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DEVELOPING THE COACHES THAT DEVELOP THE PLAYERS

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Mike Johnston
Jamie Kompon
As you are probably aware, all 30 of the National Hockey League teams descended upon Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH, site of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft this past week.

Most of the hockey operations department arrived a few days prior to the draft, holding numerous staff meetings as they attempt to widdle their list of prospects in preparation for Draft Day.

On Thursday, many of the league’s coach’s took time out of their busy schedules to hold the National Hockey League Coach’s Association Coaching Symposium.

Kings Associate Coach Mike Johnston and Assistant Coach Jamie Kompon were amongst the NHL coaches who took part in the one-day seminar held at the nearby Renaissance Hotel in downtown Columbus for close to 170 pro and amateur coaches.

“To be able to rub elbows with the best of the best and to have them pass on any sort of tidbits and knowledge is a great opportunity for any coach,” Kompon said. “We see the importance of it from where we are now and we want to continue to grow the sport from the youth level up.

“It’s an opportunity for all of us coaches to give back to where we started from and impart the knowledge we have picked up. We are hopeful that we get the word out and it continues to grow.”

The now annual Draft event was first held last year in Vancouver where over 200 pro and amateur coaches from around North America took part in the event.

“Mike Johnston really speared headed it in Vancouver last year,” Kompon said. “We thought we would try and make it a tradition now at the Draft wherever the draft is, we will host this symposium where pro and amatuer coaches get to mix it up.”

In addition to Johnston and Kompon, presenting at the event was Rick Wilson and Derek McKinnon of the Dallas Stars, Ray Bennett and Brad Shaw if the St. Louis Blues, Trent Yawney, Mike Sullivan of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Craig MacTavish of the Edmonton Oilers, Kevin McCarthy of the Carolina Hurricanes and Tom Renney of the New York Rangers.

Topics ranged from “Fundamentals of the Penalty Kill” to “Putting the I in Win” and everything in between.

“Mike and I did a presentation on developing your power play and broke down the components of what makes a good power play, specifically by position and it went over really well.”

The Kings Fan Development staff worked with Coach Marc Crawford and the Communications department on setting up a similar clinic at STAPLES Center on the morning of March 17, the day of the Kings vs. Columbus Blue Jackets game. The entire Kings’ coaching staff, along with Coach Ken Hitchcock of the Blue Jackets, individually gave a 45-minute session on different coaching topics.

The participants were also able to watch the Kings go through their morning skate, and the coaching staff prepared a handout of the different topics they were covering. The coaching staff are planing to put on multiple clinics next season.

“We all see the importance of developing our sport in different areas.”

Email Localhockey@lakings.com if you would like to receive information on when the next coach’s clinic might take place.

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