Welcome to the United States of Hockey. This is the first of many posts about hockey, as I see it, in the United States of America. It might fall below many’s radar screens, but to the passionate fan base that currently exists, hockey is the best thing going today.
This blog has been a few months in the making in my brain. Blogging, social media and the internet in general may be no more important to any sport than they are to hockey. There’s no doubt about that. Everyone gets a voice, and I just finally picked up that microphone to join in.
The blog has a fairly broad focus, but is distinctly different from what you may have found on other blogs. This one is strictly about American hockey. The sport has gone through peaks and valleys over the years and, the way I see it, it’s climbing right back up to one of those peaks in this country. The United States of Hockey will partly focus on U.S. National Teams, from the upcoming World Junior Championships, to the World Under-17 Challenge, to the Olympics. No matter the team, we’ll find a way of talking about it.
Another big focus will be on American hockey prospects. The U.S. has begun to produce elite-level NHL players at a rate that far exceeds years past. There are more Americans in the NHL than ever before and we’ll examine that a lot. We’ll also take a look at the NCAA, USHL, NAHL and National Team Development Program. We might even occasionally dabble in the always controversial Canadian Hockey League-NCAA battle.
This blog will certainly have a USA Hockey flavor. That’s probably because that’s what I know best.
I recently made a family decision to leave USA Hockey after three years with the national governing body, with the last two of those years coming at the vaunted National Team Development Program. I hope to provide a unique insight on why USA Hockey does certain things and also take a look at how some of these national teams are put together. Hopefully we’ll even get some in depth interviews from my former co-workers around big events like Hockey Weekend Across America, the World Junior Championship and a variety of other events and tournaments happening throughout the course of the year.
Occasionally, we’ll get into some of the numbers on the growth of hockey and also examine some of the initiatives taking place across the country to help grow the game.
Lastly, we’ll talk a lot about the Americans in the NHL. From the old guys right down to the fresh faced teenagers starting to dot NHL rosters. As the U.S. continues to produce top-end talent, it shouldn’t be long before we start seeing an American mentioned along with the Crosbys and Ovechkins of the world.
I can’t wait to get started and I hope you’ll enjoy the insight you’ll find here. First up, we’ll talk about the looming World Junior Championship, taking place out in Buffalo, N.Y. The pre-tournament camp starts on December 17, so be on the look out for some analysis on that very soon.
Also, if you’re not already, you can follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/chrismpeters