March 27, 2019 at 10:28 pm #12481The-Rink.com StudioKeymaster
The-Rink.com co-hosts Jeff “Gatekeeper” Osborn and John “Double J” Jaeckel are joined by The-Rink Junior / Chicago Steel writer Ray Napientek to talk
[To continue reading full article, click here: The Blackhawks Rinkcast – Episode 49 – Steel Deal]March 29, 2019 at 7:27 pm #12518Mister RicochetParticipant
Finally got to The Rink’s podcast of The Mighty Steel!! Guess it’s been 10 yrs I’ve followed the Steel and USHL and in a league where you have small cities like Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Fargo, Sioux City the Steel have never had any coverage at all, none, while all other teams in the 17 team league have newspaper coverage and many have their highlights on the 10:00 news……… Steel got nuttin, zero, zilch until this podcast. As a fan of the team and league this podcast, hopefully the first of many, is a big deal. Thank you……
Then I get to the part where Mr Ricochet is mentioned and I’m thinking this is the Steve Rosenbloom segment where you’re gonna say “we suck so you don’t have to”! ……. Anyway thanks for the kind words, earned or not.
Ray your coverage is excellent. The Rink got the right guy. Respect your hockey mind, that you are on site watching at the arena not just opining from afar, showed the energy to meet Prez Dan Lehv, GM Ryan Hardy, Mr Mesky the media relations guy which means you’ll have the inside dope for your readers.
Yes JJ you are spot on, the Steel have built one hell of an organIzation under billionaire Larry Robbins. Many teams, if not most, have employees take on dual roles to save money. The coach is also the GM as an example. Not the Steel. My guess is they have more employees than any other USHL organIzation, and not just any employees. In Robbins’ 2nd yr they won the cup under his hire of Dan Muse as coach. The very next yr he was on the Nashville Preds bench as Laviolette’s bench coach. Current coach Moore comes from the NTDP (Team USA) where he was an assistant coach and has 20 yrs with the NTDP as a player and coach.
GM Hardy was hired away from the Boston Bruins! Spent 4 yrs as Director of Player Personnel of the NTDP. A copy and paste of what he did there. “Hardy and his colleagues were responsible for building the 2017-2018 NTDP teams that recently completed the most successful USHL season in the history of the program, finishing in first place in the Eastern Conference and winning a program-record 41 games in League play. During his time with USA Hockey, Hardy’s teams won the Gold Medal at the IIHF U18 Men’s World Championship in 2014, 2015 and 2017, and over 60 program alumni were selected in the NHL Entry Draft.”
They decide to bring in a skills coach. Who do they hire? Darryl Belfry, skills coach to guys named Patrick Kane, John Tavares, Austin Matthews, Noah Hannifan!
One of the first hires was Prez Dan Lehv who won the USHL Executive of the Year with the Dubuque Fighting Saints. IMO a huge hire as Dan knew the lay of the land in the USHL and the people that make it go.
So yea man, they have built a first rate organIzation in a league that gets more kids drafted than any jr league on earth except for the OHL and many OHL kids take a pay cut to play pro. ……. These are serious serious hockey people hired by a guy who has 2 billion in his pocket.
A link to the hockey staff: https://www.chicagosteelhockeyteam.com/page/show/2725102-coaches-hockey-staff
A fan goes to a Steel game they are looking at as fine a developmental organIzation as there is in a league that sent Jon Cooper to Tampa Bay and Jeff Blashil to Detroit, to name a few……. All for ten BUCKS a ticket to see Matthews, Trouba, Saad, Keller, Krug, Gaudreau, Boeser, Hughes brothers, Seth Jones and on and on and on and on. Players from Canada, Russia, Finland, Sveden, Czech Republic, USA and on and on.
150 a ticket for a family of 4 to see the Hawks or 10 bucks a ticket to see the above type players, on Saturdays you and the family can skate with the Steel after the game and after every game they have 3 players available to sign autographs? Your kids will know the players by name, and they’ll know your kids’ names, after talking to and skating with them Your choice.
Gate, you zeroed in on my guy Pietroniro. Tough Hombre and as you said kid can do everything well. Fun player and IMO could skate ECHL tomorrow.
Little long winded, sorry but at every turn for 10 yrs if I talk hockey with anyone I mention the USHL. The value is freakish and a family doesn’t have to take out a loan to see world class hockey. Just make your way to a Steel or USHL game anywhere for pocket change.
Saturday would be a great game to see as all time winningest USHL coach PK O’Handley brings his Waterloo Black Hawks in. He must have sent more USHL players to the NHL than any other team except for the NTDP in his 17 yrs. Waterloo alumni: https://www.waterlooblackhawks.com/black-hawks-in-the-nhl
Ray, or Gate, I’ll be in my spot in section 306 if you can make Saturday’s tilt vs Waterloo.
Gotta run as Waterloo is at 1st place Muskegon tonight that has to be the USHL game of the night! Must see for this fan.
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