THE #ESHOW
THE #ESHOW

Episode 22 · 2 years ago

Joe Bertagna | Episode 22

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Earlier this week, the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) announced the addition of Joe Bertagna as the new Executive Advisor of the #Eshow. After serving as a commissioner in the NCAA ranks for 38 years, Bertagna is ready for the next chapter in his career, and the challenges that it will bring.


Bertagna jumped on the podcast this week and told stories of the past that included glimpses into his playing, coaching, and administrative days. While it will forever be disappointing the way his final season ended with the Hockey East Association, Bertagna is still beyond proud of how that conference has grown over the last two decades.

Welcome to the east show with Neil Raven. 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 into 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 those within the hockey community who have experienced a catastrophic event. Learned more at the penalty box foundation dot Org. Once again, my name is Neil Raven. This episode number twenty two, a very, very special episode for me, as I let the welcome in our brand new executive advisor, Joe Brattania. Welcome to the east show, Joe. Thanks Nail, my pleasure. How of the first few days been for you and the job? You know, it's been great. I, like everybody else, I was in a covid schedule. You know, you wake up and get on some calls and go for a walk. You'd try to keep the self busy because a lot of my work is, like many of us, is geared to the hockey season and this norm we would have been a week I was at the USA Hockey Congress in Colorado Springs and passing through Indianapolis, Frindsaa meetings on the way. It's a it's a doubleheaded trip I've done for decades. So it was good this week to start June one where start date with the austern hockey league. I've started a series of phone conversations. I tried to keep them between twenty and forty minutes, just inductory calls to get people to know me a little bit and then ask questions about the league and what what everybody thinks works well. What could be better? And one of the things I'm finding, which you probably can appreciate, is the hockey world being so small that, even though this is a brand new opportunity in a brand new venture for me, coming across a lot of familiar faces from various parts of my hockey past and it's been kind of fun to reconnect and in preparing for this interview, the one thing that I'm most excited about myself personally as how things have just come totally a false circle for me, because my first GIG in the hockey world was only back in two thousand and twelve, but it was with the hockey east. So it's pretty fun for me to have you now in the Eh Shell and one thing that I wanted to ask you is going into your last season with the hockey east, you made it the point to say that yes, it's my last season, but this is not a retirement. You know, the saying goes, one door closes, another door opens. When did you first learn about the EHL and this opportunity? Well, you know, I've been aware of the AHL and I did a lot of work with mark couple a few years ago and when he signed everybody up to be members of the American Hockey Coaches Association, which is another organization that I do some part time work, and I even remember going up to meeting market and sackle Maine, and so I had a kind of an awareness, though not a good working knowledge. And then over the last month or two someone reached out from one of the organizations and just said, you know, we have this opening that's potentially flexible, because I think there was originally some conversation about maybe making a little bit more full time than then what we ended up doing. And I was a little gunshy coming off of the almost four decades of work as a hockey commissioner, first with DCAC hockey and then hockey east, to jump right back in where I was doing full time day to day, and I was much more interested if there could be a an advisory consultant role, you know, a significant one. And so in the back and forth, in the early conversations, we were able to to agree to a potential job description and I was happy to hear that it was accepted unanimously by the board...

