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Feature Interview: Milkovich contract coaching with the US Men's Squad There are 49 comments on this articlex49
Peter Milkovich in Control
Peter Milkovich in Control
January 22, 2002 4.5 out of 5
Andrew Griffiths
> Page Views 16175

Peter Milkovich, former Canadian international midfielder from Vancouver, played for Team Canada from 1988 to 2000. His outstanding hockey career was bookended with Olympic performances in Seoul and Sydney. He was at times brilliant and always displayed determination and desire to win a powerful complement to his natural hockey skills.

Milkovich recently retired from competitive hockey and works as a trader in San Fransisco. He has also moved into the coaching ranks, and recently he was asked by the US Field Hockey Association to assist Shiv Jagday (Milkovich?s ex-coach) for a month with the US men?s national team. PlanetFieldHockey caught up with Peter as he was about to start his stint with the US team.

ANDREW GRIFFITHS (PFH): What will your capacity be with the US squad?
PETER MILKOVICH: I have been asked to provide technical assistance in the area of penalty corners, set plays and attacking skills. I have also been asked to help recruit younger players through a new initiative in the Thousand Oaks area.

AG: What will you try to accomplish during that time?
PM: With a short working period it will be important to share some of my ideas on the game that will be compatible with the overall structure that is now in place under the guidance of Shiv Jagday.

AG: When was the last competitive hockey game you played?
PM: The last competitive game I played would have been in the spring of 2001 with Old Loughtonians in the EHL. Prior to that my last international was the final match of the Sydney Olympics. However, I almost immediately started coaching as I took the role of assistant coach at the University of California Berkeley in the fall of 2001.

AG: How have you found the transition from playing to coaching?
PM: Not that difficult. I really lost interest last year in the day to day training as a player and that was one of my signals to call an end to playing. I enjoy the sharing of knowledge amongst coaches and the opportunity to test ideas in training. It is difficult at times to separate yourself from the players but that will come with experience.

AG: What is your coaching philosophy?
PM: My coaching philosophy revolves around commitment and attitude. I have played on many talented and skilled teams. However the best teams I played ever played on were committed to achieving their goals and applied a very distinct attitude in their training. I feel as a coach that if I can earn the players? respect by clearly communicating and exemplifying the level of commitment and attitude that I feel is needed to win at the top level then anything is possible.

AG: Do you know players on the team - have you played with them?
PM: I know who the players are, I have never played with them so this will be an interesting opportunity for both myself and the players to gain some insight and understanding into the way each of us approach the game.

AG: Will it help that you have worked with Shiv Jagday in the past? (Jagday worked for a number of years with the Canadian national team)
PM: Yes it always helps when you have some understanding of the current coach?s view of the game. Shiv is a good coach, who loves the game and I am sure I will see that in the players.

AG: How did you find coaching in the NCAA this season?
PM: The NCAA is a unique coaching environment. It is difficult in one sense because the season is so short that you cannot teach that much. On the other side the players and staff are very professional and both Shellie Onstead and Jenn Vinnetti were great to work with.

AG: Do you think field hockey has a strong future in the USA: For women?
PM: For women the future is now ? I believe the US has more girls playing the sport than any other country in the world. Unfortunately they do not play as much and there has been no top league within the US until recently with the development of the USAir League. I think with the popularity of the sport on the East Coast that there needs to be a serious league that develops and trains players outside the current university system for both the purpose of exposing good young players to higher levels of coaching and play and to develop the popularity of the sport in the local communities. With respect to the national team, I see no reason why they will not qualify for the World Cup and I believe they will give Argentina a very tough time at the next Pan-Am Games if they develop a strong penalty corner unit.

AG: And the future for the men?s game in the USA?
PM: With the men the development of the game seems bo be quite difficult due to longstanding traditions of boys not playing the sport in the US. Having said that I think hockey could grow as a regional sport on the west coast with its more positive climate conditions. As for the national team I will see shortly how they approach their training and measure how committed and willing they are to sacrifice for the opportunity to play in an Olympics or World Cup.
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Comments on this article
Die Hard Canadian
01-22-2002  11:57 pm
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Pete Milkovich wearing the stars and stripes. When are the pictures going to be posted.
01-23-2002  3:14 am
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Another fine Canadian going south!!!
Good luck with the US!
BC Fan
01-23-2002  11:06 am
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Peter M.
You either love or hate him ...but I think this is a great move by Shiv and the USFHA. Good Luck and hopefully they can use the CalCup as a test. I think that maybe a 1 year term would be better.
Brampton Fan
01-23-2002  5:24 pm
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Have you played against Gabber of Brampton? What do you think of his skill and tenacity for Hockey.. Do you think he can make the National Mens Team?

