THE #ESHOW
THE #ESHOW

Episode 21 · 2 years ago

Team of the Week (Wizards) | Episode 21

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Year in and year out, the Wizards are known for being a team that consistently improves as the season progresses. This is ever-apparent when you look at the slow starts the team has had during the months of September and October, compared to the tremendous finishing months of February and March. Every season the team also takes a step further in the playoffs from the year before.


The season prior to the year Falite came on board (2015-16), the Wizards only won eight total games. Since then however, the team has not won fewer than 21, with a pair of 29-win seasons sandwiched in the middle. Tack on a trip to the Frozen Finals, and the Wizards have turned into a team you simply don't want to face in the postseason.

Welcome to the east 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 once again. My name is Neil Ravenus. An episode number twenty one and for the first time in the history of the east show we have the East Coast Wizards on the podcast. So let's welcome in the head coach in GM, cory fealty. Welcome to the east show, Corey. How's it going? Neil, thank you for coming on. I knowl Freddie wanted to but he just never quite had the time to do so. So haven't haven't been the head coach for an official were yet, but you're on the east show. What are you going to say? He's got he's got an excuse. He's got two boys he's chasing after. So he's got an excuse. He's got two boys use chasing after, you know. So I I have a little bit more free time than him, so I'll give them a pass. I love it. So, as I mentioned here, the new head coach in GM, after four years serving as Freddy's assistant. So for the folks at home that want to get to know Cory Faladi, can you start by taking us through your playing career? Yeah, I played. I guess we'll start with high school. I payed a Cardigan Mount in Nathan Ninth Grade Year up in New Hampshire all boys school. It was a great experience. And then I played four years the junior bruins. Back then it was the EJHL. Played four years there after that I played four years at you mass low, right down the street, and I was fortunate to play for a three seasons in the HL and and for a season in Norway. So That's little background on the playing career. Got To see a bunch of the world. I in the East Coast, I played for Alaska, I played for Florida, I played for Utah, San Francisco, I had a...

...bunch of stops. So was it was fun experience. Well, I have a question about that, but I'm not going to get to it. Yeah, I want you to take us next through your coaching career and how I ultimately caps you going around the world and brought you back here to Massachusetts in the wizards. Yeah, so you know, I finished up a year in San Francisco and I was going to go back to Europe and playing it in Germany the following year and my brother had spent the year out in Hong Kong and he was he was running their youth program there. So he invited me out and I spent I spent three years there. We we ran their tire youth organization, from you, you seven years old, to you a team. We had four select teams that travel the world. We Are you twelve is putting the peweek back tournament, which was a great experience. He was a first age and team to play in that tournament. I saw all Asia traveling out around playing tournaments, you know. So that was a really good experience coming out of playing because I got thrown into running things, both from a management standpoint, but also getting thrown into the coaching mix. Coaching. I might a coach more games and those three years and I have in my last four years combined. So it was it was a good experience. So when I it was about time to come home and I really didn't know where I was going to go. I thought I was going to try to go coach in college and see what happened there and Freddie had an ad and I knew Freddie's name from he grew up playing with my brother when they were younger. We met and the rest the history. So I've been with the wizards now for four years doing theens and assisting with Freddy and doing a lot of skills out of the edge as well. So did you ever Cook Up my coaching career? I love it. Did you ever envision yourself ending up in...

