THE #ESHOW
THE #ESHOW

Episode · 1 year ago

Exclusive Interview (Dave Starman) | Episode 76

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this week's episode of the #EShow, we sit down with a special guest in Dave Starman. Starman is most notably recognized as a hockey analyst, but he's also a coach, a scout, and one of the best storytellers we've ever had on the show. In this exclusive interview, Starman takes us through his journey through the hockey world, shares insightful knowledge for those on the broadcasting side of the game, and much much more.

Welcome to the e show with Neil Ravin. With over onezero NCAA commitments, the ehl is the proven path to college. Turn it up and learn more about the college placement leader at the division two and three levels. Welcome to the east show presented by the penalty 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've experienced a catastrophic event. Learn more at penalty box foundation dot Org. What's up? My name is Neil Raven. This is episode Umr Seventy six of the e show and on this week's episode we sit down with a special guest in Dave Starman. Starman is most notably recognized as a hockey analyst, but he's also a coach, a scout and one of the best storytellers we've ever had on the show, and this exclusive interview, starman takes us through his journey throughout the hockey world, shares insightful knowledge for those on the broadcasting side of the game and much, much more. I'm joined now by Dave Starman. He's a hockey analyst, a coach, a scout. where's many different hats. He's on the e show for the first time. Thanks for coming on, Dave Hey flushing beer and I love the hat. Of course he's got an them wolves hat on his son playing for the you sixteen wolves team this upcoming season. So big thanks to Andrew Trimble for making this connection happen. So let's get this started. Dave, can you kind of just take us through you're a hockey journey. Go as in depth as you want to go. It's you know, it's been. It's been a lot of fun. It's been improbable in a lot of ways and I often say that you know, right place, right time means a lot. And but on the other side of it, and something I always tell players and young coaches and young broadcasters, whoever wants to get into our business, I always say, you know, preparation and opportunity and luck all have to flow together at any combination of those two can generally produce the third, and the preparation component is probably the biggest and that's where it's really helped me through through my path. And I'm not a former NHL player and I've scouted in the League for twelve years, but I'm not a former nhil player. I've been able to coach at the pro level. I've played a handful of minutes as a pro player and I think I'm talking minutes and but it's been a great it's just been a great run for me. It started out playing in the Great New York City Organization back in New York and you know, took me to to division three university and just by just by freak luck and phone calls and right place, right time, I went through the Baltimore Skip Jack's as a goalie coache, not a look as a practice goalie, and I was a radio analyst and Kenny Albert was my both my home roommate and my broadcast partner. And while I was in Baltimore an interesting thing, or set of things happen. One was very trots was our assistant coach, so I got to kind of learn on his hip and you taught me a time about scouting and prepare wearing a pre scout and player valuation and Practice Preparation and Planning and just so just a video. I mean he was a remarkable resource back then and Joel Quenville was finishing his pro career with us in Baltimore after a hundred games in the National Hockey League, and so he was always in a coaches room of picking berries brain because Joel knew that eventually he wanted a coach. So I've got, you know, on the media side of that, Kenny Albert is this kind of a guideline in the radio booth and I've got Joe Quenville, a very trots in the coaches rom and you know, that was pretty good. And we were the caps affiliate and Jack Button was ahead of Scouting for Washington and Jack was a legend in the business. And you know, Jack Really helped me out by giving Kenny and I some stuff to do regarding the team and you know, gave Kenny a lot of number stuff to be some scouting stuff and some given some opinions on some players and you know, and then it's funny like tying that all together, may being a goalie guy. Our goalie coach was bar and Stralo, who was the godfather of US goaltending. So I mean I was talking about right place, right time. I had some incredible people to learn from and and go to and ask questions for and and that was really my start. So you...