...and I think we can get eighteen people to agree on anything, that's a good sign. But I you know what I didn't want to do, and be in all candor, I left hockey east. I was probably a little, say, at odds, but I think when you worked at twenty three years and you're the guy that says no, you know, no, you can't change your schedule. No, you can't have that rep taken up that game. No, you can't. Yes, your guys going to be suspended. To know, I'm not know left the suspension. You know you were. You were constantly the guy getting in the way of a given schools. You know, plans to be successful, but that's what you know. When you have rules and you have consequences, that somebody has to hold people accountable and I think towards the end it may have been that there was a you know, as I could say, half joking half kidding, the athletic directors got a little tired of me and I get a little tired of them. So when they didn't renew my contract, I was a little upset at first, but fairly quickly I came to look at it as a positive that, you know, after all these years with some similar job description, similar issues, schools getting more and more competitive in the point of you know, they're always been competitive. Every league, every team is, but to the point of losing sight of the the joint mission that all the schools were on. It actually seemed like a good time to break and so it wasn't my decision. I can't revise history, but I think I realized early on this could be a good thing and the many people said they're going to be other opportunities and I think when you get into the situation now is in is a certain vulnerable dynamic where you you don't want take the first thing that comes along. But this this seemed to be a good way to ease back in to an administrative role without, you know, jumping back into that full time. We're the guy saying no. Now you're saying at junior coaches instead of college coaches or junior owners instead of college athletic directors. So I'm very excited about it. It's also different enough. I mean I've had a very deep hockey resume that's combined coaching at the highest levels with administering, and this is, you know, I'm back into the arena, so to speak, dealing with coaches, dealing with management people, but highly different issues, different mission statement. You know, very impressed with the success that the AHL has had in fulfilling that mission of trying to prepare guys for division two and division three hockey and in a short time of looked at the results and where you and I had a conversation or communicated yesterday, looking at the at the breadth of places that guys are being sent. So this seemed like a great opportunity and I hope it's ends up being the win win that we both envision. And one thing that you started to touch on your resume there. What my biggest takeaway is is it feels like they're always up for the challenge. Is that what excited you about going from, let's say, a Division One hockey to tear three junior hockey, that new challenge? Yeah, there's there's an element of that. I think, Hey, I'm sixty eight years home. You know you'll want things to be fresh every day when you step out and in these days I don't have an office to go to other than a Home Office, like a lot of people, but I want to I want to sit down and I made a point at nine o'clock. I think I missed the by a minute or two, but my first job at nine o'clock on June one was to reach out to all the stakeholders and say thank you, number one, give an idea what I want to do over these next two or three weeks, and it's been great to have some structure that's been lacking over these last couple of months when since the college hockey season abruptly ended like so many other...

...seasons that it was a breath of fresh air to wake up on Monday and have a whole clean slate and creating new notebooks and new contact lists and these conversations I've had since I think they did the first move mikes so robella started alphabetically by franchise. So Boston's came up first and I've been very impressed with the I think I've had four calls. I've got to tomorrow, one Friday. Very impressed with the with the back and forth and these conversations, and I started with kind of general what works, what doesn't, and then with each call you learned something that is important to an individual and then you factor that into your next set of phone calls and questions and I'm looking forward to it. It may not end up being thirty six calls, you know, to for the team. I think Friday I've got Mario Right now and his coaches on together and as a convenience I'll probably have a few calls with with the whole kind of operating group. And there's a couple of new organizations that I can't ask the same questions because they're new this year. But you know, talking about the connections, I got a call from Joe Buchinos with the protect group and I've known Joe for thirty years. Coach his son Aj who went on to be a goalie at Wisconsin Stevens. Point of the use of division three all American. So so that's been fun to not just the nuts and bolts challenge but the pleasure of rekindling relationships with people. To Go Martin's I've known for a long time. Scott BUSCO was a student at Harvey when I first met him, and and on and on down the list of people that I have a familiarity was. Well, he said, it's funny how the hockey world is all intertwined. I don't want to touch on this too much because it's still a little bit of a fresh wound. I'm sure in your last season, with the hockey east sins so unpredictable for the way that things ended, was it disappointing for you the way that the season had to be canceling? How did you find a positive out of your last year ending like that? It's tough to find a positive. I think I was disappointed on a couple of fronts. The first and foremost I felt for the athletes that couldn't have a championship, couldn't get onto the national championship. I thought Boston College and a couple of our teams had a chance to go deep in the national tournament. I was looking forward to seeing Jerry York to if he could rekindle that level of success that he has had for so many years. And I thought about you know, in my own life, I my whole life projectory changed because I was able to perform well in the Massachusetts High School Hockey Tournament back almost fifty years ago. But it was a it was a week in March where I went from being an obscure goalie who only become a goal with as a sophomore in high school to performing well on a big stage, under the spotlight, then getting recruited by Harvard. As it turned out, the referee and our championship game was built cleary, who at the time with the freshman coach at Harvard. So he one week he's taking the puck out of my glove on a faceoff going he he's a great stay and the two weeks later getting the phone calls. Thing you even think of playing hockey at Harvard. So I think of all these kids didn't have that chance. Yeah, at the high school level, of college level, the junior level, when all eyes are upon them and college coaches might have been looking at them because of a lot of decisions are made when people have to perform under pressure and and that was all taken away from part to the seniors. Personal level. Yeah, I was little disappointing because we were going to have a probably, you know, the final weekend at the garden was going to be my my farewell, you know, drop the puck and we're going to have...

