1. Can you describe the evaluation process? Will this be the only tryout or will you bring a group back to see again before selecting the team?
We have roughly 4 scouts who will be coaching from the rink, and 3 or 4 keeping eyes on each player from the skyduring camp. All of our scouts are well respected in our sport so their opinions and evaluation of players will berespected. All of us will meet and discuss who fits the system best. We originally discussed announcing our roster by December 1st after camp. But who knows? Plans could change depending on how the guys make us feel. There are noplans for a future camp at this time.
02. This is the first year that a formal selection process has been implemented at ASHI, are you excited about the opportunity to select your team rather than assembling players from what you have seen of them in prior tournaments?
When Michael, George and I started to lie out our organization’s plans, we discussed having an open camp, aninvitational camp, or no camp at all, just using tournaments to scout. We decided an invitational camp was the fairestway to collect more information, some of which we could not by watching tournament play. It gives players a chanceto show us up close and personal what they have, especially those who are not regulars on the east coast tournamentcircuit. How serious are they taking this? Are they in shape? How will they play when the teams are even? Are they atrue fit for our strategy? How will they play at this extremely high level? How will they play with the heavier ball usedin the world championships? Who will “come up big?” Great criteria to add to each player’s “report card” that wealready have on him or her based on the tournament circuit. We invited all we found that we thought could help theteam in one-way or another. It was hard to get invited, and is an accomplishment in itself.
03. Will your selection process involve the preparation for playing different styles of hockey? For example, how the European teams play versus Team Canada or is this too early to factor in?
All of the evaluators have seen the competition at the world’s highest level. We know Canada is a ball possession teamwith tremendous talent and scoring. We know that the Euro teams are fast and physical, and have dominated thissport of recent time. Our job is to bisect their strengths and weaknesses later. Right now, we have to quickly defineourselves. Our country has the ability to be a mixture of all the top teams. We hope to be fast, flooded with talent, oneof the strongest on the back end with excellent goaltending.
04. What characteristics do you value most from a player?
I’m not sure there is one characteristic I could ever define as best. That’s what’s great about being a coach and/or ageneral manager, we get to work with a wide ranger of abilities and find uniqueness in each of our players using thoseto our advantages. I will say, that being a good teammate is one thing we’ll be keeping an eye on. We want the typeof personalities that will keep us focused yet lighten the locker-room.
05. Currently you are the coach of arguably two of the most disciplined teams in America, Pittsburgh Gods and Stars-N-Snipes; do you believe you can implement your system with the players you select in 6 months?
Most disciplined? Thanks, but I think both teams have a lot of work to do before being labeled as “disciplined.” Thereare so many talented teams in this country, so we are going to have to configure our system to the strengths of theplayers. But yes, the infrastructure, concepts & ethical values will be put in place. It’ll be our job to out will theopponent to get to our game.
06. What are your expectations for the players selected at the November Camp?
I expect them to be hungry and determined to recreate a gold medalist like that of 2006 in Italy. I expect the playersto work on their weaknesses and continue to put in the time independently to build on their strengths between nowand summer. I expect them to prepare for this event like it’s the last they’ll ever play in. The bar is raised for gold.