...know, I went through there to various stops. I was an associate head coach in the Central Hockey League with the making whoopee, and that was, you know, one of the all time great stints of my life. You know, I was the video coach for the Atlanta Nights when when Scott Gordon was there as the head coach and John Paris junior right for him, and so and I've had my chance to be head coaching pro hockey. You have my chance to be head coaching Junior Hawk and straight through and and and scouting the league. And you know not. Obviously there's the broadcast side, which is, you know, been eighteen years now doing games on TV and college hockey and that's been taking a life of its own. So I mean, I'm a really lucky guy, I I I always tell people this. I don't know if there's a formula that I can bottle up for you other than saying that be a student of the game and research like crazy and be incredibly overprepared, because when you are, it tends to lead to really good things. Yeah, and you got all those Jersey's behind you as well. I know I can see one in the New York bobcats, which is kind of funny how this all ties together with hockey, because when you coach them in the Atlantic junior hockey league, that's what became the eastern Hockey League. Right. It's funny how everything plays itself out over the years. But with hockey, with everyone that's in this sport, there's highs and lows throughout a career. You just kind of went through your career right. There was there ever a low moment or two way you that said to yourself, maybe this isn't the right business for me and thought about getting out of it? Oh, I would say, almost at a yearly basis, that that went through my mind when I when I was when I was in when I was sort of in the middle stage, and that's when the progress started to slow and you know every year when you first start, you make major strides and major games and and then then it starts to slow down a little bit. And there were times where you'd get up for jobs eating get it for different reasons, whether somebody hired their cousin or their son or their nephewer. You know, you always run to that situation where where guys might hire their friends supposed to somebody else and there's a ton of qualified people out there. It's I never felt like I lost that the people that I was incredibly more qualified than I just you know, there are times where it's not right place, right time, and I'll never forget this. I was up to the video coach job of the Washington capitals, said to be the maybe the late s early I think was right up to my stint with with the making whoope was over, and just before I wanted to be the coach of Memphis and you know, they went in a different direction and I that that was one of those times I thought to myself, you know what, I really hate the game and I'm done. And you know, it took about a day to get through that thought and yeah, back into it. And I would see everybody in our business probably start about getting out of it at least, you know, ten times, unless you just led this enchanted career and have to worry about it. But it's the game, teacher, and humbles you, but it also empowers you and there are times where when you're staring to the abyss of what am I going to do next? In his business, you wind up manufactories, something a lot that goes back to what I say is if you're prepared and you're ready to meet whatever opportunity comes your way by being well versed and diversified in your portfolio as a hockey person, and things can come your way. And and that's when you know, jobs start to find you, as opposed to you starting to find jobs. And I brought that up because it's so unique for the coaches that we have in our league, obviously, where a league that's established based off helping players advance the next level, but broadcasters, coaches officials as well. But, like you said a few times so far, timing as everything. How often do people come to you for advice and you feel like you have to use use the word patients at times to tell people to be patient and wait things out? Well, it's funny because the more times that I've gotten ask for advice, it tends to enforce one thing that I can't help at all in that isn't getting older. And it's amazing where I don't know when this happened, but I've gone from being the guy that was always asking the question, that seeking out mentors for advice, and trust me, I still do. I mean I pick I pick coaches and GM's brains and scouts brains daily to try to learn more about the game and I am an avid student is game. But now all of a...

...sudden it's the other way like now I've got the twenty four, twenty five year old kids or the college kids. We go to a Gamer, the young coaches are young scouts. That everybody. You know, I got a ton of phone calls. It at least a couple of week, but I mean like it just seems to multiply a lot and I'm honored to get these calls. Don't get me wrong, I love it and because I love to share what my experience was or whatever I can contribute to somebody else's career. But it's amazing how many of those calls of come in and and I enjoy sharing what, you know, my journey was and what my path was and how it happened and I like I said, just goes back to I think there's some cornerstones of career building and that's one of the things that I share with with a lot of these younger people and and I say to them exactly what you just said. You know, patience is a is a big part of it. But you you've got to be patient but proactive in the same vein like you just can't sit there and hope something's going to happen. You have to go and make things happen. But there are days where you might make thirty phone calls and nothing comes of it. But it could be a week or two down the line where that phone call starts to pay off because somebody knew somebody and hey, they don't have a job for you, but they know somebody else does and and that's where the ball starts to roll a bit. So I think that preparation and patients are two things that go hand in hand, especially in our industry. And what's so crazy about this industry that I've noticed this everybody knows everybody else. Did you ever come across a situation throughout your career where you may not have agreed fully with a decision that was made or something that was said, but you knew that you couldn't publicly, you know, say how you felt out loud because that person may know someone. It was all going to come full circle for you at some point. You stay in this business a long time, when you learn how to agree, to disagree and they keep your mouth shut doing it and I think it's a I think it's a key component and and I'm not saying be a yes first, I mean they're they're they're probably a couple of jobs that I had that I don't have any more because I just didn't agree with what we were doing and I and I said it respectfully, but I just said, hey, listen, I I'm not quite sure that's the way we should be going here. And at the very least I got my opinion out and I felt it was an educated opinion. I felt there was a valid and well fought out opinion. But you know, there are times where people don't agree. The key is you just keep it inside the room. It's like it's it's great less. Similar with coaching. I learned some Barry. Barry and Robbie Laird where the two coaches when I was a Baltimore Robbie layers the head coach and he was a successful minor league coach. He's been a terrific pro scout for the La Kings that has got a couple of Cup rings now because of it. But you know, burying Robin did agree on everything, but you would never know because when they walk out of the coaches room. It was a unified front. I'm a big believer that you close that door and sound proof it. You can screaming yellow each other all you want. Well, that's great. Screaming yelling these days is kind of got out the window. So you can debate all you want in those in those rules. Well, once you make a decision, once the the path is charted, then you've got to buy in, even if you don't agree with it, as long as it doesn't compromise your bar your morals and your ethics and your core principles. If it's a hockey decision, whether it's something simple like whether I want to for check one two or one three or whatever, you may have put your idea on the table. The head coach may say, well, I want to do it this way. Once that the season gets made, then you lock yourself into making sure that you teaching it the way that the head coach wants to get taught. I just think that is a huge skill in our business and social media makes that hard and I've often say like a tweets like a bullet, you know, when you hit saying you can't pull it back. Yeah, regardless of deleting anything you can have think lives forever. So if you don't agree, take a deep breath, take a walk, write a letter that you never send. The old name Lincoln theory. You know why over the desk, while letters you never sent to anybody. And if you're write it out and get your feelings out. Sometimes it just makes a little bit easier to move forward. And I definitely want to get into the social media side of things because you're pretty active on twitter. But before I get there, there is one coaching question that I have to ask you because I need your opinion on it, because I'd asked our guys it and I need your answer because it's for some reason there's this trend in our league where we have, I believe right now, five head coach is that...