...a little brunch at Pun in Boston. But I fortunately I have the opportunity to go around and visit most of the schools. I think I missed main just because of timing and not being able to get up there, and had the farewell ceremonies. Each school did something a little different, all very meaningful to me. I think the best one was I went up to you ma ask my daughter a freshman, and I got a Jersey with my name in the back and number twenty three for the number of years I can hockey's and she looked at she said, hey, my name, my graduating class, class of twenty three. I'll take that Jersey. So she shown that one and so I know what we be am. We am a lum. He got he got that one and but of this playing in Jersey to still go around when I get back on the age of my old man hockey. Well, maybe they can give you a second version of each one as well, but you started the touch on you're playing days a little bit there, and it's something that I wanted to bring up because what you're going to learn about our league is, I'm not sure what it is in particular, but there's a lot of former goalies and the one question really I wanted that. Yeah, there's an I want to say. We have about for former Division One goalies that are now head coaches in our league. I'm not sure if it's just the trend that we're going through through recent years or what it is exactly, but the question that I always ask them that I'm going to ask you right now. It's obviously a very unique position. Why did you want to play goalie? Well, there was there, to honest answers. One one I was always when I was a defenseman. I was always a street hockey goalie and I loved there's a lot more street hockey in those days. You didn't have as much ice access, weren't as many rinks and so you know, on any afternoon you'd be out the street a couple of tin cans as goalposts and I was always the goalie. First Time I played on ice a goalie got sick in a bandom game and the parents came to the game anyway and said here, you seem to have a lot to say once you try it, and through the pads at me. But the week before I tried out for the high school I realize I wasn't going to make it as a defense when I was a slow moving defenseman. Fought in, had a good head but not athletic or quick enough to be a good defenseman. Played Freshman Hockey and then the goalie that was our goal in our class went to private school and he went on to be an all America at be you and backed up Ken dried in Montreality was Ad Walsh. There's two d walls is in the England area. This is not the one that played at roll but played at be you and we left school and left an opening and so I switched to goal right before tryouts my sophomore year and I grew up in Arlington, mass, which is a big hockey town. Still is. They won super eight title this year, which is rare for a public school. But when I was there the coach was a legendary coach Guy. Any mad burns of coach for fifty years. Twenty four years of football, fifty for hockey and it's a big deal to get be on the hockey team in the town. My older brother had played. Now, all these years later, my father in law played, his brother played, my mother in Law's brother. It was a big family thing. So I became a goalie with a backup my first year, alternated the first half of my junior then took off my seeing spring of my junior year, when we want the championship, and it's been good to me. I still play kind of a weekend pick up group. A lot of I point I beleague guys. Had A great experience at Harvard and a great year playing hockey in Italy. We want a national championship over there. But the other thing I tell people it's the only season where I get I waited more in February and I did in October because the food was so good. Almost a possible if you think about it, if you're going to practice every day and you're trying, it's almost impossible to gain weight during the season. But I was able to do it and and win a championship. So it's like you'll hang on that one for a while. One thing...