Asia or was it something that just worked out because the brother was there? No, yeah, it's just worked out because my brother was here. I mean, who knows, if I didn't go there, I might still be playing in Europe somewhere right now. I don't know. But I'm glad I made a decision because, you know, I have eight years of coaching now under my belt and, you know, just in terms of I got a good mix from what I've done there and here between lessons and teaching a kid who can't skate to skate and then all the way to the top players. So it's it's a good mix in terms of, you know, skills and lessons and and work in my teams as well. So but no, I didn't envision going Asia? No, and in all that time that led you back to the states and the lizards. Whether it was playing or coaching, traveling a all across the world, you've stepped foot in probably feels like thousands of different ranks. Are there any different barns that you'll always remember or you'll cherish maybe going back to it back to at some point? I think there's. There's two rinks that stick out of my mind. One is obviously songist arena right down the street. I think as a from an arena standpoint, there's no better place to watch a game. A little bias that went there, but you know, it's a family atmosphere, it's cheap free parking, it's a very good environment to go watch a game. It's always a good crowd and it's just really good atmosphere. From a youth rink standpoint, there's a rink in Hong Kong in Kyloom Bay and it's called mega box, and mega boxes a mall and it has, I think it's like twenty something store where he's the rink is on the ten floor. So the rinks on the ten flour in the Mall Food Court. So it's really cool we would have...

...a Saturday night game in the food court would be packed watching. Are you sixteen play and behind the benches was all glass and your ten stories up and the whole view is the Hong Kong skyline and it was unbelievable. It's really cool. Rink different, very, very different. It's it sounds to that one sticks out my mind. Yeah, right, that's that sounds different. That's really cool. Sounds like a bucket list, almost like a bucket list type rink. Would you say? Well, Hong Kong you should check out, for sure as a city, but if you're there, yeah, I would check it out your off your person because pretty cool. So you mentioned your son add for a coaching position with Freddy Myer. You knew the name but didn't really know Freddy. Four years later, year in the position where you take over for him. I know this is kind of a loaded question, but can you kind of pinpoint the biggest keys of what you took away from learning under Freddy? It is a load of question. There's a lot. It's a lot that. There's a lot that he's taught me over the last four years, be from systems to how to manage certain situations to running skills camps and private lessons and things like that. So it doesn't just go with the junior thing he's taught me about. You know, the game is a whole in terms of being a coach that has ten different hats that you know you might be. You might be trying to teach US seventy five year old out of Skate one day and then you know you're you're coaching the eastern all star team. Right. It's a vast majority of it's a big sorry, it's the big spread of what he's taught me. You know, I think he's taught me a lot on the defensive side of the game. Just naturally I was a forward. He's Defenseman in terms of just things that I just never thought about as a forty even at the highest level that I played.

Right. It's, you know, here in him talk to defenseman about certain things, things that I would never think of that you know I would that I've taken in over the last four years. But there's no specific thing. He's taught me a lot of last four years. Okay, well, not to pump his tires too much then, but I guess I'll last this is here. In the four years you're pretty confident when you first took the job, but was there a moment within those four years when you said to yourself this was the right decision, this was really the next best step for me and my coaching career? Yeah, I think it was probably after my first year and being a full year with them. I came in just the one it's all. It was honestly a seven month thing. I was just just assisting my first year with him Um and then just watching him on a day to day what he does from eighty six am till he goes to sleep at night, you know, and and how and how he you know, how he operates. Like I said, just doing he wakes up doing private lessons and then he has a team come in and more private lessons and he goes to a skills group. You know. It was was really at that point that I said and I learned that, you know, financially it's if you hustle, you can, you can make it work and sleep in your bed for three hundred and fifty five nights a year. And so at that point, before that, I thought about maybe going and coaching, you know, as Assistant Division One or that was the goals and aspiration, but that it's it's out the window. But you know, I do know that inquires. You're going to British Columbia every other weekend or IO. There's a lot. You know, there's a lot of travel involved, you know. So it's at that point. You know, we knew I had done a bunch of traveling and my wife and I thought it was the best decision for our family to so after our first year, toy made sends to me. So...