...are former goaltenders. Why is it that that position leads to so many coaches in the future and your opinion? It's a great question and it's funny. It's a simple answer. It's to me that's the same reason that catchers make great managers, that is you see the whole game. The game comes to you, the game goes away from you, but you see the game in lanes as opposed to other players. Like there when when you're playing in a regular game it's a sixteen minute game. You know elite players are playing twenty eight minutes. Other guys might playing seventeen. You're watching a lot of the game going East West, like a tennis match. You're kind of watching a go ping pong each way. When you're a goaltender, you're and a catcher. You're watching the game came atch you in lanes and scouts. You find out where scouts are sitting in buildings. Most of them sitting in corners. So they can see the game through lanes. They can see the game through spacing, they can see the game through angles, and I feel like goalie see it that way too. So once goalies are finished playing, they've just got this wealth of information in their heads about how the game spaces itself out and how the game actually gets played and what some of the cause and effect scenarios are in the ice, because it just happens in real time right in front of you. So I've always felt that from an animals perspective, I've always felt from coach perspective, goalie see the game so much better than anybody else. And and it's funny now because a lot of times when we're talking about teaching the game to younger players within the USA hockey system, the one thing we preach a lot of our young coaches is tea young players. Now they all play like NHL Twenty or in Nhl Twenty one or whatever, you know, year it is. Yeah, that game is up and down again. Goes North South on your screen. It doesn't go east West. And but as coaches, a lot of coaches still hanging the white board up the ones. It's so using them. They still hang the white board up in the White Board is East West. But the kids see the game north South now a lot of times through the video games that they play. And I always encourage them teach the game north south on your white board, like hang the white board and and so that you go and goal to goal, not across and and for a lot of coaches they say, Hey, that makes a ton of sense because really in the video game world that's a lot of kids are seeing the game. It's funny because you never really I never thought about that, but you're so right. Whenever you walk into any rank, whenever I see at the white boards, always hanging horizontally like that. So I like that answer. So now you did mention when you're going through your career path that things shifted for you up to the booth. Had that always been a vision of years or it's just kind of again, timing out at all worked out. It's I don't know if when I was a kid I thought about being on air. I twenty, I I thought to myself I was ever on air, is probably gonna be for the wrong reason, you know, but but I you know, I think that in college it's funny, when I was younger playing goal, there are times where like my goal coulds used to say, you know, obviously segment games down in the five minute segments, and but you got to keep your mind mentally active with a pucks not you're in. So do play by play the game. Now I'm not a play by player on an analyst, but it's funny, like I remember doing play by play in my head of the Games and think of myself, you know, was just kind of fun. But I don't really ever feel like I was wired to be a play by player. I think that's a really special skill that a lot of guys do really, really well and so as my career went on and it started to get started, I remember Kenny Albert saying I want you some games with me here in Baltimore, and that kind of started the on air component and it almost never stopped. And even when I wasn't really broadcasting full time during the course of a season, are still dabbling in it here and there. It's I love it. I mean I think you've got a great ability to teach the game, that the analysts that care can teach the game on the air, and I want to leave the viewers with something that they might not have known when we're all setting done. One or two things, maybe three things, whether it's something about the games, something about their team, something about a player. The Guy. I really take pride to the inform, analyze and entertained component of what my job is on air. And the other great challenge is staying out of the way of a game like it's. It's funny. It's a hard lesson to learn when you've got a little bit of an ego that you want to show people you know what you're talking about. Sometimes the most effective analysts are the ones that know how to lay out and it was a really important skill...