...that I've been doing this offseason. You'll be able to see starting again next week. We've been a team of the week feature each week a different organization throughout the Eh Shell and and one thing that I've been asking the head coaches to do when I interview them is give me their all time line up from their years in the EH shell. So I'm going to kind of do a little bit of a different spin here for this next question. Obviously ye're in goal. Let's go back to your playing days. Let's put the line up in front of you of all the best players that you played with. Can you give us three foards and to d who you take to have in front of you and your lineup? That's pretty good. So on defense, I'm going to go back to to just after college I played senior hockey other than Glocester, Massachusetts, and there's a team that used to play on Sunday nights and average aides of the League was twenty five years old and the average age of our team was forty five years old. But we all had division one guys that had been around many was still coaching, and so one of my defenseman was Mark Fusco, who won the Hobie Baker, or eighty three. His brother Scott's involved in the eastern Hockey League, and the other defension was David Quinn, is now the head coach of the New York Rangers, and he was playing pick up hockey at the time because he had his pro career hadn't taken off. He had some medical issues he was dealing with and before he got those addressed he was hanging around with a bunch of US plan on Sunday nights in Gloucester mass. So fus go and Quinn, we're pretty good. I mean I had some high school and college defenseman that I should name as well. Got Named mark noon, who played both in high school and college and, when overplayed in Europe, and another guy named Kevin Happy, who was the captain of the high was captain of both baseball in Ice Hockey at Harvard of Dennim High School. Best Houstons Guy. But so I go. I'll start with the most recent with the US going Quinn, the man up front. I can tell you there was one line at Harvard all on on to play pro hockey and they were real local guys from from towns that all about it themselves. Arlington, where I grew up, Belmont and Cambridge. So some people call them the ABC line. I'm calling a local line. But David Hines was from Cambridge, was an all American plays for the Boston Bruins. Bob mcmanamo was a center from Belmont mass played for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Bill Corpoury, from Arlington, played for the Bruins Minor League team, which at the time was the Boston braves. That played right out of the garden, you know, before they got the main mariners and providence brons. So that group was as good a group. We were hitting on over thirty three percent of our power plays and I was spectator as well as a participant watching those. Those guys moved back around at one point where number one of the country in the January my senior year and then we kind of stumbled the rest of the way. Well, that's the heck of a line up and I didn't warn you about that question and you had a pretty pretty ready to go, so I'll give you credit for that one. So shortly after you're playing cree you got right involved with the coaching side of things. We you always kind of envisioning that for the next step, or was it something that you kind of realize when you were in college? No, I think you know suspicious when people talk about answer questions like this and make it sound like they had a plan all the way. Maybe some people do, but I think most of US stumble into things and and even my career in general is probably attributed as much as trying to avoid thing I didn't want to do as opposed to pursuing the things I did. So, like a lot of us, you grow up thinking this work and play and nobody really tells you that if you do it right, work is play and and so in my work life all these things I do are kind of part of play. And Getting into coaching was just seemed like a natural thing coming out of school,...

...and I really did have a an affinity for learning about learning how to teach goaltending, because I had to teach myself. There were no goalie coaches really back then and starting as late as I did, I had to learn it in the hurry. So, you know, three and a half years after I started playing, I'm going to Division One program so they're learning as you're as you're playing. So I took a fascination and in breaking down the position and trying to explain it so other people could learn from the process I went through, and I was fortunate not right out of college. One of my assistant coaches at hard was the great Tim Taylor, who went on to be the head coach at Yale for nearly three decades and was our Olympic coach in ninety four and I worked on that staff. And in one thousand nine hundred and ninety one he was the assistant to Bob Johnson, former Wisconsin coach and Pittsburgh Penguins Calgary claims coach. Bob had a stroke the night before the Canada Cup Tournament. Tim took over the team and I was very close to Tim. He was just a great, great teacher, and so working at his summer hockey school, and that was when summers were not dominated by showcase events and you know, the different things you do to marquet yourself. But then it was just a matter of going to hockey schools and putting a bunch of friends in a League and put a team together and just to play. I just learned a lot from from ten and from the coaches that he had there. I wrote a book in the fall in one thousand nine hundred and seventy five that I probably sold close to tenzero copies on goaltending and other than you know, pictures of guys making skate saves and stacking their pads, a lot of it does hold up all these years later and I was very proud. and Mike Richter, who's a fullish pupil of mine, played for the New York Rangers, want to Stanley Cup and the top goalie in college hockey gets the Mike Rick to award and when he spoke at the first event where they presented the first rick or, he said he owed a lot of his goaltending two books that he read. One was by Jacques Plant, Great Montreal Goalie, and one was mine. So I felt pretty honor that a guy like that, one of my former students, would would feel at the teaching that I had to put together in that first book paid off for him. And I'm trying to work on a not a full, you know, hundred fifty page book there, but I'll try to work on it updated, more of a booklet that takes what I've observed with the new way to positions play and it's so different now, basically because the Kobe's are so big group, more athletic, they're better coach. Their equipment makes them bigger. It allows you to play deeper and there's a lot of changes in the position. So trying to update some of the things I've produced in the past. Well, there's two great points that you brought up in their first the the mic Richter award. For those listening at home, one of the ehl alumni who I use that picture to make your and now I'm thinking you know actually one that award. And speaking of that book, to let us know how you're doing with that will make should have lasted out on the social media for the Ahl as well as soon as that gets published. Thanks. And then I wanted to now shift gears to the administrative side of your career. Obviously the thirty eight years as as commissioner between the ECAC and the hockeys, that really stands out for you. But whether whether any other was it the a Agca or anything else outside of those two commissioner roles that you're very proud of. You know I had that question, or variation of that question, asked frequently down the stretches as people were are giving me a chance to look back on the final year with hockey east and it's pretty clear to me that I've taken great pride...