...really, really, then is when it was I was going to stay with this, with the organization and then getting to know you and, of course, Freddie serving as the lizards broadcast is the one thing that I've gone to see so particular about Freddy is how just can assistant he is. It was very set. You know, Wednesday at noon you most likely had a game. You also most likely had a game on Friday at noon. Do you feel like you're going to probably carry on that same type of attitude with the schedule? Because when it came to scheduling, I'll tell everyone this, Freddy was as consistent as anybody in the league. I'll follow suit pretty similar. It's not going to be my might not be identical but I like those time slots because the kids get exposed the most. I think honestly it's it's we find that colleges can be at your game at why compete on a Friday night at five pm? One top Sir or whoever else is playing, then you know he can come watch US play at twelve on a Friday and then be at their their event, whatever they have going on at night later on, and it's a good schedule for the kids to I just think maybe a couple more weekend games you might see, but our ranks tough though we have had a lot of youth teams, you know. So I'll say this. That's probably too probably never a Sunday. I don't think I ever saw the wizards play on a Sunday. It was very rare. Wall showcases right. Yeah, outside, lease tell her. The League tells you you Gonta put a Sunday. Well, Freddie Ams on it if he could every time, a hundred percent, a hundred percent. So in carrying on his ways. Um, you're going to be tasked to carry on the lizards culture, so let's keep let's just stick with the loaded questions. Can you define what the lizards culture is, I would say, development, a huge, huge thing in...

...that that answer. It's we made a culture our locker room where it's guy guys hold each other their accountable and it's more relaxed atmosphere. In that way, guys are late if they need to be a thirty thirty five, guys are making ride the bike. They're all they're all weight for you to be late, to hold each other accountable, but they also have fun doing it and with that the the attitudes are better and I think the four years that I've been here. Again I go back to that word development, we've probably three out of the four years we've been middle of the pack, five hundred at December and we're exploding out in January and February. You know, I think it was two years ago we had a good year consistently all the way through. But that's one trend I would like to continue. Not that I want to suck in the beginning of the year, but you know, I do want to see a path of getting better every week and every month and and with every every game comes lessons and you learn from them move on. If I could continue that, that would be that would be huge. I you know, that's my biggest that would be the biggest thing. I like to carry on. Well, and to your point, the year before you came on board, the Wizards won eight games. Then I'm not sure if you remember this, but two thousand and sixteen seventeen season year, first year, that September was tough. I think. I believe you were either Owen six. I think we were what, Oh, six, Hud six one, ohdre six and one. It'll start and it was seventy seven one or suffet. It was tough. It was a tough start. The wind totals from there. Two Thousand One and twenty nine, twenty twenty three. Obviously, the first year you guys lost to the eventual league champions in the junior flyers. Second Year again, losing the eventual lead champions in the avalanche. Both years, though, making to the second round the following year. Frozen finals. This year that we didn't get to finish. Technically, you had...

...the most playoff wins of any team in the league and you were getting ready to face all everyone this year. Right, we don't have that rule in place. You know, we could look at we could tell your owner to put that in. It's a little unfair. It's a little unfair to claim that if teams had you to play a game yet. And who knows that happens in your series against the Rangers. But to your point, the wizards, year in and year out, get better as the season goes on. Is that something that you guys like sold to players? You know, if you come here, look at you know, look at the history. You're going to get better as the season goes on. Well, that's certainly some we pride ourselves in. You know, maybe, maybe at times we give guys and we tell the straight the what we're meet and doing our meetings now and when I talk to guys in the phone, it's listen, is going to be is going to be growing pains in September and October and you're going to learn. You know, learn a lot and you know, hopefully they take in and what you're telling them. We I think maybe we give a little bit too much leeway in the beginning of the year. I mean you will give guys maybe five chances and if it's happening in a row like we'll bring them in and we'll have a talk. But you know, we're not going to I'm not going to sit there and bury on the bench. I'm going to I'm going to give you a look and he knows it, and then we'll see if the adjusts. And I think part of what we talked about in terms of that, with our atmosphere in the locker room, combined with Adrian Peacock, our strength coach, that's those, those three factors are huge in our second half of the year and those you know, second half of the year. Guy Might know when it you know I'm coming across the blue and I got a chip a pocket this situation. Are now making a move, whereas before it turn that puck over and hit get that look from me right. So I think, yeah, it will. There's a growing pains in September, October for for us as coaches, for sure, but if you give them a little bit of leeway, you know, you know they'll be able to learn and develop because of it. Hopefully some guys do...