Please let us know your thoughts.

Another BC Fan
01-23-2002  6:56 pm
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Milko is a Trader
Milko is a trader...at least that's what the article says (he works as a trader in San Francisco).


What a pun.
01-23-2002  7:12 pm
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The Milk Man
He delivers
Good news
01-23-2002  10:11 pm
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Good news that Milkovich is to coach in the US. It is excellent news that he is not coaching young Canadians. His abrasive and obnoxious personality will fit in better in America.

Best wishes Peter on success in California. Enjoy the sun.
01-23-2002  10:49 pm
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From what i understand peter did most of the coaching while he played,its about time he got the title.
01-24-2002  3:41 am
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I am thoroughly fascinated with the fact that - no matter what the topic is - someone always manages to bring famous Gabber up... How much more can you talk about this topic?
BC Fan
01-24-2002  10:21 am
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Re: Liz
Sorry, you but you, and the rest of us, have been stricken with "Gabbaris interruptis" .
Back to more relevant topics of discussion...... please !
Alberta FAn
01-24-2002  1:06 pm
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Andrew G
Hey Andrew,

When are you coming back to play on the national team.
Bubli Chohan
01-24-2002  4:30 pm
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I think Peter has excellent ideas for the game of hockey.as a player its great to have a different point of view about the game from many coaches,give shiv credit for hiring him.best of luck Pete.
Andrew G
01-24-2002  7:54 pm
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Alberta Fan
I'm coming back to play in the spring
hockey fan
01-24-2002  8:13 pm
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Peter is a very knowledgeable player and he is a very determined and focused guy. Some people who arent as focused as he is of course will have problems with him. He knows exactly what he wants and he gets it. His coaching style is very easy to deal with and all he wants is your best effort, not unreasonable for a coach!!! Good luck peter!!
Yan Huckendubler
01-24-2002  8:49 pm
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Response to "Good News"
I don?t think that it is such a good news (for us Canadians) that Peter is heading South to coach, joining down there some other talented Canadian Internationals (Patrick Burrows, Andrew Griffiths, etc?).

Peter obviously didn?t reach the international level, then stay up there for 12 years and 268 caps, just because of his ?abrasive personality ?. I would say that he has much to contribute back, technically but also in the rather special domain of the high-level athlete psychology.

I don?t think that I am mistaken to say that Rich Charlesworth, the very successful Australian coach, was not exactly a quiet angel in his playing days!
01-24-2002  8:58 pm
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gabber is 10x the player milkovich is or ever was! we all know that, even in europe where the legend of gabber has spread thanks to this website. less talk about milkovich, more about gabber! i heard gabber has offers from all the top dutch clubs. teun de nooijer says "i am not even half the player that gabber is". kenny p of toronto says "i have given up hockey since i can never be nearly as good as gabber. i am going to become a featherweight boxer instead." missy m. of maryland says "i am firing my canadian assistant coach so i can hire gabber. his knowledge of the game is unparalleled." every international coach is trying to get gabber to change his passport before the next olympics. andrew, when are you going to have an interveiw with gabber? no one is interested in anything else!
01-24-2002  10:33 pm
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Re: Jose
Hey, I needed that laugh in a big way, thanks. Was very funny, especially the part about Kenny becoming a featherweight boxer.
NZ Hockey Man
01-25-2002  2:53 am
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I think Milkovich is an overrated hockey player who would not get in any other international side. i also know he is the dirtiest hockey player there was going around playing international hockey. i think hockey in the USA will be the poorer for having him there. it is a disgrace to all hockey coaches the world over that he calls himself a coach.
Continental Ignorant.
01-25-2002  5:03 am
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Sorry for all those annoyed by another comment regarding the infamous Gabber. But I do not have the slightest clue who he his, someone please help me out before I suddenly find myslef playing with or against him in good old Europe.

Thanks and sorry.

