I’m back!

I will start to write here again after a few years of silence because of too much job.

Right now I am working as Development Director of the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation and the last years I have had a lot of experiences that I can tell share.

See you soon!

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Summer in Ice Hockey

Well, the summer is going on and for an Ice Hockey man it is the hardest period in some ways. I must say that I miss the pulse. In the games, the practices, in the dressing room and on the stands.

Right now I’m planning for the Summer Hockey School in Linköping – Linköping Sommarhockey. I’m the “Head Master” and I know that the most important details for a Hockey School is to find good Head Coaches. We have that – Anders Ottosson, Tim Brithén, Urban Lang, Rauno Suokko, Patrik Rosén, Patrik Norrlund, Jens Brändström, Bo Ekmark and, of course, a good Goalie Coach. We have the best: Nizze Landén.

I’m looking forward to three great weeks – 30, 31 and 32 – with a lot of practice, teaching, games etc, etc and – most of all – A LOT OF FUN!


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Denmark did it!

In an even game vs Latvia Denmark managed to win in shootouts. That’s enough to avoid the Regulation Round and the Danes were very happy about that, of course, and they should. It was an open game but Denmark had a GREAT goalie in Frederik Andersen and a fantastic sniper, Mads Christensen. I saw the potential in both of them already in the first game I saw Denmark here in the WC and in this last game they stepped up when the tempo wasn’t as high as vs the Finns and Tjecks. I thought to my self when I saw Mads Christensen; Where do this guy play. He can play in the Swedish Elikte League……. I got the explanaition after having met an old Coach friend in the stands, Doug Mason (ex National Coach of Holland and now Head Coach of Iserlohn in the DEL). He told me that his manager, two years ago, went to Herning to watch another player. Then he saw Mads Christensen and signed him. After one succesful year in DEL the Berlin Capitals offered him a much better contract. So that is were Christensen is playing today – and are doing a great job……

Kirrill Starkov was playing a little better in this game. But it is still not enough. He works hard but he does not have the edge. He is not playing in the PK and in PP he plyed just temporary and when he did nothing really happened. Hopefully ha can step up several steps by playing in the Allsvenska but in the National Team he is in a line where  he have good Team mates, for example Morten Green is the Centerforward and it obviosely does not help. Well, time will show but if Rögle BK wants to be one of the Teams that should have a chance to make it the whole way to the Elitserie next year they need som new players who can help them with the top edge. Players that just “fill in” can be found in the Junior Team.

Later yesterday I watched the game CZE vs FIN. A good game that CZE won. High tempo, a lot of emotions, some small fights and the spectators had a great time. The big difference between the Teams were that CZE scored on their chances. There one can see that a player like Jagr still is important. He does not dominate at all anymore – I’d rather say the opposite – but when he got ONE chance to score it was clean. Up in the roof, end of discussion!

My tip is that both this Teams will have a good chance to compete about the Medals in this Tournament. I’m saying that without having watched the Teams that is playing in Kocise so it is, of course, just my feelings.

Between the two games I met a delegation from the Swedish Organisation Committe for the World Championships in Sweden the nest two upcoming years. All of them are very enthusiastic and we also shared some old memories. Bo Tovland, Lars G Karlsson, Mats Hedenström, Peter Forsberg (Södertälje)  – just to mention some of them. Great people!

I also met the Danish delegation – the Staff incl Enver Hansen and the Board incl Chairman Henrik Bach from Ålborg. They were VERY nervous before the game and VERY released and happy after the game.

A long chat with Mr Frank Gonzales was also interesting. He told me about things in Spainish Ice Hockey and it seems as if they are, slowly, hitting the right road for development. New Rinks are built and more and more kids starts to play our wonderful sport. Mr Gonzales is making a great job with this and he is a genuine Ice Hockey Man. He is also a gentleman that gives his greetings to “All the wonderful people I met in Sweden during the IIHF U-18 World Championship in 2006″.

After the game I was talking to Dr Steve Norris and his wife Lea. Dr Norris is also one of the speakers at the Symposium here and they are very interesting and nice people. From Calgary Canada. Dr Norris works for the Canadien Olympic Committee with planning etc, etc in all sports.

