The United States Hockey League announced today the coaching staffs for the 2010 USHL All-Star Game, which will take place at the Pepsi Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010. The honorary coaches include two NHL scouts along with two current USHL assistants.
Columbus Blue Jackets scout Brian Bates will guide the East Division All-Stars. He has been a member of the Blue Jackets scouting staff since the team's inaugural season of 2000-01. Bates has over 30 years of hockey experience and has served at various levels as a player evaluator and scout. He has scouted players at the high school, junior, and college ranks, including John Moore, 2008-09 USHL Defenseman of the Year, whom the Blue Jackets selected in the first round (21st overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Bates played hockey at Bemidji State before an injury ended his playing career.
Montreal Canadiens scout Pat Westrum will lead the USHL All-Stars from the West Division. He is currently in his fourth season with the Canadiens after serving in a scouting role with the Phoenix Coyotes for three seasons. Last season he scouted Louis Leblanc, 2008-09 USHL Rookie of the Year, who the Canadiens selected in the first round (18th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Westrum was a coach at the high school level in Minnesota for six seasons which included a state championship in 1996 with Apple Valley. He continues to run coaching clinics for USA Hockey in his native Minnesota. He attended the University of Minnesota and captained the Gophers to the WCHA championship during the 1969-70 season before embarking on a nine-year professional career, which included six seasons in the World Hockey Association (WHA).
Joining the NHL scouts behind the bench during the All-Star Game will be USHL assistant coaches Doug Johnson and Jon Rogger. Johnson is currently in his second season with the Omaha Lancers, who lead the USHL West Division. He helped lead the Lancers to a 32-win season in 2008-09 and their 20th consecutive playoff berth. Rogger is also in his second USHL season after helping lead the Green Bay Gamblers to the Anderson Cup as regular season champions during the 2008-09 season. The team also produced the largest turnaround in USHL history as they improved 50 points in the standings from the previous season.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)