Andrew G, heard that operationw went well and looks from the comment that you will return to Hockey. Well done and all the best, enyjoy playing again.
Ralph (from Loughts)
BC Fan
01-25-2002  10:58 am
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Re: Cont...Ign..
Here in Canada we don't know who he is
as well. He is not on the National Team
and I don't think he plays in Vancouver.... I have not heard any comments from players and Coaches from here.... So..... It would lead me to believe that he is a "legend" in someone else's mind.
01-25-2002  11:22 am
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Jose I agree
Gabbar is berry berry good. Who is Peter Milkovich.
01-25-2002  11:38 am
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I see 2 interesting comments in this loop. They are from Dutchie & Yan.

A lack of proactive behaviour by FHC to enroll their human assets in coaching, or other volunteer type activity, may be a significant factor in the apparent "braindrain" within this segment of Canadian professionals.

I'd like to be proven wrong. Please speak up if you are an athlete with at least 100 caps, that retired during the last decade & has received a call from their association (not from a coach) asking them to become involved in grassroots/junior/senior development & then was offered to have this involvement facilitated.
BC Fan
01-25-2002  12:58 pm
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Re: Yan
Isn't Peter working in San Fran..? Does FHC have the Funds to offer ex-Nationals to stay here and coach after their playing careers? Pat works for Stanford? Andrew works for MaryLand?
Cannot these individuals make a LIVING
and help Hockey as a sport?
Let's look at USA & Peter? Would not an improvement in the US help hockey within the PHF? Help provide a better challenge to our National Team? If, we are so concerned about our homegrown talent why are we hiring coaches that are not from Canada? What incentive is there for our coaches/players to stay and develop here?
Jas Sahota
01-25-2002  1:37 pm
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Hi BC FAn,

Why dont you put your name where it says "Your Name" and stop hiding. It is quite obvious that you spend alot of time on the PFH website... you should be playing or should i say being practicing hockey so you can catch up to gabber.. I am sorry that you did not have the talent to play on the National Team nor did the National Team want you because of your constant whining... You whine alot on this site so you must whine alot playing .... if you do.

Just admit that GAbber is amazing and Kenny is a Penicil with a big mouth.

Kenny has good skills but his size will get overpowered by the dutch and the dutch and the other major contenders will blow him over like a leaf.

Always looking forward to your intriguing response.... BCFAN<>><><>
Ricky S
01-25-2002  2:31 pm
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Re: Jas Sahota
Hey Jas who are you?
Kenny is probably pound for pound the strongest guy on the National Team and can handle himself on the field.
If he has any problems off the field his good buddies Gary singh and Scott Smith come to the rescue so watch what you say....
Peter D'Cruz
01-25-2002  2:44 pm
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No brain drain
There is no brain drain of retired Canadian field hockey players to the US. Pat Burrows didn't move to California to coach field hockey and only coaches on a part-time basis. Peter Milkovich is doing field hockey coaching on a part-time basis (most likely volunteer). Either of these two gentleman would most likely be doing part-time, volunteer coaching in Canada if their professional and personal lives meant they stayed in Canada.

There isn't a professional career path in Canada for field hockey coaches. Just a few universities have coaching positions that allow one to choose coaching field hockey as a profession. People coach on a volunteer and part-time basis while developing professional careers that makes them a living.
BC Fan
01-25-2002  3:48 pm
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Re: Jas Sahota
Anyways............. Back to some real discussion.....like the actual theme of this topic.

Does Peter have any other "coaching" plans in the near future? What about the "Bay" area for men's hockey? Will Canada have a "test" series against the US before going on their next tour? Maybe some test matches around either CalCup or Vancouver International, both in May?
During the last FHC training camp a couple of years ago in Vancouver we had a fantastic level of participation in the CalCup, especially players from Ontario. Andrew and Kenny included.
01-25-2002  5:50 pm
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Odd, I thought this article was about Milko?

I'm not sure why this Gabber's name came up in the first place in the discussion when the article has absolutely nothing to do with him.

Let's keep on topic people, it's no wonder no one really takes these discussions seriously anymore...
Yan Huckendubler
01-25-2002  6:01 pm
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Hari! I hope you are getting a fat commission each time you post one of these annoying off-topic comments on the Great Gatsby.

If not, please do another favor to the field hockey community: write a few lines of code to filter them out and automatically redirect them to www.gabberisthebest.com where his worshipper(s) can bask in peace in his mythical glory.

Thank you!
Yan Huckendubler
01-25-2002  6:22 pm
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Re: BC Fan
Don?t read more than you should in what I said above. I was merely reacting to the comment that it is a ?good news? to see Peter coach in the US rather than in Canada because of his ?abrasive personality?.