They also showed me how to catch the Tram back to our hotel and that made it much easier.

Well -Let’s face a new day with new challenges. It is nice and developing to be here and to meet many, many old and new friends. I’m looking forward to my speak tomorrow, Friday, at the Coach Symposium and also to travel home to my wonderful family.


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Denmark…….. and a new day at the World Championships

After watching Denmark being outplayed by CZE yesterday it is obvious that the Danish Team is not good enough too be able to play at the level were the CZE:s are in this tournament. Missing Key Players is hard for a small hockey Nation like Denmark. Although I will give my respect to the Danish Players that works and tries hard every shift. Some of the young players have potential but still needs some years to reach the level.

Kirill Starkov – who has signed for Rögle BK in Sweden – was defenitely one of the poorest players again. If he’s not better than this he will not take a spot in Rögles Team this winter, that I’m sure about. Sorry for Kirill and sorry for Rögle BK.

Denmark played very defensive but one must understand that in a game were they had to keep the score down. Hopefulla they can show some offensive qualities when they need it vs the Teams that they can compete against. I wish them all the best – keep up the good job!

Yesterday and today I’ve been working hard at my Computer with plans, organisation etc, etc for LHC U. A good thing to be on events like this is that you meet many, many interesting Hockey people that gives good “food for thoughs” and new ideas to bring home.

Just to mention some from yesterday: Anders Hedberg, Kevin Maxwell, Gene Reilly and Szymon Szemberg. VERY interesting talking regarding planning, organisation etc, etc and – of course – some historical anecdots. Mr Szemberg knows everything from the history books of Ice Hockey.

After having taken a good dinner at the Rink I took a  walk to check out if I could find any Gym to use for the rest of the week. I found a nice one close to the Arena and I will go there this afternoon. The walk took me app. 1 hour so with tired legs and a sour back I had no problems to fall asleep.

Now I’ve been working here since 7.30 this morning so it is time to prepare for some Work Out att the Gym.  Today I will try to catch a bus. Hopefully the right bus. I’ve travelled with the local buses twice so far but both times has been the wrong direction. That has ment long walks both times so it makes me keep in shape…………

Todays work out program will be 20-25 minutes Rowing Machine. After that Cleans, Pull ups, Bench Press, Sit-ups and – maybe – some shoulder press and one extra drill – it depends on the “body signals”…. A little stretch and then to the Rink for at least one game.

They have just given us seats to the first game; SLO vs GER. The next game – SLK vs RUS - is probobly sold out so the seats are busy Although having the Accreditation will give entrance and then I will try to find a spot were it is possible to watch the game. Maybe the old trick “look as if you are an important person” will make me get a chance to come in somewhere. Otherwise I can always get back to the Hotel and to the computer for more work…………………….

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Slovakia lost in their Home Arena

In a crowded Orange Arena I saw Slovakia lose vs Germany late yesterday evening. Germany was the better TEAM and it did not help that Slovakia has a better Line up individually. A lot of the Slovaks so called “Stars” was a big disapoinment. To be out on the ice, looking as if you are the greatest Ice Hockey Player ever, could be ok IF you give 100% of yourself. Some of the Players that I’ve seen play in Sweden was just as big disapointments that what I’ve seen of them before. Players like Granak, Bartecko, Strbk etc etc should be ashamed of themselves. Germany although was playing smart and scored on the chances that was given to them.

I mentioned in my speach on the IIHF Symposium Friday, that I have coached five or six Slovak Players through the years. They have great offensive skills but their defensive skills are brutally bad. It was exactly what the Slovak Team showed yesterday. So when the stars can’t score on  the chances that they creat then sooner or later the oponents will be given chances from the Slovaks – who is everywhere and nowhere in the defence. It looked in fact like a “Chicken Farm” in the Slovaks defensive end.

Anyway I must say – once again – that Germany played well. Good defence with a lot of good basics and they were good in keeping the oponents outside the slot. The goalie did what he should and when SLK was forcing, for a tie up goal, in the end of the game he stood up very good for his Team. In fact it was much closer that GER should have scored a few more goals in the empty net than it was that the SLK should tie the game. In the German Team the Player “Tipp” was awarded MVP of the game. He was one of the offensive players that could execute when the scoring chances was given. Well done!