...in helping advance women's ice hockey. My theory is that Men's Division One ice hockey is too big to fail. You know, there's too many stakeholders that they wouldn't let it get into trouble. So even though I work with the other commissioners and and the athletic directors and the coaches to advance the interest of the division or men's hockey, I don't think that was ever any jeopardy of becoming what it has become and continuing to grow. But the women's hockey, I think, was needed, needed some friends at different points of its development. And while some of those things, the formation of leagues and championships and bringing women into the American hockey coaches association meetings and such, we're going to happen, I like to think they happened a little earlier and maybe a little more smoothly, because myself and a few others really were fans of the women's game and wanted to wanted to see it move along. I coach Harvard's first women's team back in the late seventy so I probably had an affinity for this because of my own participation. I have a gut of that played high school hockey, my wife's plays actually adult hockey a couple of times a week, and I really can feel proud that I helped move this along. I also was fortunate, just from coincidence, to be in a place to do some concrete things to make it grow. So when I was hit the ECAC there were no women's league. Schools just did schedules and did their own thing. The IBS, I think, had a tournament, but I made the first presentation to directors to say it was time for a formal women's League in the HECAC. And then when I moved to hockey east, repeated the same process as they didn't have their own woman's league, and proud that they the hockeys championship trophies named after me and because I also needs to have to go back every year the rest of my life to present it. So we all although we're going to be the first weekend in March, so make sure I won't miss the well, then, ECAC hockey's the woman's side of the game. There's so many accomplishments to touch on. We haven't even talked about frozen fenway or the frozen fo were those events something that you kind of always targeted throughout your career and something that you wanted to make captain, or was it something that just happened kind of more over time? I think what happens is is events create opportunities and then you have an opportunity to yourself to either promote it, run with it, convince other people or not. And so one of the knocks on me, I think, over the years was from the athletic directors that chose a good hockey guy but he manages things but he's not an out of the think, out of the box guy. He's not a visionary. And I used to Bristol when I'd hear those remarks come back to me because you know, the outdoor hockey at fenway was not always a popular thing and I jumped on that early with the Red Sox and we did four iterations of it and I know the red sox want to do it again. And also the tournament that we've had for the last five years in Northern Ireland was also something that needed a little nurturing at the beginning because some of the coaches don't like chains. The idea of playing real games over there, not exhibitions. How would affect their computer ranking? Could they play if they had to travel so far? And that's become a huge success with, I think, almost nineteen different schools having taken part. And going back on the previous theme, we also, along with Steve Hagwell, my kind of part with the ECAC, pushed for women's hockey to have an opportunity to play abroad. So we've got a couple of not tournaments, but we've had a couple of series. Northeastern and Clarkson women played a couple of games and last year Quippya CAN MERRIMAC women played a couple of games. So those things which you know,...