...that I learned from Ross Molloy at CBS sports network in terms of how to let you play by play guy build drama and how to stay out of the way of the game. And there are certain times where you just need to give your play by play guy the microphone all to himself because they need to build drama. And so it's, you know, much like playing, much like coaching, much like scouting. It's been a continuing evolving education of how to be a real good analyst and I I think I've made some strides in an area but it, believe me, it is nothing way back with and I ever thought I'd wind up doing. But you know, when I look back at it, I'm so glad I have the opportunity to do it and keep doing it. And selfishly, I want to keep the conversation here for a little bit because I fortunately get the chance to call a bunch of games in our league, in particular finals which this past year, the past March, the championship game went into overtime. So I was a playlight play guy and a good friend of mine was the color guy. In your experiences as a color analysts when a game, a playoff game, goes to overtime, what are the thoughts that go through your head about when the right time to talk? Is it in the extra frame and and how much time you have? That is a great, great question and I just went through that tire range of checklists last March because in the NCA men's tournament I want, I was doing the Midwest regional an our regional final championship game between Minnesota Duluth, where the two time defending national champs and there are drawal in our league, North Dakota. That game when five overtimes and it got to the and it got the overtime on two goals in the last minute and a half of the game that North Dako to scort this. This game was off the charts. It is an absolute classic and I remember we get to overtime and it was funny because there are a lot of things going through my mind. The number one thing going through my minds with somebody always said it, that is you got to remember the fans, because the fans of the two teams are really have skin in this game. They are they are now hinged on every last second when that thing goes to overtime, because both of the seasons could potentially end. I will actually both of their yeah, it was original final, so both there's gonna end on the next goal. So you keeping that in mind. You don't want to get too cute. You don't want to get you know, want inject a lot of humor in there, like you want to play it straight because those fans are on eggshells and you don't want to screw it them. So that was number one. Number two is you known ever want to talk what a goals about to be scored, because overtime goals tend to be classic calls. You want to stay out of the way of the call. So I'm thinking myself pucks inside the Blue Line, in possession with a chance to threaten the net. I'm not saying a word. That was number two, and number three was the fan basis of these two teams. Are So knowledgeable and there's such deep history with their two programs, and I know these fan bases well because I'm involved with them a lot during the NCHC on CBIA sports network. They know me, I know them. The eastern audience might not know me as well, but I want to treat these fans to the best possible game that I can give them while staying out of their way. So a lot of these things are going through my mind. So that first overtime, thinking that it might end quick like I was really once they quiet, but I really pick my spots and is very staccato during that first overtime. Is this game started to go on. I got back into the game groove that I'm normally and will still be. Cognizant of what we just talked about, but the longer that game settled in, the edges are and as much on. You know, the turning point is they were when you think that game was going to end in three minutes of the first overtime. So I do think that the rules of engagement change when you get to overtime, especially as the analyst. It's really the play by play. Guys show or girls show. This case, was LEA Hex all for that game and and I just think you need to compliment the game more than take the game in a direction based on how you're seeing it. I you really need to let the players play it out and react what a when you need to. What time did that game end? In that game ended and after it ended, I think about a quarter at a twelve central time, but it's started at thirty, you know, like it was an early start. So I mean I can and it's funny. You're gonna laughing to tell you...

...it's every says, you know, Bologny. I felt like I could have gone another three or four over times, and I say this week. I know they couldn't, but with those two teams and my history of those two teams, I had enough information on those two teams that I could have gone all night like it. What you know, I mean, I get what if I if I got two teams I didn't know as well as those two, I'd have been praying for a fast ending. But knowing the history of those two teams and how many games are those two teams, I'd called or scouted or just watched, like I felt like no matter where that game went, I was okay. So as long as a game get going like I was pretty good. The one thing I was always in fear of, as you get a review or a rules determination that you don't know, and I'm a rule book Nerd, but I was worried about something going to happen where I'm going to get caught not exactly knowing what they're reviewing why they're reviewing it. You know that kind of thing. Yeah, that was a my real where I couldn't explain it right away to the audience correctly. Yeah, it's awesome to hear and I remember that game specifically because eastern time was a little bit later and I remember saying to myself, I have to go to bed, I cannot stay up for the thing that any longer. But it's cool to hear because obviously, as I mentioned, arch championship game went to overtime this year. We're obviously huge fans of hockey. Wi love all sports, but what I try and explain to people is what makes hockey different is overtime. So let's hear you kind of explain it now. Why is overtime so special in hockey, and specifically that FA's that it could end, like you mentioned, at any moment. All from from a coaching perspective, I always told my team's any level ever coach, that what you get to do an overtime stereo or you get under two or three minutes at a tie game, which to me is essentially overtime. You know, there's no such thing as a bad shot. And This Day and age where dead angle shots, your shots from below the goal, below the dots are outside the Hash Barks, or you're along the goal on like dead angle shots now, or you're like, you know, they're the new great as. So those shots tend to go in, whereas twenty years ago, with the difference in goaltending, a lot of those shots there were wasted shots or you just did it to maybe produce a crazy rebound or something. So like to me, any shot could be the game ender. That's number one. A crazy bounce could be the game ender. The other thing is, I often felt an overtime the underdog and overtime now has the same puncher's chance that the favorite does, and that's where