The Coaches Site Founder Aaron Wilbur sits down with some of hockey’s top coaches to learn about their coaching journey and dissect the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Each episodes features key take aways for coaches of all levels. The Glass & Out podcast is required listening for coaches looking to gain key insights from hockey’s most influential leaders.
The Athletic National Reporter Scott Wheeler: The Evolution of Player Evaluation
In episode 140 of the Glass and Out Podcast, we welcome Scott Wheeler, who covers the NHL Draft and prospects nationally for The Athletic.
Wheeler is widely considered one of the top authorities in the hockey prospect community and is known for his dedication to player evaluation. He does a ton of research through both video and live viewings, and makes it a priority to speak with coaches and those people who have participated in a player’s development.
In-season skills session with Flames development coach Darren Rommerdahl (VIDEO)
Need an opinion on a player eligible for this years draft? Make sure to follow him on Twitter.
His in-depth articles offer video evidence and analytical analysis about what makes a player special, or what a player may need to improve on. He also produces some amazing human interest stories on people within our game, that details their journey or experience through hockey. For example, one of his latest pieces of work saw him move in with Minnesota Wild 2020 first round pick Marco Rossi to get a feel for the person behind the prospect.
Through this research, he's seen firsthand how player evaluation has changed over the years and the way the game is trending, both good and bad.
In addition to his work at The Athletic, Wheeler has also written for the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Sun, National Post, SB Nation, the PGA Tour, McKeen’s Hockey, Future Considerations, and The Hockey News.
In this episode, we discuss how he got his start coaching his high school hockey team as a student, his process for evaluating talent, and how he believes we can all use data and analysis to make better coaching decisions.
NHL Coach Kirk Muller: How to Develop Relationships with Today's Player
In episode 139 of the Glass and Out Podcast, we welcome Stanley Cup champ and NHL coach Kirk Muller.
Ask anyone who has had a chance to meet or be coached by Muller, and they'd likely tell you that he fits the profile of a "modern coach" to a tee. With the shift from a dictatorship style of leadership, to one where the leader seeks to connect with their team, he has made relationship building a priority in every stop he's made throughout his career.
Muller had a remarkable NHL playing career of 19 seasons and nearly 1500 games, highlighted by scoring the Stanley Cup clinching goal for Montreal in Game 5 of the 1993 Final.
Following retirement, he would get his first shot at coaching with Queen's University in 2005. After just one season, he'd make the jump to the NHL and join his former club in Montreal as an assistant coach. In total, Muller has spent 10 of 15 seasons behind an NHL bench as an assistant with the Canadiens. His lone head coaching gig came with the Carolina Hurricanes for three seasons (2011-2014).
During his career, Muller has had the chance to work with and learn from an incredible list of coaches. That includes Lou Lamoriello, Pat Burns, Dave Tippett, Ken Hitchcock, Bob Gainey, Guy Carbonneau, Jim Rutherford, Alain Vigneault, Doug Armstrong, and Claude Julien.
After being relieved of his assistant coaching duties with Montreal earlier this season, Muller is currently without a coaching job. But with his resume, knowledge of the game and ability to connect with his players, there's no doubt that he'll find his way back to the NHL sooner rather than later.
Find out how he approaches relationship building with his players, what he sees as the pillars to a successful program.
Team Finland Head Coach Jukka Jalonen: The Finnish Development System
As a country of just 5.5 million people, Finland’s success in hockey at the global and professional level has been impressive to say the least. Just how have they been able to do it while competing with larger countries?
We welcome today’s guest, Finnish National Men’s Team head coach Jukka Jalonen to shed some light on the topic.
Few coaches have been more instrumental in the growth of Finnish hockey.
A big shift can be traced back to 2009, when Jalonen and the Finnish Ice Hockey Association held a summit, recognizing that they were not putting enough of an emphasis on skill development at the grassroots levels. Specifically, they recognized the value of having all clubs following the same program and hired coaches to oversee and deliver it on a regional basis. The key to doing it was to provide all young players an equal development opportunity and to take the focus away from wins and losses.
With over three decades of coaching experience, Jalonen’s resume includes two World Championship gold medals (2011, 2019), a gold medal at the 2016 World Junior Championships, and a bronze at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Currently, he is preparing to lead his country at the 2021 World Championships. After that, he’ll turn is focus towards the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, where he hopes to lead a young, talented Finnish squad back onto the podium.
Find out Jalonen’s principles for creating a positive hockey culture, the keys to Finland’s development system and his thoughts on when we will start to see more European coaches in the NHL.