...sometimes well. I'm gladually brought up Agi and I'll skip am I notice, because I had him on my list here. You know, at this time of year I always get questions about, you know, who has the best facilities. I'm not going to come on this podcast and and say that one team has the clear cut best, but in the top five without a doubt, is the edge sports center. Can you just touch on what you guys have in terms of ice time, to your locker room, to Adrian peacocking full time strength coach and a separate gym? He just talk about what you guys do have for facilities because, as I said, they are some of the best in the league. Yeah, I can't agree with you more. That's it again, one of our one of the things I go back to with talking of players. Most of these kids have seen these coast junior ranks and they know what they look like and you come to our rank, it's clean, it's it's it's a nice facility. Our Locker Room. I guess we'll start off top. We just put in a sense arena training, it's called, and guys put on the visual the visual goggles, and they have the stick and and there's and there's actually it's pretty cool that you know the it creates certain situations on the ice that they can adjust to and and make decisions with it. And then we have a full, it's almost brand new weight room. It's top it's really Nice Weight Room. Adrian's there full time. He does our boys junior team, our girls junior team, some of the youth teams. So he's there, you know, let's say eight to eight every day with the guys and you continue on. Our whole wing was built for the US fifteen seven years ago before they went off to the Olympics, and we've obviously made it into our own now and I tell a lot of guys you'll probably have a better locker room now than you go in college where you go to and it's funny but it's true. I think it's a really nice facility. So we get a lot to offer and Adrian again that...

...he's every day. We practicing, will working out right after practice and September of the guys AMM Moaning and growning. In October it just becomes more part of the routine and and they just kind of figure it out. They have to do it. So that he's a huge asset for us and part of that routine. Going back on that schedule, as you guys pretty consistently practice that thirty and I he said, you work out right afterwards. Not every team has that schedule, but for the most part you're done by noon. Yep, for the for the players, is that something that you guys like? Holding them more accountable to be there earlier as opposed to later in the day? Yeah, I personally like the mornings better if we have a practice, if I have a choice. Some teams don't have choices. They have to practice at three o'clock. But you know, I don't want kids sleeping in all day. I want them out of their bed. So we get them out of their bed, they get they get their morning done by twelve o'clock. There at the rank from eight o'clock to twelve o'clock on a practice day. In that schedule we put it out set for the year. So whoever, if you know if Neil Rabbit was coming to play for the wizards, he knows. He can give his boss the schedule for the year and now we can go right from the rink. It's much you go to work from one to nine, or you might some kids might be still in high school and I have to take online classes. Some kids are taking college courses. We try to stress that like it. They should be doing something every day. You know they shouldn't be playing for tonight every day because you know it's not it's not doing you any good. So we try to push them to get a job or take a class and do something. Get Out of the apartments, get out of your house. So would you say that, over the majority of the players and your team do have a pride, another obligation like that from from one o'clock to nine o'clock at night, for the most part, well, one to nine six. I mean that's not sad, but a lot of guys, most of them have jobs, most of them are doing something. Carter Ale road, as soon as you left the...

...rink, will be going deliver in pizzas around all right, you know what I mean. You gotta make somebody make some money, right, like, what else are you doing all day? That's what you know. Yeah, might as well do something. So all right. Well, yeah, we really stress that point. All rodd is one of thirty four commits that you guys have in the past four years to twenty three different schools. Not sure if you got, if you knew those numbers, but do you take pride in the variety of schools that you place two players? And Yeah, any commitments we take pride in and every players different. Some some kid, some kid in show up in high school and he's looking at a little lesser, lesser school than he's not going to toughs, right, but you know those. We've had kids in the past that really struggled academically in high school. They grind their butts off to figure it out and they wound up going up x ray school. I'm not going to name them, but I'm just as proud as those guys is. You know a Sean Hollwy that went to Colby right. They're all they're all good and they're all different stories and why they all got to where they are. Well, I guess I got it. Is Good. It is good to have variety, though you're yeah, I gotta put you on the spot. Then out of he started to kind of do it. Are there one or two kids in particular, and I'll kind of put it on a t for you, that you've seen just drastically improve and because of that you're extra proud of those commitments. The I'll just give you one name, Andrew Harley this year. So he two years ago he played I think he had like fifteen or sixteen points of something. He played the whole year. Miss like four or five games, but he played half the year and defense and he didn't say anything. He knew we needed back there as a defenseman because guys were hurt and and he just we put them in there one game and he just he was really good and then obviously went back to forward for playoffs and he was one of the kids. Him and...