games can really turn. But to me it's overtime is an interesting dynamic. It's what team from the get go. And remember, you know, we know as coaches, first three minutes of a period you want to be a little bit conservative and just kind of get the period moving and not give up a goal early so that it changed though Benum of the period. Right for the get go. I think it overtime that change is totally like you. From the drop of the pocket you got to be in go mode. It's fifth gear all the way through and then, as overtimes go on, it's about learning how to manage the later part of overtimes where the ice is getting bad and you're getting a little bit more tired and shifting out thirty seconds. To remember that first overtime you're an office, you're defending the end furthest from your bench. So line change is matter and how many overtimes we see or bad line change or fatigue on the line change can determine the game. So I think the night at the dynamic of the playing surface, the dynamic of defending a different end, of being further away from your bench. At the pro level and college level, no commercial timeouts and overtime other than when you come out to scrape the ice midway through. I mean it's just that's a whole different game, which to me, is what makes overtime so great. Well, when they get off the Air I'll send you the video of our overtime winner. The New Hampshire athletes will not be happy with this, but the change was the difference there was. They were the line changement a difference because one player of the ten scares in the ice didn't change and he's stressed it wide and was absolutely wide open. But you're gonna Laugh when I tell you this on that don't just because it's something that's just just dawned them. Remember, as a really young coach I was at a coaching so I was Roger Neilson's coaching supposing this has to be like the late S, early s, somewhere that range. I don't remember what coach said it, but one coach said to me, or end this discussion, that one of the...

...things that he looks for in his team is really, really good faceoff guys. Because I want to make sure you got really good faceoff guys for the obvious reason of hockey's a possession game and I want to start with possession of the pocket. But I also know that if I go to overtime with the playoffs and I get into these situations where I get pinned in, I want my guys to know that they can I seed the puck as off then as they want, because we're going to come about win the next draw. And it's something you don't really think about. That off the way it is. Stayed with me my entire coaching career about how important faceoffs are, and I'm telling you about what level I've been at. I've tried to carve out five minutes at the end of practice with my sentiment to work on faceoff technique and I said a ton of videos to my sentiment to to show them different technique and different ways to win draws and how to tie up and with our team about how important faceoffs are, because I've always felt like if you feel like you can win the next draw regardless, then you really don't have a care in the world, especially that first overtime. I'm having an ice of pocket. Thank you, havint keep guys on the ICER for having to take a defensives own draw where the game can be on the line because you're so confident your sentiment they're going to win the next faceoff. Well, let's stay there for a second, because you know what I notice? I don't want it. I'm not. I'm not that will myself, but I noticed with the with our teenage players nowadays, they're so focused on shooting the pot. They come out and they want to stick handle and shoot and they're not practice and pick top corners and hit the backlass. How how hard is it to get that five minutes in practice and say that I know this is not the fun aspect of the game, but how hard is it to say these faceoffs that you're working on right now, this is going to make or break our wins and losses? How hard is it to teach that lesson? You know what, it's not as hard as you think it is, because one of the things that I've done in the past, as I've said, to the centers and depends, I mean something, you know something of reloader guys, younger guys, whatever, but I'll bring them all in, we'll talk about face off technique and then I'll have them face off against each other. But now we create some competitions, like every guy wants to win the best of seven. In terms of the seven parks we're going to drop there and and there. I also put parameters on like, you know, make you you're the offensive guy, you're the defensive guy, or here's the here's where I want you to try to win this. Like I might put some some rules and regulations into the draws, but these guys all want to beat each other. So you know, I tell them keep your own stats. I you know, know who you're beating and depends. You know, we're gonna be on the left, thought the right, Don Offensive, defensive, that kind of stuff. But you know, remember who you're beating. Also remember who you're struggling against, because those of the guys I want you to go up against in practice. And it's the same thing that I've created with a lot of teams with my penalty killers. Like I think penalty killing is a privilege and you've got to be ultra competitive to be on the PK and I'm I'm a big believer in PK units. I know some coaches don't mind just rolling over like the next two and they don't define their units as much with their forwards. I'm on the other side of that. I do like to have set groups so they get used to each other, but I like to pick those groups against each other. Hey, you had six opportunities in this game as penalty killing shifts. How'd you do all? We you know, all six times we were out there, we did get scored on, you know, but and then here, what's the other group? Okay, we're out there five times and we were pretty good we do to give any shots, and you know so we want up to you. You know I love creating competition. I'm on units because that pushes every unit to be the best unit out there. And if you've got all these different units pushing each other to be the best and creating the ice time and wanting the big shift, we get a pretty good team. So I've never really found that an issue to work on the things that might seem dull, because athletes want to compete and if you make it a competition then they are all in it. It wouldn't make a difference it was a competition empty the water bottles and clean the bench. If you put a competition in there, they're all in there. You Go. And then, sifting back towards the broadcasting side of things, you mentioned eighteen years on that side of the business as well, doing games, selection shows, you name it. How many days in advance, how much time do you truly spend on preparation? That's a really good question. I'll tell you what I think. This season is your preparation, and I may can identify how much time goes into each individual game. That's hard to do because if I'm seeing a team for the first time that season. I will tell you that preparation is probably seven eight hours, you know, between watching some...

