THE #ESHOW
THE #ESHOW

Episode 20 · 2 years ago

Team of the Week (Avalanche) | Episode 20

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

At the EHL level, the New Hampshire Avalanche have claimed the previous two playoff championships at the Frozen Finals in Providence. As for the EHLP, this past year was the first season for the Avalanche at that level, and all indications are that the team will be just as much of a contender as the top-level program.


Chris Cerrella is the Head Coach of the EHL team, and serves as the General Manager for the entire organization. He's very proud of what he's built with Mario Martiniello, the Avalanche owner, but also gives a lot of credit to what the EHL has become over the years.


"I have been in the EHL for my entire coaching career. The best thing about the league is that we don't try to be someone else. We appreciate who we are and we work hard at perfecting it. We work even harder for our players and you can see that by our league's NCAA commitment numbers," said Cerrella.

Welcome to the 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. Welcoming to the e show once again. My name is Neo Raven. This is episode number twenty and for the first time in the revamped e show, Chris Rella finally, welcome to the podcast. Yeah, it's about time, neal, thanks for having me on. Looking forward to it, and I will say this, though, Chris, it's the first time I've ever done it live in person. facetoface. So I haven't had you on from the first nineteen episodes, but you're the first one they get to this treatment. Yeah, I think it's great. I feel I feel real close to you right now and you'll during this pandemic. So it's it's really good, though, really good. Thank you. Well, we lived ten minutes apart, figuring can come to within six fee of each other during this crazy time, but let's jump right into it. Obviously, now three years in the books for your program, two of which ended with a championship for your team. Obviously we don't know what would have happened when this seat with this past season? How would have ended? Are you still selling the fact that you're back to back playoff champions? No, I think the biggest thing for us here is the college commitment piece. That's what the avalanche cells, I think that's what the ehl cells is the fact that the players can come to these programs, whether or it's ours or another program, and you have a good chance to commit to college hockey. So that's our biggest cell right now. The championships are great, don't get me wrong. They're more for the players, I think, than for the coaches. But the college commitment piece is what we sell, and fifty three of them in the past three years. Did you expect the number to be that high? You had college coming make success in Hartford, but you're almost at twenty each year. Yeah, I mean I think the way the way it's gone, it's trended in a good direction for me, obviously, and for the players that have come to play for me. But I have to give it to the players, the families, to our ownership. You know, Mario Martinello does a great job. He gives us a lot of resources to attract those good players and that's where it's really all about, is attracting good players college hockey, potential athletes, and then getting them from there to college hockey. So, you know, I think that expected. No, but surprised a little bit. I guess I am surprised. It's been great. It's been great and when you looking off fifty three, you're proud of all fifty three, of course, but our you know one or two three that those kids are with you for a while and your extra proud of you. You really kind of pack yourself on the back for those ones. Yeah, I mean like jared slear, who was with me and Harford and then came to the ABS obviously when I moved, and Benny Thompson, Ethan Clark, Aj Perstowski, you know, kind of all those guys who have cooled with me for a while. Um, you know, that's...

...huge. Like that just shows that they trust me, their families trusted me in terms of getting them to college hockey. And you know, they're all important, definitely, no matter what team, what level, no matter where they went, it didn't matter. They're all very important. And the best thing is, you know, Friday Saturday night going on us college hockey online and seeing that they, you know, had a point or or one player of the week or whatever in their conference. So it it's really been a true success story here with the avalanche. It's it's been great and lead in the League and commitments each year, the two playoff championships. How do you continue to set different goals for yourself for the future years to keep yourself motivated to keep going? Yeah, it's I think the best thing about the eastern hockey league is the competitiveness. There's a lot of good teams in this league. There's a lot of good coaches in this league. So you just have to continue to strive to get better as a coach and work that much harder to make sure your kids are getting a little bit more exposure than the other teams. So, you know, we just continue to play more games at college facilities. You know, we're planning to play a game, obviously, at Providence College. We're planning to play a game at Plymouth state again. We're planning to play a game at Williams college as well this year. So we just try to get a little bit better every year with creativity because there is a lot of competitions. So you have to continue to get better. And I'm not sure if you know this. You probably do, but this past year you were six hundred and sixteen with agents. Obviously had a few two thousands that committed as well, and the years prior you hadn't had a perfect number for agents. was that a goal or is that something that just worked out for this year's team? It's always a goal to get all your age outs committed. It's not always easy, but it's always a goal. This year I think it just worked out that way. I think this year, I think our age outs were, all of them, from top to bottom, were just a little bit more committed to hockey, to the college hockey process then in the past, and those guys saw that success were in the past. You know, it just kind of falls that way. I think that sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't, but this group this year was very, very committed to being aspiring student athletes and whether this season ended or didn't end, if you advanced or not advanced, you were still in the second amount of the playoffs. You still had thirty plus wins. You had the nineteen commits. What else are you able to sell about your program the facilities? Can you talk about what you guys have to offer at the ice den. Yeah, the great thing about the ice den and where we play it's our home rink, so it's fantastic. We have unlimited ice, we have power play ice, we have practice ice, we have weekly skills ice for position specific skills, offense and defense, separated, where they can work with our coaching staff separately as position positional play. We have a fully...

