Photo by Andee Boiman
Predators defenseman Ryan Suter signs for a player in the Nashville Youth Hockey League after speaking to the young players about USA Hockey rules enforcement.
On Wednesday evening, September 19, Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter took time out from training camp to speak to the local youth hockey community regarding USA Hockey Standard of Play and Rules Enforcement Initiative. Members of the Nashville Youth Hockey League gathered at Centennial Sportsplex, the official practice facility of the Predators, to watch a new video released by USA Hockey to explain the new standard of play and rules enforcement for youth hockey. The standard was adopted as a result of the successful NHL rules-enforcement initiative that went into effect post lockout.
USA Hockey's Board of Directors voted unanimously in June to implement a new Standard of Play and Rules Enforcement nationwide beginning this season. In short, USA Hockey has mirrored the NHL's successful effort to eliminate hooking, holding, tripping, slashing and interference and is implementing it nationwide throughout all levels of youth hockey in 2006-2007.
Nashville youth hockey players had the opportunity to watch the video with Suter. The 6' 1", 196-pound native of Madison, Wisconsin then addressed the participants about his experience as a product of USA Hockey and explained how the NHL standard of play and rule enforcement has helped him enjoy the game more. He told players what to look for from this initiative--the importance of puck control and speed. He also warned the youngsters to be prepared for a few frustrating shifts as they get used to new standard of play, since it may feel like the officials are calling more penalties. At the conclusion of the video, Suter took questions from the players and parents on a variety of topics, from getting good grades, staying fit and eating healthy to his thoughts on the Preds chances of winning the Stanley Cup. To the latter he replied, "We have a great chance this year!"
To watch the USA Hockey Standard of Play and Rules Enforcement video, click here.