...out Rod we're actually first life penalty killed. They were up play bike, but by the time we went to the frozen for this past summer, he goes home and puts on twenty pounds of muscle and crushes the jam all summer long. He comes back, he puts up sixty something points and you know, he had he could have went anywhere he wanted to decide on brock pot, which is right down streets house perfect. You know that that one because he made huge strides in his game because of because of his off ice commitment, obviously. So I don't remember what episode it is, but I do remember touching on at some point in the year labeling him as probably the most improved player in the league and a war that we don't have. But yeah, see it, to see it from the broadcast his perspective as well. It was right here. He might tell you that Freddie and I didn't play him enough the first year and that's why you do so much because, speaking of Freddy, one one final question about about the your former partner there. Obviously he's not going too far. Still going to be coaching in massachuse is just at the prep level. Yep, as he emphasized, you know, call me whenever to you when you need advice or to pick his brain. I know that's understood. I call. I still call him to I still bug them two three times a week. It's just kind of understood. You know. I think we spent a lot of time to go the last four years. So I think that's just kind of he I know that he would say that to me and that's why you call. Sometimes you call them bugging too much. But well, then other coaches. Is a is there like a norm bays and there's are other coaches they've had, whether it was you were playing or you coached with them, that you kind of have lean done guys like that to be mentors for you throughout your coaching career. Um, you know, I'm fortunate, unfortunate where people may not know what I'm my sister married Peter Masters, who owns the junior bruins and is a obviously a...

...big name in the hockey world. So I get a lot of just through him. I get a lot of advice through him and connections. You know that exactly guys that I've had coached with me in the past. Is there a specific guy call every week? No, that probably be Freddy over the last four years, just naturally just being with everyday work with them. So he might have filled that void. Maybe I'll be calling somebody else this year. I'm not sure, but I think as a whole, any time I'm with a hockey coach or somebody who knows the game, you're always picking their brain and you're always talking hockey. It just naturally happens. Well, it's one of the things. I've asked this to a few guys on the podcast just because I'm always curious to learn the networks that each guy comes from with so many former players that are now coaching in our league. And for one final question. I did give you some some time to prepare for this one. I've tried to give everyone a little bit of time to prepare for this one. Not to catch you too off guard, but you've now had four years of serving as an assistant for the wizard. So hypothetically, we go to a frozen finals game and you sends your starting line up out to start over time and I needs you to give me three forwards to D and a goalie from the four years, the even an assistant coach of the lizards. I might have to put two boys in that, but we'll see. No, I got to give you a heads up because it was nice actually looking back a little bit this morning just kind of see where guys are at and in what they've done, because you know, obviously, if you remember each player for every year, but I think the first thing that comes out will just do the forward right, will go whizz well, Panzek and and doing schweat start with whizz well like. So he was with Fridday for three years. First three years the organization. You was here the first two years when...