...dressed locker room with carpet and logo and, you know, we have a dry room for all the players where they can change out of their street clothes and get into their gitch before they go into the locker room. We you know, we we're adding things every day. It's it's just a great place. And then we have our goalie coach, Brian Foster, who does a great job. He's obviously an NHL draft pick played at UNH. And we have Justin Sorrel, which I think is huge, and Justin as our strength coach. So he owns roots athletics, which is about five miles from our facility and we have unlimited access to roots athletics and unlimited access to a full time strength coach. So I think those things have really elevated us and the players know if they come to us and they use our resources to their advantage, they'll be successful, and that's what I wanted to kind of transition into that recruiting conversation, because it's one of the things that you take the most pride in, is your recruiting. I'm not going to ask for your elevator pitch right now, but you call the recruit and you have a lot to sell, whether it's the championships, so the commit so the rink, or you name it. What's the first thing you say? Well, I think it depends. Everything is a process and recruiting, I believe you know, and and I'm a big believer in talking to parents and families, because you're not just recruiting the player, you have to recruit the families as well, and I think you know I open up dialog and I you know, I gain trust with that player and I explain to them I'm not one of those coaches that go out and league bash or, you know, bash other organizations or bash other coaches. I just worry about what I can help deliver for that family and that's putting them on that college hockey path and with the fact that, you know, I've helped commit a lot of players. Our Organization here in New Hampshire as also now helped commit a lot of players. That's our first cell. You know, come to us, be successful and then we go from there. Then we build our process in our relationship from there. And one thing that you do every summer is it's almost like here on the clock up until July for it what it seems like to finish up the and get out by the pool this week he had got. Or this year you had kind of like a two weeek headstart. When the season ended. I think it was March twelve, as you march thirteen, immediately flip a switch, or did you try and take a few days to process what had happened and then start recruiting? Well, the great thing that you know, and I've I use this, I've been using it since I started my coaching career, as I recruit in season, you know, the prep school players, the you a team players and things like that. Obviously there's junior rules, so you know you got to follow you the junior rules when it comes to recruiting. But you know we're recruiting in season. So as soon as the season ends. This year being a little bit different. I automatically start my recruit in full board because I like to spend time, you know, by the pool, you know, with the family and kids in the summer times. So I try to work as hard as I can from season end till, you know, like I said, like you said, July, and then kind of lock it down. So it this year was a little...