The whole arrangement around the Game was super. The crowd were outstanding and they supported their team very well, even when it didn’t work out the way that they wanted – or expected………

Full speed from start in the media cube, the musik etc etc made the whole thing to an experience that every spectator should be satisfied with. This is something that I really believe can be better in the Swedish Arenas. Send the people that is in charge of this things to take a look here – and other Arenas in middle and south of Europe. We can learn an make a lot of improvements.

The game was followed up with some friends from the symposium and some other very nice people of USA Hockey staff. The discussions was VERY interesting – both from a work ethic side and from a more friendly side. I can mention that in the US and Canada they can also tell some good Coach stories from “real life”. Some of the old Fairy Tales that we have in Sweden from legends like Abris and Nygren fitted very well into the level – and we all have some new good laughs to bring home.

Seriously I also got some new ideas regarding my job in Linköpings Hockey Club and for Swedish Ice Hockey. Talking with these Ice Hockey people makes me feel confident in what I and we are working for in Linköping and Östergötland. The americans and Canadiens have heard a lot of what we are creating and they are, in fact, impressed. They are also taking over a lot of things from the Swedish Development Programme and that should make us all proud in what we are doing.

Time to work again – see you later.

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World Champioships in Bratislava

I’m in Bratislav, SLK since friday. I’ve seen a couple of games and nations play - among them Denmark. They miss four or five of their best players and that means trouble. The players are well educated and skilled but as a Team they are not strong enough in a competition at this level. Let us hope that at least two other nations are worse. I have not seen for example Austria yet. Latvia and Norway are not bad. It will be interesting.

Today I have also been a Speaker at the 2011 IIHF Youth Coaching Symposium. 300 Youth Coaches was there. My theme was “Defensive Skills” and it felt pretty good, in fact. More than a few came over afterwards and gave very positive feedback. I’m really honoured to be the only Swedish representant, as speaker, in this – and next weekends – Symposium.

In todays presentation I especially mentioned my old friend Robert Liljewall Nilsson and I dedicated my speak to him. True, honest people with the passion for Ice Hockey like, Robert had, should never be forgotten. I’m sorry that I couldn’t come to the funeral but my mind was with Robert and his family in this hard moment. I’m thinking of you guys and I wish you all the best. Let us all honur Robert by doing things in our lives that he would have been proud of. Cheers my friend – see you again.

Life goes on for the rest of us and next friday I will have another session for the Professional Coaches – my theme there will be “Defence vs Offence”. This will also give me an opportunity to tell the Coaches that it is time to ”get back into business”. The Coach are in charge and must take his responsibility to be the Head of the Coaching organisation. It is ok to bring in some experts but the Head Coach is the one who is in charge and the one who must coordinate the whole planning, program, training, tactics etc, etc. I’m looking forward to see and listen to the reactions and I know that some of my old Coach friends agree with me and sees the danger in how things are heading today. Let us hope that the Ice Hockey world can understand the value of well educated Coaches who dares to take charge. That is definitely what we need – at least in Swedish Elite Hockey.

Tonight I will watch the home nation Slovakia vs Germany. I can tell you that the Arena is crowded and that the temperature is VERY high. The arrangements are interesting and the audience is very enthusiastic and will help their players to win. It is a fantastic experience to be here and every new place one visit gives new “food for thoughs”……….. 

I hope to be back here already tomorrow – even if my day will be spend by working a lot with Linköping Hockey Club and our plans for the future etc, etc.

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Welcome to my Ice Hockey World

From today you can blog with me here.

Comments, questions, advises etc, etc is more than welcome.

You should realize that I will answer you in my own words, with my own opinion, no matter what. So be ready to get the answers you deserve.

The more complicated your qestion are the more I feel it will be a challenge to answer.

My philosofy for Ice Hockey is:

Cooperation and education develops – Practise intelligent – Play the game offensive but smart – Give all you got for the Team.

In my philosofy details are important and something that we all can be better to teach. It is the details that many, many times is the diffrence between winning or not, develop or not.

I’m looking forward to this blog adventure.

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