Philadelphia Flyers Development Coach John Riley: Developing the Person Before the Player
Fresh off his appearance at last month’s Global Skills Showcase, Philadelphia Flyers Player development coach John Riley joins us this week for a new episode.
Riley presented on the topic of creating options, where he broke down how to teach the mechanics of deception. It was definitely a highlight of the week.
If you didn’t get a chance to watch it, the full presentation will be available to members of The Coaches Site later this spring.
Now in his 13th season with the Flyers, Riley has been able to work his way up the coaching ladder without the pedigree of a professional playing career. Through a true dedication to his craft and studying what goes into creating an elite player, he’s been able to ensure that he brings the most value to each organization he’s worked for, and most importantly, the players he’s helped develop.
Riley got his coaching career started at some of the most prestigious prep schools in the United States, including Kingswood Oxford School in Connecticut. After eight seasons, he would then join Princeton University as an assistant coach for two seasons, where he would also spend time as an algebra teacher.
Riley got his start with the Flyers organization as a scout for six seasons, before being promoted to his current role in player development.
Find out about Riley’s journey to the NHL, his philosophy for helping develop elite players, and why he puts just as much emphasis on developing the person as he does the player.
HC Lokomotv Director of Player Development Ted Suihkonen: How to Create Smarter Players
This week, we welcome to the podcast HC Lokomotiv Director of Player Development Ted Suihkonen, who will be one of the presenters at the Global Skills Showcase.
Suihkonen, who is one of the most well-respected leaders in our game when it comes to player development, will be presenting on the importance of cognition and variability in hockey.
The Duluth, Minnesota native has seen his career in hockey provide him the opportunity to travel the globe. Following a professional playing career that saw him spend time in the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, and Germany, he would settle in Halden, Norway. There, he would climb the ladder from head coach of the program's U17 team, to the head coach of the pro team. He'd also get the opportunity to serve as an assistant coach with Norway’s U20 National Team in 2015.
During this time, Suihkonen began to gain notoriety on social media, which allowed him to the chance to travel to work with other clubs and run skills camps in many different countries.
This eventually led to his current role with the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey club, where he oversees the development plan for club players all the way down to the youth level.
In addition to his wealth of hockey knowledge, Suihkonen also has his masters in neuroscience. This led to the launch a new venture called Neuro Hockey, which aims to provide coaches knowledge on developing game intelligence and enhancing skill acquisition.
Find out how Suihkonen's studies of the brain has influenced his philosophy for player development, the difference between European and North American methods for player development, and what to expect from his Global Skills Showcase presentation.
Omaha Mavericks Assistant Coach Paul Jerrard: Creating diversity in hockey
As we continue to celebrate Black History Month, we welcome Paul Jerrard, an assistant coach with the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks, to the podcast. One of the few minority coaches to ever stand behind an NHL bench, Jerrard is hoping to help change that moving forward.
Through the programs like the NHLCA’s BIPOC coaching program, Jerrard has taken a leadership role in trying to create more opportunity for people for colour in hockey. With people like him leading the charge, we should expect more coaches of colour to be represented in the NHL in the not too distant future.
The Winnipeg, Manitoba native has a total of 24 years of coaching experience, which includes five seasons as an assistant in the NHL. The most recent stint saw him spend two seasons on Glen Gulutzan’s staff with the Calgary Flames between 2016 and 2018. Prior to that, Jerrard spent two seasons with the Dallas Stars and one with the Colorado Avalanche.
Jerrard got his coaching career started with his alma mater at Lake Superior State following a 10-year professional playing career. He has spent 12 years of his career in the AHL, along with seven seasons in the NCAA.
Now in his third season with Nebraska Omaha and Mike Gabinet’s staff, the NCAA D1 11th-ranked Mavericks are in the process of preparing to make a postseason run.
Find out his philosophy for running a successful penalty kill from his time in the NHL, how hard work and meaningful connections have helped him in his career, and his thoughts on what steps need to be taken to get more diversity in the NHL.
Raising the Bar
This podcast is absolutely raising the skills of all that listen and making our game better
A must listen
Informative and entertaining. Excellent guests and topics.
One of my favorites would like to see deeper questions
As a minor hockey coach, this podcast has helped me a lot over the last couple years and the conference last year was quite good. I am grateful for the great content but also wanted to provide some constructive feedback. Now that I am past the basics, I would like to see you guys dig deeper with guests and dig into more details below the surface. One example is with Brooks coach - he mentioned changing his NZ forecheck during the playoffs - what did they change to? Why? How did the opponent react? Would you do it again or make a change? How did you teach it to your team?
Keep up the good work!