I wasn't here, he drove from me and every day he'd get the rink at six thirty. It'd go to sleep, wake up a practice when the guys got there, you know. So in the last year he was here yet forty nine points. He was our absolute leader. I mean he's got NHL hands here. was he was really good. And then obviously Pan Zeka had ninety nine points, including playoffs. I don't know if that's that's been beaten sense or yeah, I know you had ninety three in the regular season, but I mean, you'll joke with him, but I don't know if he knows what a defensive zone is. But he can put the puck in the net, I'll tell you know, like he every time he was out there. He's a threat. So and then Showett was on his line. This show was a tough one because I have both three names that I like. But for him he had sixty five points. Is the two thousand. So if you can equate that next year I'd be a two thousand two putting up sixty five points. He's going he was a captain for the generals this year and I think he's going to be back with them. I'm not sure, but I think you should be back there again next year for his ajout year. Defense peppen peppin was, I think, our best defenseman that we've had, just pure skating skill. Kid didn't get tired. Who knows, if he had twenty more pounds he might be a division one defenseman. But and then there was a lot of good defenseman, but I just I went longevity over two years. Gagen as another kid like Harley that last year he was two years ago. He's just the steady, you know, steady or any defenseman played a lot of minutes, but this year he's played every other shift you want, up on power play. He's just a solid defenseman all around. And the real one was the goal you know, I think Weimer this year is probably probably has been our best goalie overall come in, but he was only in here for half a year. In the playoffs I think he had like a one. What four games he had at what we use...

...use lights out and playoffs. The other guy that sticks out as lots lets sticks out. He was here for two years. In US our goalie for two years, like he was it for two years. And the other guys mixed around but just dependable. So that's the list right there. You think about it. I have to give myself credit because I was gonna text you my prediction of what you would do and four of the guys I was going to predict. We're right there. The Ford Group, I don't think you've gone you've gone wrong with Wizzwell, Shoela and Pan Zeka. It's tough not to, but it also at the same time leaves off a Harley and leaves off but a chance morm and two guys that put up sixty plus. But was thinking, to be honest, I was thinking over two years Darby, you know, he and Andon door wasn't so. If you wasn't so injury written over, you know, the couple years and maybe a little more healthy, you know, might had a little bit more success. But he was really good too. Yeah, and then defenseman. I had a feeling that you would you would pick luke pep in a defenseman at Salem state. Now, as you were, you were mentioning they are Gad. Then a kid that's going to Stevenson is as steady defensively as any kid do you guys have had, and I had a feeling that you would want to split somehow. And goal, because I know that for you you can touch on this Corbinian. Let's you guys were extra close actually leading up to when he came over the wizards program, he talked about that. Yeah, I did put them on there because of this, but there's a lot of reasons. He's a kid. I coached in Hong Kong. Believe it. I was a German kid. His father works out of Hong Kong and so I had him. He was he was too good my first year. He played in our city leagues. Use too good the next two years. So he had to bump them up to like play with the men's leagues because it was kind of unfair. So he's a kid that literally taught himself out of play goalie through Youtube, watching NHL goalies. He didn't have a goalie coach. He had me...

...fire and slapshots at them. That's you know, I could teach him a little bit, but I'm all forward. I you know, I only know so much goaltending. And then you went to prep school in Canada for for two or three years before landing back with us. And I'll tell you, you know, like this kid that's there, we got to be there thirty. The kids he's there at thirty, thrown balls against the wall. It just quiet. Just does this thing and he worked his butt off and you know, was weemer probably I'd say one a and he's one b maybe, but just overlong Jerry, or two years. If I think what's got to be in the conversation at least. You know. So this was the seventh team in the League feature and that lineup is legit. He got an MP. Yeah, if I could have all these guys back, I mean for next year start, what do you think? Well, I think that I think that they would. You would have at least one guy on that forward unit. There would go a hundred points, without a doubt. Yeah, we're just would just we'll just sticking with the far Blue Line and well, it's this one solid group. Yeah, so, so. Well. Hey, like I mentioned, Freddy had never had the chance to come on. So I appreciate you coming on podcast here. As I mentioned, you're taking over as the new head coach in GM but for for those that don't know who you are, you've been there for four years already. It'll be like just handing it off from one person in the next, don't I hope so. That's the idea. I hope so. But we're just, you know, I'm just trying to go one day to time and figure out the thing. Just just being at the head of the snake right. So one day at a time, you know. So I appreciate you excited. Stay safe during the rest of these two crazy times, and good luck with the rest of the recruiting all right. Thank you. You'll thanks for listening to the 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...

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