...games and calling some coaches and talking different people, talking to players that week of the game, talking of the coaches in the game that week and getting your stuff together. So the first time you see a team, I think it's much more extensive and then as you keep going with some of the teams that you're seeing on repeat viewings, it gets a little bit easier because now you're doing maintenance. But I mean, I would say it's a minimum of an hour and a half. It could be an acimum of eight, but to me it's a it's a season process and all those years are scouting the NCAA, as ball was doing games there was much easier because you're seeing teams a lot. But on the other hand, you know, there there might be times where I spent the week or two in hockey east and all this had to go out to an NCHC game and had to reacclimate myself to the teams I was seeing because I had a Boston college on my mind for for the past four days. So but I tell you what, it's pretty extensive and having a wife that's on our on my broadcast crew. You want to talk about some competition, I mean there's a little there's a little out between us two in terms of WHO's who's got the best story for the game. And he found out what from whom, and that's kind of a fun stuff too. So to put you on the spot, then, I know you mentioned Kenny Albert's name earlier. You don't have to get me a straightforward answer, but is there a broadcaster, playlight play guy in particular at that when you know you're lined up with that individual, there's a little extra excitement in your mind because you're working with that that guy or girl. It would be unfair to single out one because I've been so blessed with so many great ones. I like when I look back at some of the people I have worked with, I fall over and I said it was on Acomplie my work with this guy too, and or this lady to. I mean just it's been awesome. But I will tell you this. I spent the last ten years at CBS sports network work he with been holden and he and I have probably done a hundred and twenty, hundred and thirty games together and been was one of those few guys where, no matter what, you knew he had something to say, no matter what point in the game it was, no matter whether you're doing alive, open on TV, between periods, whatever. His preparation was painstakingly meticulous. He was is dialed in, he is energy was incredible. It's just we love the ten years that we work together and and been was one of those guys are always look forward to it because that on thing. I know we're could do a good broadcast, but I knew we're gonna have a lot of fun doing it. So I mean, that would be that would be a recent one for me, but I mean, I'm just I've had a lot that have been so good and each one of them brings a different flavor. Each one of them brings a different vibe and I can honestly saying with you I'll never say who was, with the exception of one person. I've never had a play by play guy where I walked up the building. Is that? Oh my God, I'm never working with them again. That's so I've been really lucky, but I guess they they each bring so many, so many different things and and that's when any part about it I mean you can really learn from your play by play guys because of what they bring to the table. So then different spin as there ever been a play I play person that you haven't got the chance to work with that you wish you could? There's a good one too. All right, let this is going to sound really, really cocky and it's not meant to be. So take this in the right way. Okay, I've had a chance to do five or six games bike emeric. Okay, I had a chance to a world junior championship with Gary Thorne. So there's two legends right there, and that's that's my one. I wanted to hear you, if you guys, say that one. Yeah, so I am like that. Those both of those games. I gotta Tell You, it took me a few minutes open my mouth because I was so used to watching them. That and I did stats for both of those guys at the beginning of my career when I was in turning a sports channel. So it was odd to be on the air with the guy that I was doing stats for at support my career. So I've been. I've worked with John Forsdel. He was great. I work with Joe Bennen Aughty. He was great. So I be like the those guys were were tremendous. And Kenny Alberts, another guy work with. You know, we did a couple hundred games together the miners. He was awesome. So I mean it's, like I said, it's just been it's been really cool. I've just I just had so many good ones in terms of one that that I haven't worked with. That's that's you know, that's a really good one. I'm I'll tell you what. I would have loved to have called a hockey game on radio with Marvel. Okay, that would have been by one. And I've been I do remember. I do...