...bit different. It was definitely a situation that, you know, we was are a little bit of a curveball for all the organizations and coaches. But yeah, I basically started right away while, you know, obviously settling things with this last group. You know, and one thing that's hard for you every years you have so many spots to fill. Do you do you take a second and say to yourself, yes, I had a lot of spots to fill, but that's because we're doing the right thing. Attend these kids to college. or every now and then, do you wish you had another Chris arrands is coming back for a third year and can lead your team like you do? What you definitely do wish you had a lot of returners, because returners, they already know the game, they already know the HL, they know what to expect. So you're you're only coaching them, you're only preparing them for games. Really, when you get a lot of new guys, it's a lot of self management. You have to teach and you know you gotta make sure everybody knows your rules and how you want to run your team. It's tougher to build a team that way, you know, with a lot of new guys, but you start early. So you know, it is great to have returners, but it's a good problem to have when you don't, and with the way that this offseason is going to play out, you may not see your team until late August come together. In those situations you rely on a player like Chris Aaron's to be in contact with his future your teammates, and kind of saying like, here's what I'm doing right now, here's what you should be doing. Yeah, right now. You know, we have three captains. Chris Aaron's are Tim Metachanco and Ryan Malco, three very good returning players for us. Obviously Chris is a he's a season vet, so you know I rely a lot on Chris. I rely a lot on my captains and leadership. We have weekly captain's meetings and stuff like that during the season. Right now we have weekly Zoom Conference calls with myself. Chris Aaron's does run it, but I'm on it to monitor it and you know, we're just kind of Chit chatting away about life, about things that we're doing. Our guys are sending videos, whether their workout videos or, you know, shooting in the driveway or rollerblading or whatever they're doing on an everyday basis. So we're in constant contact with them right now, not only myself but our captains. And he said of weekly Zoom called that you're not running it. No, no, I go on for about ten fifteen minutes and then I get off and it's just our team. It's just our team chatting away. Well, as the first I've heard of any team doing that. So that's something that a lot of teams can look to do. Obviously there's so much virtual for somebody, virtual conversations that are happening right now. And our goal, obviously as a league, is to start September eighteen, and I'm glad that you started to hint at this a little bit, kind a little breaking news here on the PODCAST, but the plan is to have the Rangers and Avalanche Faceoff at Providence College. What was the thought process that went into that and does add anything to do with the League not...

...making it back to providence last year for the playoffs? Yeah, I think it's a great way to start the season off for us and, you know, obviously for the junior rangers up here in the North Division. I think it's just a kind of great first of all, providence college is a very, very nice facility, so for our players to be able to play in a facility like that right away I think sets the tone for both teams, obviously, and it also sets the tone, I think, for the League in that Hey, we're going to keep trucking away, even though there's this different time in life right now. So I think it's awesome, it's great and I think the League did a great job, you know, kind of dealing with this whole thing and looking towards the future rather than getting stuck in what what is right now. And when players are parents ask about if there will be a season, how do you try and not convince them and put them at ease that that we're going to do everything we can to have a hockey season? Yeah, I'm just that's why I've been obviously we have to follow, you know, state laws and state mandates and, you know, government mandates and whatever. But you know from what we're telling parents is the league's moving forward. You know, there's there's meetings happening, there's forward movement happening. You know, if other things have to take place later on, so be it. It might change, I don't know, but right now we're fully functioning, we're moving forward and we're doing everything that we did last season exactly the same. The zoom meetings are a little bit different, but we've always had group chats, if anything, but you know, now we're doing a little bit more. You know, it's it's really kind of cool actually. So I think although the pandemic has slowed some stuff down, I think it's making players and coaches a little bit more creative on how they're going to run their program and if a player does not appear on a zoom meeting, what are the repercussoonts? Well, that's they basically have to have permission from me in order for that to happen. You know, we'll deal with that later, but it's all part of self management. When you go play college hockey and you miss a meet in your you're in trouble. You know, you miss one game, that team wins, that going to use the same lineup the next day. Next thing you know, you miss five games and that's a quarter of a college hockey season. So it's all self management. So that's kind of what we teach. So, you know, we just let the kids know Ay beyond it, this is a mandatory thing now again some kids. Some kids are still working and different things and obviously there's more stuff around the house, more chores to do. I guess you can say like as I have a honey to do list every day that is filled to capacity. But you know, so I understand obviously that there are going to be kids at times are going to miss and that's okay, but you just have to communicate that. We're big believers in communication and that's why I feel we've had some pretty good teams in the last couple of years. Is We have good teams. We're not always the most skilled, maybe, or we're not always, you know, the best team on paper in terms of skill and points, but we always have a good team and it starts now. And if you want to talk about on paper. After rat last year's...