I realize that the first reason for Patrick and Peter?s coaching involvement in California is because they now live and work down there. Congratulations to the local hockey community for seizing the opportunity to tap on their experience and expertise.

I didn?t either suggest that FHC should grab all retiring National Team athletes for the National Team Coaching Pool, nor that we should limit ourselves to our homegrown products. In fact, I think that Gene Muller is exactly what our Team needs at this point of its life cycle.

But there are multiple ways to use the competence of these athletes who have played at a higher level than most of us. From sessions on a specific technical topic (Alan Brahmst did defensive clinics for the Junior Women?s Team) to grassroots coaching (Ian Bird did a successful coaching tour in the Maritimes).

I just find that writing off some players because they have an ?abrasive personality?, or because they don?t sing in the same choir as you, is a waste. Something we cannot really afford in Canada.
01-25-2002  7:55 pm
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Gabbar comments
Yan, I wish I was getting some commission payments. The first Gabbar comment was legitimate enough, someone asking Pete about his opinion on this player. The second one was too funny to not publish. We'll keep the rest of this thread clean.
Milko Fan
01-26-2002  1:04 pm
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NZ Hockey Man - Sour Grapes?
Sounds like sour grapes NZ Hockey Man? Abrasive personality, or not, Milko is underrated as a player and is a natural coach. His involvement will BENEFIT hockey in the US, Canada and any other country that is smart enough to recognize his coaching talents and include him in its program.

As for your comment that Milko "would not get in any other international side", I seem to recall something about him playing on the World XI. Unless, of course, you're suggesting that only underrated players get invited...

It is a disgrace to hockey the world over that you would slam Milko for his continued involvement. It's guys like Milko and Burrows and Griffiths that will help keep hockey competitive in North America. And frankly, given the lack of appreciation, recognition and remuneration that these guys receive for all the work they do, it's a wonder they keep coming back.

So, NZ Hockey Man, why don't you get your finger out and try making some constructive comments.
Peter Munsing
01-27-2002  1:52 pm
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Don't forget the East
I hope that Mr. Milkovich in his suggestion that mens fh development be focussed on the west is not giving up on the East. Yes, we have fewer guys, but if those concerned with increasing participation would use their bully pulpit to advocate the sport as a sport for all, and end demeaning things like
making the young guys with enough guts to play a "girls sport" wear the kilt, (to shame them and disuade others--quite effective, too), then maybe we'd have more guys playing in the East.He should also be aware that people like Tee Goh of the Mavericks (DC's premier team)are doing their best to form U19 squads.If leaders of the sport would advocate allowing young men U-19 to play in indoor leagues, and to allow coed HS play especially in the indoors, you'd have a lot more guys playing in the East. Don't give up on the East--help the kids! (If he reflects, the same may be said about Eastern Canada outside of Toronto).
If there are so many Canadians down here, I'd hope they can inspire us to set up more clubs so we are less reliant on schools to establish and maintain sports (which in the case of boys many times means no playing field hockey).
01-28-2002  3:44 pm
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We have had a number of complaints from the community, and will no longer publish comments about Gabber which we deem inappropriate and unrelated to the current discussion.
Hey, Pete
01-28-2002  4:28 pm
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Something I learnt the other day
There is a HS in Connecticut that maintains a boys' side for the purposes of training and activities after school. Simsbury, I think.

Also, The Delbarton School's boys' ice hockey team picked up hockey sticks last fall for a friendly against St. Elizabeth's Academy.