...remember dissecting the press meal at the old Master Square Guard pressure with him. You know, you'd be like that, David. You know, what do you think of the chicken? I'd be like and I so we've done kind of a food critique thing of times, but we we never did a game together. That would have been a good one. Yeah, okay. So obviously mentioned way back in this as that your son's playing for the wolves this season, not in the ehl but at the you sixteen level. But I want to talk about the hockey landscape now because I've had I've had the chance to go out and represent the League of different showcases and whatnot, and a lot of parents are still learning. You know what's taking place because hockey's changed so much over the years and the path to college has changed so much over the years. Now that you can look at it from the father's perspective, you know what is the ideal pipeline path that you'd like to see your son take throughout his career? Where do you want to see him end up? I want to see him end up in the place that he belongs. I want to see him end up in a place where water always seeks level. I want to see him get to the level that he can get to where he knows that, no matter what he did, he put everything into it, he don't leave any stones unturned and when he gets it at level, that's the level that he belongs at. That's, to me, is number one. It's it's his journey. Now, it's his path. Now he's in charge of it. It's great that my wife's a hockey gall to you know, and she is covered the red wing, she's covered college hockey. She's one some Emmy's doing it. I mean, she's been around the game and around the highest levels of the game and some of the elite minds of the game for a long time. So she gets it. Yeah, and that's a great thing for Ryan. So I think that, you know, when we when we look at him and again we put him in charge. So he really wanted to play for the wolves. He felt like the landscape of what you get, you know, playing regular travel youth hockey and in our region was not enough. You want to be any Aceh more. He wanted to train more. He really wanted to chase it. He he feels like he's made strides in the game and and he wants to try and take this as far as it can go. Whether he's going to be a division one division three player, I have no idea, nor does he, but the bottom line is he's in charge of his path now and because of the fact that he is invested in it both as a student and as an athlete, then we had no problem putting in a situation where he could take major steps. And you know what, if you're playing, you sixteen now and you just say hey, listen, I'm going to play another couple of years and then I'm going to college at Eighteen, no matter what. You know that's fine too, but that's not how he saw it. You know he was he's okay with playing those extra couple of years of junior if he needs to to try to reach his eventual goal of playing at the highest level possible. And and when I look at the path, you know what's the best path? The Best, best path that I think a player could take is the one that makes them the most uncomfortably comfortable. And it sounds strange, but I don't think taking the taking the path of least resistance is a good one. I don't think they can the easy path is a good one. I don't wait too many players that were guaranteed spots on teams just because they've been around for a while. I don't think it helps you. I mean, I think you need to be pushed. I think you need to get an areas where you know maybe the coaches in your best buddy or maybe I've been playing with the same group for the last ten years. I get there are times where where I think your game can grow when you get away from what you're so used to. And the hardest thing to do is leave an easy situation or leave a comfortable situation. But to me, the biggest success stories that I've ever been around are people that step way outside their comfort level really early and learn that not everything, not everything is guaranteed, and they were going to be some bumps in the road and you've got to go stare into the abyss and reintroduce yourself to you through adversity, and I think that, you know, I think this is a scenario that's going to benefit him because of that. But that's just the way I feel. I really feel like the player needs to make a determination as to where they want to take their career and then act upon it and that once they do, they need to live it. So if if you're going to go play a higher level of travel hockey and you're going to go play in a different league and you're going to move away from home with sixteen and you better be prepared that it's...