...roster freeze, you at one point had six all stars on your team. Not Not your plan probably, but he had six all stars and at that point in the year your see some start of the really takeoff. Let's talk about the All star week for a second, because you've been involved with it every year. We've selected the coaches based off previous frozen finals appearances and obviously, with two championships, you've had to be the head coach of it twice, and in the first year we really didn't identify a coach. Now first for you as a coach, while it's short and sweet, there's a lot that you can take out of those one or two obviously this past year, three games for yourself personally. Right. Yeah, it's an awesome event that the league holds. In fact, I believe it's one of the biggest things that separates us from all the other junior leagues in the country, in my opinion, with the exception of the USHL, just because of what they have accomplished, I think for the rest of the League's the Allstar event that we do. We're the only junior hockey league in the country that actually plays college hockey. Teams. That's impressive. So even for me to, you know, be on the Bench and coaching against Peter Balisle, who's been in college hockey for twenty plus years, it's amazing and I you know, I definitely look forward to whatever year, although sometimes I feel like I, you know, I should probably unplug and take a nap during all star week instead of continuing to be on the ice and coach, but it's it's a passion of mine and being able to do it as been fantastic. And you also are learning from other coaches to that are coaching with you. You know, each year we've had different stats, from Freddie Meyer to Billy Zann a bony to, you know, rich di Caprio, Adam hoolie. You're with other coaches and and you learn from those guys. You're learning new drills, you're learning new systems. So it's not only a great week and I think, for the players, but it's also a great week and for the coaches and the League itself. And one more about the coaches. This year's staff looks like it's going to be you and rich and then you've both been involved it before. But for coaches like Adam hooie and Jim Masso, who haven't been involved before. What's the first piece of advice that you tell them heading into it? Well, just enjoy the moment. You know, Adams a good young coach. Been in the League for a couple of years now and has done a great job with the eighty sevens. And Jim Masso, Chimus so, played for me, had to be about fourteen years ago before going off the Fitchburg state. So you know, watching his success as a coach has been pretty cool for me. You know, it's another guy chasing my tail. So it's not always fun, but but it's been really good, you know, to see that, to see a player that used to play for me is now coaching, it's amazing. And then rich, obviously, you know they're right down the street. The Boston engine or rangers do a great job. They're always competitive. Rich old is always competitive and putting kids into college lucky. But for those new guys, you know Jim Mosso and Adam, who would take it in, breathe it in and, you know, keep...

...building towards what you want it to be. You're coaching future. So we touched on the coaches and their experience with the all story. Let's talk about the players. As I mentioned before, after the roster, Friez, you had six all stars on your team with the acquisitions of Ryan Malco and George Vanakis during this season. Obviously, probably before the season started, you didn't have anticipations to acquire those players, but you did and you finish the season with six all stars. And what I notice down the stress is obviously, as a team you were hitting your stride, but for those six all stars are particular, it feel. It felt like they were going even further. Do you credit that back to what they gained in October? You think it was just those six guys standing out? I think it was a little both actually. You know, I think as the season got you know, you're all stars are always you know, you always hope that they are going to set the tone for your team. So, you know what, I think they started to realize, as they started to realize that they were a huge part of our team and they had to contribute. And definitely those experiences playing college hockey teams right, I mean that's just an unbelievably unbelievable experience. So I think that helped them down the stretch for sure, but I also think they also all figured it out together how to continue to push forward through all the adversities that happened through a season. So having those six guys, I think we're they were. It was huge for us. You know, Ryan Malco down the stretch. I think he had seven goals in our last ten games and he was really coming into a hot street after being hurt quite a bit after joining us. So and then getting George Vanakas as well, who is a veteran player who played, you know, a little a little bit in the North American League, played in the HL on different teams and, you know, getting those guys and then entrenching them with our other four all stars, it was a great combination. And one thing they were that, it's been used a law in the podcast, his team or together. And one thing that you mentioned earlier was that you've had some plenty of stud players in the past, but it's been more about your death. You know, take the Jake Atkins and the local curb rats out of it. You haven't had an MVP per se in the in the league. He did have Nick Charles, who in the defension of the year. Not to say that you haven't had, you know, top ten players, but it's been more about the depth, and I really go back to the reasons that you won am. I will am. I believe each frozen finals were your depth. Do you credit that? Do you focus on one through twenty five, or or do you really try and find that top guy? We I I recruit one through twenty five. It's so important now. You know, having one or two good players is great, but it's not going to carry you through a season anymore. Hockey's just coaches have become too smart and players have become too good. So you have to have a well balanced team. I think that's just my opinion. In my recruiting tactic is you know, and I also recruit from goalie out to we're very like last year. I think we only...

