Hello Panther families,
My name is Mike Kennedy and I am excited to be your new Director of Hockey Operations. As a parent of a 13 year old hockey player, I can easily sit in the seat of each and every one of our Panther families. From getting cut to winning championships, hockey is a journey that is like no other.
I look forward to meeting each family in person as the season unfolds. It will be my goal to know each hockey player and parent by the end of year ONE. I hope to encourage each player and family to love the sport and I think it all starts with a little education.
Hockey is the best sport in the world and here is why: It is fast. It requires a ton of body control. It is graceful. It is tenacious. It is competitive. It comes with a locker room! And most of all - it comes with great friendships from parents to players.
I played minor hockey in Toronto, made AAA by 13, tried for a US Scholarship in 12th grade, didn’t get one. I decided to go to Canadian University, where hockey took an unexpected turn – I got drafted by the Dallas Stars 97th overall. From there, I played 3 years in the AHL and made the NHL team at age 23. I relied on my ability to perform the small details which enabled me to play 150 games in the NHL. From there, I went to Europe playing in Germany and Sweden and gained a whole new appreciation for how hockey players train. It seems to me that the Europeans are more willing to take risks in how they develop their hockey players. My wife, Carrie (UGA Grad, Atlanta girl) and my two kids, Owen (13, player and goalie) and Summer (10, gymnast and cheerleader) are all excited to be in the Panther family
Imagine hockey as a highway and the players are the cars. My goal is to see how fast each car can go. There will be NO SPEED LIMITS at the Panthers IceDen.
As leader of the hockey department, my goal is to understand each player’s own objectives and to help players achieve their goals. My experience in hockey will help me educate coaches, parents and players all season. A weekly VIDEO email will be sent out each week on Wednesdays and include a valuable link that will address the following areas:
So stay tuned, and please don’t hesitate to introduce yourself (a couple times!) as I get to know each family.
Meet the new Hockey Director
Saturday, August 1, 2015
Location – BreakAway Bar and Grill
Time – 10am – 1pm
Yours in Hockey,
Michael Kennedy Director, Hockey Operations
Marco Sturm, who played 14 seasons in the NHL primarily for the San Jose Sharks and Boston Bruins, was named by the German Ice Hockey Association as coach and general manager of the men's national team, according to the International Ice Hockey Federation's website.
Sturm, who represented Germany as a player in the World Championship, World Cup and the Olympics, signed a two-year contract that will automatically be extended to 2018 if the country qualifies for the Olympics in PyeongChang. The tournament to decide the final qualifiers will be held in Latvia in September 2016.
"I'm very proud that the DEB gives me the huge responsibility and I'm really immensely looking forward to this challenging and exciting task I will work on with huge motivation. Together we want to go the next step with German ice hockey," Sturm told the IIHF website.
Strum will coach Germany at the next two World Championships, including 2017 when Cologne, Germany will serve as co-host along with Paris, France.
"We are glad to have found a very young and internationally renowned personality with Marco Sturm," Franz Reindl, president of the German Ice Hockey Association, said. "He comes from our own ranks, knows the system of the national team, won himself a silver medal at the U18 European Championship in Berlin in 1995 and is close with the players.
"From his signing we hope for an important, emotional impulse for our national team. Marco will assemble his coaching staff himself and in particular with renowned DEL coaches."
Sturm, who turns 37 in September, was the 21st pick in the 1996 NHL Draft by the Sharks and played parts of eight seasons with them before being traded to the Bruins as part of the package for Joe Thornton. Sturm had a career-high 29 goals and 59 points between San Jose and Boston during the 2005-06 season.
Sturm also played for the Los Angeles Kings, Washington Capitals, Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers. He had 242 goals and 487 points in 938 regular-season games and nine goals and 22 points in 68 Stanley Cup Playoff games.