...after they've been done a few times, everybody thinks that it was a success from the beginning. But you needed an advocate to push to to get those things accepted and then you needed a mechanic to make sure that they were properly executed, and the fenway one. I got to stay selflessly. I was gone. That was got an hour of ice from Sam Kennedy, the President of the Red Sox and Sam actually skating of us a couple of times and you know we'd have a hockey skate from six o'clock to eight o'clock in a Friday night and then at nine o'clock the Joebritime to traveling all stars, I mean High School Friends, college friends, family members. We get dressed in the red sox blocker room and walk through the Dugout, come up the steps and go out and play hockey at Sunway Park in the middle of the night. Nothing better than that. Yeah, well, let them know the EHL will gladly play a game there if they want us to. How work my magic? That I can, but I know the red sox they actually bought. Originally they were renting the first year it was in conjunction with the winter classic. So when the grillings played the flyers on January first, two thousand and ten, the Red Sox had them keep the rink up for a week and I think pace she rented it and then eventually, I don't know what was the second year of the third time they did it, they bought the rinks. So they own the boards and all the structure of the substructure. So they have an interest. As long as I'm Kennedy's Dad. He Played High School Hockey in Massachusetts. He's a huge hockey fan. They'll have an idea that they want to do it. A couple of times we've been stopped because they haven't been able to have other events. They're doing some work in the ballpark. Yeah, they've added football the fall. One of the things we talked about Worcester Mass where the railers play, of trying to have a new barn league ballpark opens. They moved the team from protuckt to Worcester to put a little outdoor festival there. We can involve minor league, pro junior teams and college teams all the Worcester area. So I'll put that on my to do list. There's a there's plenty of teams out there as well, and so you may have just given us this next answer where I'm going to kind of push you on the spot again. You've been through a number of different ranks that you know hundreds of thousands probably throughout throughout your lifetime. Is there one or two in particular that every time you walk back into that rink it hits a hits a certain part of your heart for you well Matthews arena. Without hesitation. Played my high school hockey there, I played some college hockey there. I go there now for when I watched more eastern play. It's a hundred years old, hundred plus years old. They put a lot of money into it, but it's still has, you know, kind of an old barn feel to what with the balcony hanging over the the ice. It's where I started. That made a reference earlier to one thousand nine hundred and sixty eight high school tournament. The first couple of games were played there and then they went onto the garden, and so I have a personal stake in the building. It's just a great place to watch a game and in recent years northeastern has been both of his women's side. That played some memorable games and that their program was really both both programs peaking. The other rink would be the rink I played in in Italy was an Olympic rink. One thousan nine hundred and fifty six Olympics were there. The US want of silver medal is where so union won their first of many gold medals and at the time I played there it was it was open. It was completely open it had about tenzero feats and to ice surfaces, but I went back in the fall they had to close it in order for the local team to play in the top series. It couldn't be dealing with weather and so forth. So they've been closed it into the process really ruined what was a gorgeous facility with...