...gave up eighty five goals all season long, which I think was the best in our league, and it's very important we have that concept where we want guys that are if you look other than Jake Mendezoom this year, jake eat a little bit as well. We didn't have the NIX crawl as type guy on the back end. We had seven very, very good defensemen and all seven went to college. We didn't return any defenseman this year. So from that we recruit. That way, we recruit depth and we recruit from the back out. So we tried to mimic that. It's been successful and we tried to mimic that with this year's group. And but like every call every coach says, you never know until August September when you get going how good you're recruiting went. We think it went well, but we'll see. With that being the case, how do you balance the lineup on a nightly basis? For US early on it's kind of a scramble. You know, we don't really have a lot of set lines unless we have some veteran guys like, you know, Malco and Aaron's and Meta Chanko may play together. They compliment each other very well and and it could be a good line for us, but that doesn't mean it's going to stay that way right. So we try to keep it balanced and we try to find good combinations and that's why we start early, though. You know, we start training camp in the middle of August and we don't play our first game usually to almost the end of September. We want a good month to figure out as a staff who our team really is and what our players can contribute, and then it changes from time to time to you know, we had like, you know, Victor Nika, fourth, great player, but he started the season really, really hot point production wise, and the kind of fizzled off a little bit and other guys stepped up, you know, where we didn't expect those guys to step up and they did. So you know you're not you just never know. So everything's always changing. I usually don't like to solidify my lineup until later on in the first half. And he started to say we and staff there. And a guy that we haven't talked about yet is Vinny Caljerry, the ehlp coach of the year. You mentioned Jim Moss, so coach in the league that played for you. Not to try and make you start to feel old here, but vinny played for you also. That has to be unique now working with someone that you used to coach. Yeah, actually, I think it's great. I think Vinn he did a great job first year coach and obviously one coach of the year in the EHLP. He did a great job with that team. The one thing about vinny, you know, we knew when we were hiring him is he was a leader for me in Harford when he played for me. Then he went to Potsdam, was a leader there and his junior and senior year and he's got those leadership qualities that you look for. So I knew he was a trench guy, like I knew he was a guy that was going to work as hard as he can to build his coaching career and help us build our brand and also he was going to be someone that the lead represented the League too, and I think he did a great job with that for such a young coach. So yeah, it's a little bit different. No, no question, because now...

...it's now it's where colleagues really now more than he's my player. But at the end of the day he still coached, calls me coach and you know, he's learning every day and he's been a fantastic hire for our organization. I know it's tough to say. You probably can't look back to when he was a player, but did you ever envision this? Did you ever think this would be the kid that you eventually coach with? I don't know if I thought I would eventually coach with him, but I knew he was going to be a coach. I mean he was a student of the game when he played and you know, you could tell the way he runs practice right away. You know, and I'm a big believer when I have young assistant coaches like this, you got to throw them right to the wolves. Here you go, run practice, here's the marker, here's the Dryer, race, here's your whistle. Get going. You know, we pulled, you know, couple little pranks on him and gave him a little kitty whistle and things like that, little bit of fun for the game. But you know, he jumped right in and wasn't afraid and and he obviously, like I said, coach of the year and the HLP. It was fantastic for him. I'm proud of them, proud of them. And he touched on Justin Surreel, a former player as well, who's your strength coach and does a lot of work with the midgets in the youth with the program. And then at the top of all that, Mario Martin Yellow, your owner, is a former coach as well. How does that value help you, knowing that he's not just an owner, not to sound bad or anything, but not, but he also has been in your shoe was on the bench. How does he how do you guys balance ideas off each other in between periods? Does he ever say stuff to you that he sees up top that you can't see from the bench? Stuff like that? Yeah, I mean I learned four I learned to be honest with I learned from ourrow every day. He's you know, he's tough, he's old school, he he's got a lot of great drills, great ideas. He's a good bench coach and system coach. So I learned a lot. In fact, our defensive coverage, our D zone coverage, is Mario. Mario run right basically, as you know, I was an offensive player, so when I played so offense was definitely my forte. So you know, you know, coaching now with Mario over the last three years and being part of his staff, he's taught me a lot about the defensive side and it's helped us with our success. So yeah, that part of it is fantastic. You know, having a guy like that WHO's been in my shoes as a coach a player is now the owner. So he knows what our players need to be successful and I think that's a big part of the direction we're heading in. This year in particular, after you brought in Vinny, was the first year of your EHLP team. One thing that was unique is that Mario decided to step away from the bench. was that his idea that he had to he want to run it by you? Howd that conversation go? It actually shocked me, to be honest with you. You know, it was something just came out of the blue. He just said, you know, with vinny coming in, I you know, I've been doing this a long time now and you know I just want to kind of step back and be proud of what we're doing and you know I'll get in the mix, no question. And he does. And...