The guys are getting their due, slowly but surely!
Peter Munsing
01-28-2002  6:54 pm
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Back to the subject
Thanks for the note. There is hope that there may be hs boys play in Massachusetts. But we digress......
We in the US are blessed by the number of immigrant hockey players and welcome them, even if NZ doesn't. Mr. Milkovich--you are welcome here, no matter what your detractors say. Forget the tired, hungry, yearning to be free--give us your underappreciated but highly skilled players learning to teach, your innovative hockey minds yearning to develop our game--and hopefully clubs as well. We'll take 'em. GOA Red, feel underappreciated--come down here. Great Dutch, German, Korean, Australian, Spanish, English, Malaysian players--feel free to come here (but if you are one of the backbiting comment writers leave snideness behind).Even kiwis are welcome!
01-30-2002  4:47 am
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No path to the top is smooth!
I do not think that PM should be criticised for being abbrasive as a coach before he has even been given the chance to coach a set of sessions and accordingly be judged on the results. You know the path to the top is not a smooth one (come to think of it you probably do not know as arm chair athletes). Perhaps some abbrasiveness might help smooth out the path for the US (or perhaps they don't let that get in the way of what they can learn from a man with 200 + caps) This sandpaper approach is living and successful or has everyone in this limited hockey world forgotten what happened and still is happening with John Royce (English womens and soon to be mens coach when he wins his court case!) Anybody can tell you he is about as abbrassive as you get...difference is he is successful just like PM is gonna be and just like Rik Char. always has been (Know any other coaches who put themselves down on the team sheet as Phsyio in order to get instructions in the field?)
shahbaz junior olympion, world champion from pakis
02-03-2002  3:16 pm
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Definitly petermilkovich would be able to transfer his expertise skill and their will be a great oppurtunity for getting knowledge for new hockey seekers from the supervision of great canadian olympion in california.
Jas Sihota
02-04-2002  1:25 pm
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Hari, Andrew,

If the forum is open and Gabber is a valid comment then please publish it. If not please put a article on this guy on PFH.


BC Fan
02-04-2002  4:13 pm
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A Feature is forthcoming?
Andrew / Hari,
We have not got the faintest idea who Gabbar is or why the there is so much fanfare written about him. I would be interested in reading a "constructive" about him if anyone has some biographical info on him
and his potential for making the National Team. Picture?
BC Fan
02-05-2002  12:05 am
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I meant to say a "constructive" Article.
02-05-2002  12:09 am
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I don't think the tone of many of the comments about Gabber are respectful to him - and many in the community agree - we have received several messages about this topic, and that is why we have decided to restrict comments related to it.

If a community member publishes a verifiable interview with Gabber, we will be happy to post it.
Peter Munsing
02-06-2002  7:29 pm
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The spirit of Vince
I would really be interested in hearing about what this guy thinks of US hockey, painful though it may be, and what he's planning.
As far as abrasive--well, Marine DI's are not let-me-feel-your-pain types and they produce results. Vince Lombardi is revered in the US for his less than gentle style. You don't have to be a hard...
but if that's you, if you produce results you've self actualized. So let's hear about this guy's plan and no more about Gabber until he rates his own article.
02-12-2002  10:37 am
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Interesting comparison...not
I cannot see the link between American professional sports and Mens Field Hockey. All I know is that amateurs get cosy in set routines and doing things because they have always been done that way. Pete M. was the forum and not Vince L. I beleive so lets evaluate the contribution he has given and ask him where the Hardness is needed the most.
You are only as good as the knowledge you have... so USFH is better already just by having having someone like PM. While your thinking about it give me examples of Winners (what the US is good in) who adopted the softly, softly approach.
04-18-2002  10:37 am
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Coach Peter!
As a past player for the US Men's National team (1991 - 1997) and having played many matches against Team Canada and Peter M. I can truly say that his recent addition to the coaching staff is a HUGE step forward. Peter taught me the difference to "what's on the field, is on the field...(or rather business not personal)". He was always a player you "hated" to play against because he was skillful, could be painful, but always determined, and to beat him and the rest of Team Canada you really had to bring your best. I think his style of play, determination to excel, and love of the game will rub off on some of the younger US players which in turn will make them better. I wish him the best in this new opportunity and am reinforced by NZ's sour grapes that this is a good decision by US Hockey. Finally the US get a coach who is not afraid to show some emotion on the field. Cheers.
shahid ali
07-03-2002  4:30 pm
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i am ex international hockey player,i need to do coaching in schools or universities,any body can help me plz ,send me a e mail on this address .....ahl125@hotmail.com....i am in toronto rite now......
Chis in San Jose
11-29-2002  9:57 pm
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Peter M.
Read the Peter M. article and after having observed his sideline demeanor and coaching approach in the USA, I have to say that no matter HOW talented he may have been in his playing days....he is a very poor mentor and example for student-athletes. He shows a blatant disregard for the rules and at least appears to encourage dirty and nasty play, instead of skill development. Canada, you may keep him. Spare us all.
11-16-2003  10:49 pm
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It's Nov 2003 what result have come from his work?Did we invest badly again? pick a US person..for a change
11-17-2004  6:00 am
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