...the Olympic rings on top. And we want to and then what a championship there to that. It's a place I want to come back to and probably made eight visits since I stopped playing them many years ago. I'll call those two definitely bucket lists, ranks to check out. And now, stepping away from hockey, I wanted to ask you two questions. First, stretch to the point. Do you have another favorite sport right after hockey? Baseball? No question. My first job as a selling as a vendor at fenway park and the late s in the first year that I worked, probably work forty or fifty games, was the year they went from ninth place to first place and impossible dream and Carlias drums get all that. So would be a fifteen year old kid getting paid to sell ice cream and coke and watch big ball in one of the best summers of the history that franchise. It was really special, I think, and that's probably working three or four years. But then became one of those live and direct socks fans. And so during this pandemic when there's no live sports and they're putting old games on, I think I watched every game of the two thousand and four Yankees read sucks series a couple weeks ago. I love it nice when you know the ending, but I really like baseball a lot and I missed I miss it town. And then I'm going to ask you now that you you have this, you know this position of the AHL locked up and, like you said, there really aren't any sports to sit down and watch besides old games. I know your family spends a lot of time up in Gloucester. Is that one of your favorite things to do away from sports? Get Out in the water and the on the boat? Yeah, my I found it's cheaper to have a brother with a boat than actually owned a boat. So my older brother keeps a boat down about a mile from here and you know, I bring the food on, take the trash off and I'm tiny knots. I don't get involved in anything. And he's been a very generous brother. But I also my family has a summer house which is really real close to I live full time, and the place is it's not a winter rise. It's got a lot of gardens and kind of Italian, you know, terrorist gardens in my father used to go there and lose them self and I don't think I appreciated watch and go over there two or three hours at a time and just seem like work, and now that I'm kind of trying to channel him, I do go over there. It's been a great release in this period is not a lot to do and I found myself with a bit of a green thumb and, you know, taking care of guard and taking care of the house. It's really a family. Cousins, uncle, gonds, extended family use it on summer weekends and from there I can grab a Kayak and go out in the water and lose myself. So I actually have found it. I've had a lot to do during these months of relative inactivity. The postseason. There's a lot of was, you know in your work, all American teams, all New England teams and getting certificates done. Normally the coaches would have gone down a Florida from meetings and a lot of the junior coaches in recent years have come down. Those meetings for stopped. So we facilitated some zoom meetings with the NCAA about playing rules, about eligibility rules, about tournaments. So I've kept relatively busy up until you know, this week I've been able to start the AHL responsibilities, increase the amount of work and new work. As we said at the beginning of this conversation, it's been exciting to get into fresh things and learn about a whole new league and one of the little the pluses and were of the things that divide people the things that bring people together,...

...and I'm still very consider myself very early in this learning curve. Well, I do hope that at some point then this summer for you do get a chance to decompress a little bit before we take things back up full steam of the season this September. And when we do take things back up, maybe this is kind of a loaded final question for you. You touched on the book that you want, another book that you want to put together and the fact that this is more of a part time role that you're you love the challenge that this brings with the eah Shell. Are there any other short term or long term girl goals that you want to tell us about? You know, I have been able to maintain some writing. You know the jobs that you have, that we've had, there's always some whether it's public affairs writing, press release writing. I do a newsletter for the Coaches Association where I would take advantage of having control of those pages to go do some features on different legendary coaches and things like that. So a bit of a frustrated writer and I in addition to the updating my goaltending work, I've got some ideas of trying to do something that takes the stories and hockeys filled with great stories, as you know from the various levels I've been at, and put them down in writing. I've had friends who have done more kind of dry historical, academic type books on Sport and on hockey. I don't see that. I like to entertain people. I think there are some there are ways you can tell the story of things that I've seen over fifty or sixty years that are chained and still make people smile and and have some fun with it. But Really I've watched college hockey change I watched the youth hockey culture change. Of Watch the JUP position, position of what public high school hockey used to be and now what junior hockey is, of watch how goaltending as a position is changed, and I think there's there's some great stories that if we don't get them on paper they're lost. We've got a group of of hockey people from north of Boston together in October and they're mostly retired coaches, but there was Michael Rusioni, there was young on the younger side, Bob Goddad, who coaches at Dartmouth, just announce his retirement and it was an evening of stories and we had a photographer chronicle different groups of friends getting together, but we didn't record the stories and I think that's one of my my goals, and in addition to these other part time things, just to find the time to sit down with people and get these stories on record. I've got plenty of my own stories that could probably fill a book, but when I get to the different coaches that are either a little bit younger a little bit older than me, it's actually something that the American hockey coaches should have been doing all along in a formal sense and in we'd think about this coach of that coach. In the next thing you know, the individual passed away and in those things were lost. So if my other part time jobs don't keep my interest up, I've got this project in the back of my mind. Well, I could keep you here asking questions for more and more stories forever. I know you have a crazy week going with the with the calls with USA hockey, the calls with our guys, so I can't thank you enough for coming on the PODCAST. I know these these are some pretty crazy times that are living in right now, but I'm really looking forward to the future of having you in the NHL and working together again. Thank you. Well, I want to I want to thank you for the preparation that obviously went into the to the to the interview here, because you were prepared. I hope you're I hope I did well when you when you surprised me with a few questions, but I look forward to working with you as well. Thanks ter. Let's talk to you soon. 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...

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