...he wanted to be able to enjoy you know, his son went to the Tabor Academy this year and he now has two daughters going to prep school as well. He wants to enjoy that too, and he's at the point in his life that he can and he should. So you know from that it's great. He's still around every day. He's at the rink every single day. Doesn't miss a practice. He doesn't really miss many games, even though he wasn't on the bench. If he's not there to watch it personally. He's on hockey TV, I can guarantee you that. So so it's good to have him, without a doubt, in every facet of what we're trying to build at his rink. And he touched on the family man that he is you as well. Obviously, this being unique offseason, a two week had start for your recruiting. You touched on how important it is not to rush to the finish line for yourself, but to focus on recruiting so that you can get to a point where you can really enjoy the summer. And in a summer like this, how you know, for your future players and for their parents, how much use stressing what you're doing to try and get out by the pool and step away from everything else going on in just kick back and enjoy the time that you can spend with your family. Yeah, I thought actually I was talking with my wife about it the other day. I think even though it's scary times right now, to a certain degree it's also it's enjoyable. I think a lot of people are finally unplugging and sitting at home with their wife and kids or husband and kids or whatever and enjoying that a little bit more. You know, normally right now I could be anywhere recruiting and I'm at home with my kids and enjoying my kids even more than I have in the past. So you know, and with five kids it's a lot of a lot of go around right so so you know, it's been really, really good, although, like I said, it's a little bit tough out there right now. But I think that players who take this time right are going to be even more successful when it's time to lace those skates back up, because sometimes there's nothing wrong with just being a kid and I think it's very important and for the kids that use this to their advantage will be successful. And you talked about your project lists. We're sitting in your new home bar right now. You got some memorabilia all around here. I see your Quinnipiac Jersey. We touched on what you sell when you're recruiting a kid. How often do you go back to your playing days, whether it was Quinnipiac or Waterloo? Yeah, I think, I just, I think I just, you know, I look forward from from it and what I what I do normally, as I tell families and players, hey, this is a long time ago, but I have been there. I've been there as a player, I've been there as a student athlete and you know, take it from me, it's not as easy as it seems right. So yeah, there are definitely days. I relive the glory days a little bit, for sure. And we've had had too many convertence conversations to count on the phone about your team's over the years and I didn't want to...

...give away this question before I asked, but I'm sure you listen to the past few episodes. I want, I wanted to take a moment and pretend that we are at the next frozen finals and you're there with all of your teams from the avalanche. We're not going to go back to the wolf pack days, but we're going to go just the three avalanche years and you're heading into overtime and you have one line up to put out in the ice, three forwards to D and a goalie from your three avalanche team teams. What's the line up that you start with? Wow, that is a great question. That is a great question. We could hear your dog trying to break through the girl story. I apologize for the dog, but I think it is a very tough question. I think in goal I would have to have Nathan pick it. I mean I had Nick Sorjo and Mike Pack, Luca and even Matt Lane this year. I have had some very good goaltenders, but I'd have to go with Nathan pick it. On the back end, I would have to go with Jamie's Zenka and I would have to go with Aj Prestowski. and Up Front would definitely have to be jared slear, Benny Thompson and Jake Atkins. And with that lineup, first off it's hard to pick, I'm sure, because you've had so many good players of the years and guys that got left out. Have, you know, a up two goals against the average or defensive of the year. But one thing in particularly that you just I just noticed with that lineup, as you said, six names to six different colleges. Do you put a lot of stock in the fact that your kids are your players are going to different schools? Yeah, I think that's I think that's important. I mean you do. You do a lot of colleges when they get good players from good organizations and things like that, they keep coming back to you. So you know, I mean, yes, there have been years I've sent two or three kids to the same one. But the fact that you know, and I think this goes for a lot in our league, the fact that our entire league, not just the avalanche but our entire league, does a great job at selling their players to the majority of Ncaa Division Two and division three college hockey is awesome. I think that's a big key. It's not just going to one or two teams or four teams, it's going just that. We've touched just about every East Coast Division Two and division three team in terms of a college placement. So yeah, I mean the stock is there that it's hey, come to us and you're going to have options, not just one. And it's a network that you've built over the years. How much time have you had to spend, you know, not recruiting, not on not on the resources that you have, but how much time you had to spend building that network that you've been able to call up any different division three coats and say I have a player for you and here's why. Yeah, it takes a while and it takes a lot of work at that, and it's constant communication. And the biggest thing is is you have to just be honest you know,...