...not going to be easy. You better be prepared that's not going to go your way all the time. You'd better be prepared that there are days were to go home because it was easier, and then you have you know, you kind of put your big boy pants on and say, Hey, this is the path I chose and I'm going to make it work and and it's going to lead me to the success that I want on and off the ice and on and on and out of the classroom. It's a great perspective to look at it and of course, for us, but we don't shy away from selling is that not at every ten players from our league does end up at a division two or three school. You know did the one. Every ten has a path that they take to get to Division One. But whether it's division one or division two or division three, college hockey. From from your perspective again, how hard is it to reach the college hockey ranks? It is. It is really hard and these players are really good players, whether it's Division One, division three, and I'll tell you what, you go watch the Division One Club Hockey Games. I mean this is some really good players and these are players that invest in their careers and these are players are grinded it and did everything they have to do, where the be in the gym, on the ice, summer hockey, schools, whatever the case is, Spring Leagues, the whole nine yards. These are guys that really, really grinded and girls, you know, College Ocul the women's side is is no easy thing either. So I think that the numbers will always say that the odds are against you and I think every young player understands that. But the one thing that I will always tell a player, no matter how hard it is, and and like I said, it's it's are you going to be special to play at that level. But the one thing I think that people get lost in is they start look at the numbers and start listening to people about how the heart it is, and I think that should be understood and assume. Once you digest that component, the next step for you as a player and then, except for you as a family, is why not me that? And if your mentality is why not me? That path doesn't sun get easier, but it gets straighter and you're not worried about everybody else, you just just worry about you. I the way way, way too many parents are concerned about how everybody else's kid is playing. Stop worried about how your kids playing. That's the only thing should matter. How'd your kid playing? And the one thing on your kids mind should be how do I get better? Every day. What do I need to do to get better every day? Yeah, and and most importantly, is who's ahead of me on the depth chart and how do I get past them? And that's been my challenge to players straight through. WHO's ahead of you and how do you get past them? Because again, now we're created an eternal competition right like, go chase the guy in front of you, the girl in front of you, go get past them and then identify the next player who's taking the shifts that you want, who's taking the ice time that you feel you deserve. Well, don't go complaining to the coach about it, go do something about it. and to me, as hard as it is to get to those levels, the mindset of investing in yourself and worrying about you I think makes that path a lot easier because then, wherever you wind up, you did it and you did it on your own. It's that, it's the look in the near mentality right there. Yep, and and now we're kind of transitioning, because I wanted to get to this towards the end, into the USA hockey side of things, because obviously very heavily involved in the USA hockey as well. And then with the growth of college hockey. You you look at the Nahl playoffs and now there's so many players that played called hockey that I'm in the NFL playoffs. With the success that USA hockey's had at the world juniors, tying it all together, seeing all that success, how does that make you feel and how do you think that helps future players who want to improve in this game? I think it's great. And when USA hockey did, and trust me, they took a lot of abuse, for a lot of people thought they do a lot and, as it turned out, didn't, that they need to take some baby steps to change the process, and we're just talking about these things. To do is stay in a situation that you've just been a partner for a long time and white change. USA Hockey took some bold steps and incorporating a lot of the best from all over the world and incorporate it into a really comprehensive program and now we're at the point where it's especially the world junior level. We can probably send...

...two teams to the world junior level and both of them whatever chance to medal. And for years Canada would always send the team there and they probably could have sent the second one in that same scenario and four years kenad would talk about hey will listen. You know, we be guaranteed to gold medal. All of our best you twenty players are playing, but some of their playing in the NHL and and that was a feather in their cap and that was great for them. USA Hockey's at that point now where our best players aren't necessarily playing at the you twenty championships because some of them are playing in the NHL. And we probably could feel the second team because of how many really good players we have at the you twenty level. And and you're seeing it manifest itself at the college rocky level. I think thirty five percent of the in the NHL now has an NCA background and I remember when I was doing NCA free agent scouting, you know, one of the things that always struck me was sixty seven percent of the League at one point that are free agents. We're all NCA free agents. It's a longer path. It's probably a stronger path of time for some players just because of the fact that you get until twenty four to develop and you come out and you come out of man it's a yeah, there's a big difference to me between a twenty four year old and a twenty goold. And for some of those late bloomers, and believe me, there are a lot of them. Chris Koon it's a great example. This Dustin Penner is a great examples. I mean there are some late bloomers that need a little while to find their stride and get it all together. And you get a player that that all of a sudden grows eight inches through high school. I mean you're playing a different game at six foot four than you were at, you know, five foot nine. I mean it's just it's a it's so you got to learn how to use your legs in your arms and course, strength and center and gravity and it takes a while to restructure your stride and all those things that might have been easy to you and you were smaller. I mean, it's a different game. So those late bloomers they need some time. Then the game is also gotten a little bit more complex. I mean I think right now defenseman take longer to developed in goalies because playing defense, a modern Defenseman, I mean that's a really unique role. Right now it's you think of a MIDIAN and Lacrosse. It's just they see the whole game there in the middle of you got forwards up front, you get the goalie behind you and you're supposed to be equally as helpful to both sides and and you're right in the middle of it all. So I tend to think that that the college route gives you a chance to practice four times a week and play twice, which should be the youth hockey model across the country and the fact that it is in is a joke. But I think that the for practices, the two games model is terrific for development. There are so many good coaches right now at the NCA level, one, d three, and a lot of these coaches are benefiting from a lot of improved coach at the ushl level, proof coaching at the North American league level through the tier three junior a levels. Your players are coming up in there a little bit more, ready to take on more responsibility and that's translating into them being better pros. It's awesome. He's Dave Starman on twitter. It's D starman hockey. Make sure to get in the follow and when you're in La Conia this season, please let me know. I'd love to any final way to squeeze you onto one of our broadcasts. Oh, that's a deal looking forward to. I can't wait for the season to get started as a new adventure for for team starrymen, and we are ecstatic about it. Awesome. Thank you. You got it. 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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