and I was supposed to go back and because of the shutdowns, I couldn't get back over across the border exact. They actually shut down the VH jumping. The kept the kgey running, but the shut down the team just because it was too difficult to do, you know, from that standpoint. Yeah, so it was an easy thing to when the offer came, the opportunity came, and the icing on the cake now is going to come here in February, if the Olympics go off like this supposed to, I probably have five or six kids that will be on that Chinese roster that I actually coached. So kind of I played in the Olympics and now I coach kids to get to the Olympics. So you know that there there's a certain job satis faction there, you know. So yeah, an easy decision. And then when I got back I was fortunate to you know, the have the experience with the hlh and the reputation that we dealt the other meal and you know, the the Hf came and knocked on my doors and hate listen, we're will make it a change in our policies and our operations and we'd like it to come over and I live it on my feet. I had a soft landing, even though the pandemic, pandemic gave even a lot of people are hardly so I have to ask them, because you didn't metinis. To me, is the pair of skates, the brand new pair of states is that's still over in China. Thanks for Co put in the wound peal. You know, at sixty, at sixty years old, the last thing you want to do is breaking a new pair of skates. But you know, I was coaching over there. I was every day on the ice. I was hey, give me Paris kids. So I forgot it. I'd wear right, just starting to feel good breaking them in, and we had to take this road trip just just as the pandemic started, and I didn't. I had the foresight to tell everybody to pack everything you had to bring it to the...

...rink, but I didn't have the fourth sight to pack my new skates back and we never returned back to China. So might BA exactly with my brand new para skates that were broken in. And thanks for opening that wound up. Hell, we'll find out what a gain to you somehow. But the way. Yeah, right, the last thing I have for you is do at all. You've kept in touch and you've reached down and you've talked to our coaches and you've watched to see what we've continued to accomplish. Do you still feel like a part of it, even if you're not technically a part of it? It's always going to be a part. You know, I look back at way feel high, and so a part of way feel high and up here in Maine kind of helped out the scarborough high school and a couple of years I came in and did some cameos and stuff like that. And yet I'm still watching what those kids are doing. Coach, you you always, always try to follow what you know. WHO's a life you affected and how you affect him. Hopefully you did it Pausitib me. So, yeah, I still feel like I'm part of the hi. I still go to eagel thought ORG. You have to sell the whole don thing out. Whoever idea that was pretty that email addressed with the painted like that. Anyway, it's I you know, I miss some of the coaches that are still there. You know, builds in a bony was one of my favorite. John Lonsbury, I haired to believe. I know he's not there anymore, but he left his mark and you know, there's a lot of good people in hockey and it's a small it's a small world. Stay in this for as long as you can, man, because it's great. Well, I appreciate you coming on. We're not going to want to be another one hundred episodes to get you back on and I would love to have you come down to the finals navy this year if you're feeling like it. Well, I was ready to go last year but I put him in a filly didn't want to come to Phil us after that pit. The pandemic chase me five or six different countries and I got home months gaping. In fact, when I did arrival that year, the state of Maine hadn't even had its first case four days later after I arrived on the first case. So maybe I was passing next. Well, thanks for coming on. I appreciate it. The thanks. Then, thanks again to mick diver and Mark Coumpbell for coming on the podcast this week, as they mentioned throughout both interviews, to very special guests to have on for episode number one hundred. And I meant what I said. You know, when it comes to make diver, it's it's something that I'll never forget that night that took place. The same thing when the Humboldt Broncos took place. You know, there's there's different tragedies that take place almost every single year, but those two will always stand out to me and I will always remember looking at the box score for that game that deev got injured in and wondering why is this game not finalized, and as things started to unfold to learn what he had gone through, it made all the sense in the world why that game ended when it did. And just to see the progression that he's gone through as the years have passed and the inspiration that he's become in how he's embraced what happened, it's just truly amazing and to hear his story on this podcast. I hope that everyone had a chance to enjoy that. And for Mark Compell I did harass and annoy mark for two years before I actually had the chance to take on the role that I have in the EHL and we had a lot of great times together and many of the ideas that we still have in this league you actually mark has to take credit for those, because he came helped come up with the y'all star event and we place the college teams. He helped create the frozen foindles and they've grown to what they are today. So big thanks to both of those guests are coming on episode number one hundred. The e crew is not joining me on this episode of the podcast. We haven't had that many games really since thanksgiving, so they were going to make no changes to the power rankings,...

...but just an updates for everyone knows where we're at with fantasy. We obviously had some picks that we extended a little bit because of this weird time in the schedule. First I will recap again the results of the All star classic. We kind of did a different point structure. Jeff the gem of team blue got eighteen points because he won the whole event. Lauren, team read, got twelve points. Anthony, team gray, got six points. In my team, team white, got three points. To recap the other fantasy points that we all a crude first for Lauren. Billy Hartney got our goal and two assists, two points in the power player for nine points. And Ryan pomp as Elli had a big hat trick on Thanksgiving for the seahawks Hockey Club in their victory over the wall pole express the second annual Thanksgiving showdown. He then followed things up with a goal and the back end of that two game set. They actually lost that game five four to Wallpole, but eighteen points for him. So when he combined it all together, plus her allstar classic points. It's a thirty nine point week and that puts her in first place at two hundred and seventy eight point two. Of course, Jeff getting the eighteen points that he got from the Allstar Classic, plus an assist from grunt, Josh Grunt, who has moved from the wall pole express the Boston junior rangers, three goals into including two on the power of play from Dominic Metro, a win over a top five team for Scott Bird and Andrew Kimball, who had a good week as well for the seahawks hockey club. You can bind all that together and Jeff, who we've laughed about being in the basement a little bit for a while this year, added fifty four point two points. Two is total to move all the way up in a second place at two hundred and sixty eight point two. Of course, I've had to hear about the fact that my team got fourth place at the Allstar Classic, but I did get their almost thirty, I should say over thirty other points from Trey Miller and Austin pick, leading to thirty five point four points for me, which puts me in third place, four point two behind Jeff at two hundred and sixty four and then in last for now we've seen how quick how quickly, things can change. Anthony is at two hundred and forty four. The big performance for him recently was a shutout for Nathan Miller, who got them fifteen point eight points just from Miller and that last set of picks. We have some new picks as well coming up here for the next week. You can check all those out on our social channels with the link for the of course, this podcast. And I'll just say thanks one more time to Mick Diev and to mark Humpel for coming on this week's episode of the Podcast, a very special episode number one hundred and the whole Equ will be back again next week. Thanks for listening to the e show. Learn more at Eastern Hockey League Dot Org and follow us on Facebook, twitter, instagram and Youtube. Also, be sure to subscribe and get notified when next week's PODCAST is released.

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