...and that's whether your thoughts on the kid, because you as a junior coach, you're with that player every single day. So that college is going to invest in your opinion on that kid. So you have to just be honest and that's what we do. We're just honest with the coaches, no matter what it is. We let them know the positives and we also let them know the negatives and then they can make that decision from there. They already know the players good. If they're calling us on that player, they already like him as a hockey player. Their next questions are, what kind of individual? What kind of person are they? So we just be out. We're just honest. And he started to kind of allude to this earlier when you mentioned the coaches that you've worked with there in the All Star Week. How often have you received calls from college coaches about players and other teams in the League? Yeah, happens all the time. Happens all the time, and that's not just me. There's other coaches to in the league that get the same calls. So it's it happens all the time. They just want their opinion. You see those players more. You know. I mean they're recruiting. Maybe they see what five, six times they see each player. So they may call a coach and say, what do you think about the player on the the New England wolves or the you know, the little flyers? You know you just played them last week, and what do you think about such and such? So it does happen a lot more than people think and obviously you have to be honest with the coach that's calling you. But how often do you then turn around and call that coach in the League to let him know like, Hey, I'm helping to promote your guy. Do you? Do you feel the need for that recognition, or do you even bother making that phone call? No, you may draw, you may drop a text to the coach and just say, Hey, I'm not sure if you've talked to this coach already, but if you did, great, if you didn't, just reach out to him. Absolutely, because everyone's got to help everyone in this it's one leak. Even though there's individual teams, were still one lead. We're only as good as the league. So you know, the more kids we commit to college as a League, the better each team is. And now looking forward, obviously the league's goals are to start September eighteen and that, and that's the plan that we have right now. Things can obviously change, of course, and we touched on when. Your team will probably be full by two weeks before July fourth based off the timetable from previous years. But is there a date that you have in mind? You know, maybe you take all of July just to sit by the pool, but after that, is there are a date that you have in mind where you say all right, now I got to flip the switch and start to get back into it? Yeah, I think it's probably for me it's the week or soul before camp when I start preparing, you know, our our team rule books and playbooks and different things like that and getting ready for our initial team meeting. This year we're doing a little bit different. We're going to do our presentation at my house. We have a projector and a projector screen. We're going to make a slideshow and we're gonna have everybody over at my house from both Egel and EHLP, Mrs Coach or Sarah, my wife, doesn't know it yet, but we're going to have her cook up some food. She'll probably be very happy about that. But yeah, we're going to have the kids here and we have the swimming pool and we're going to make it a little bit different this year our meeting. We're gonna, you know, throw a little curveball in there, have a little fun right off the bat and then the day two will get right at it. So...

I think like maybe a week or two before we start our first day at camp is when I really hit the switch hard. You know, right now I'm still doing stuff. You know, I'm still going to the rink. It's closed, obviously, but I'm still going there and and, you know, doing inventory and getting things ready for next year little by little, but that that that switch gets flipped and it's full go. Well, I'm sure when she listens to this and finds up that she's gonna be cooking, you'll have one more project on the left. Yes, no question, no question at all. Well, that's episode twenty. I'm sorry it taks along to gets you on the podcasts but, like I said, the first time ever having someone live on with me, so I'm glad I got to enjoy here and then in the makeshift bother you put together in your garage and stay safe and the enjoy the rest of the recruiting. Yeah, thank you very much for having me and, you know, good luck to everyone and stay safe and healthy. 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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