No One Wanted to Coach The Team - Lou Vairo Part 1

September 30, 2019

WeLiveHockey Experience

While Canadians may be the kings of all things puck, Americans are right behind them and are considered a hockey power in their own right.

One man who helped get American hockey off the ground and made a significant impact with USA Hockey was Lou Vairo. A few weeks ago during a USA Hockey coaching dinner in Long Island, NY, which also included an event that celebrated Vairo's life in hockey, Lee sat down with Vairo, Dave Starman (USA Hockey Certified Coach and College Hockey analyst), and Mike Bonelli (USA Hockey volunteer) to talk about Vairo's career and his impact on USA Hockey. 

In part one of this three-part podcast series with Lou, you should keep your ears open to learn the following:

At the 2000 World Championships in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Lou, who was the head coach of the team, tells us about a memorable experience in a game against Team Russia. From how the Russian team was stacked, to the crazy atmosphere, to the boisterous fans and how it made him coach differently.

While with that team, Lou spoke about the impact he had on NHL defenseman Hal Gill, who was with the Boston Bruins at the time. He tells us how taught Gill to be creative and not be afraid to make plays. It ended up helping Gill play more freely and with more confidence in the NHL.

We'll hear a great story on former NHL netminder Robert Esche. From wanting to go home on a somewhat made up story, to looking disheveled and then turning it around and shutting out the Russians. it's a story that tells us that all players want to do is be given a chance to strut their stuff.v

Make sure to listen to Lou's thoughts on classy NHL/USA hockey veteran Brian Gionta was and how Lou knew he would be a good all around NHLer.

There's a lot more to digest here so make sure you give it a listen so that you can prepare yourself for part II!