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A Lesson in Powerskating

Thursday, 07.18.2013 / 11:15 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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A Lesson in Powerskating

Revamped for this year, the Carolina Hurricanes Prospects Development Camp aims to hone the various details of players’ games.

Michael Smith
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The focus Wednesday evening was skating. Enter Kim Muir, who led two groups through powerskating lessons as players lunged, hopped and pulled each other down the ice.

“I’m not teaching basic skills out here. I’m teaching high-end skating for the game,” Muir said. “We try to make sure we teach the kids how to do the drills without the puck, with the puck or in game situations.”

Muir hails from the suburbs of Detroit, where she grew up with in a hockey family. Her dad coached and refereed, and her brother played college hockey at Minnesota. She took up figure skating.

“I would tell my brothers, ‘You should try this move and that move’ because as figure skaters, we’re taught technically how to skate,” she said. “Of course, them being 10-12 years older than I am, they were like, ‘Whatever, Kim.”

When Muir was 15, she was approached by a hockey coach who wanted her to teach his team how to skate.

Today, she packs 21 years of powerskating instruction under her belt and has worked with the Detroit Red Wings and Plymouth Whalers (OHL), among other teams and clients. She also led the Charlotte Checkers in a few midseason lessons in 2012-13.

“Having new guys, it’s great to inspire them,” she said. “The gratification is the instant ‘Ah-ha!’ moment that they see why they would use [a certain move].”

“She really wants you to take your time with things, but at the same time take those things forward and maybe use them in a game,” said defenseman Austin Levi, who has worked with Muir in Plymouth. “You’re honing skills, and I think that’s something they’re trying to do at camp here.”

Muir said she has trained with Canes defenseman Tim Gleason since he was a teenager.

“To have them back then, see them develop, grow, succeed and do well is gratifying, and it’s an honor to be a part of their life,” Muir said.

A number of the 26 prospects in town for this week’s camp have had powerskating lessons before, with Muir or otherwise.

Wednesday was goaltender Daniel Altshuller’s first time working with Muir but not his first time doing powerskating. He and the two other goaltenders at camp – Charlie Millen and Collin Olson – completed the drills in full equipment.

“Sometimes you look a little goofy, but it helps out with our balance,” Altshuller said. “Sometimes you get in those tight situations where maybe you have to throw in a twirl or two to make a save.”

Powerskating training is different than running standard drills in practice, but that’s the point; it forces players to think about and approach their skating in a new manner.

“It takes you out of your comfort zone a little,” Altshuller said. “When that happens you can either just throw it out the window and say, ‘Yeah, I can’t do that,’ or you give it a try. Sometimes you can surprise yourself.”

“Your legs feel it a lot more,” said Brody Sutter, who worked with Muir in Charlotte. “As long as you stay focused, you can get a lot out of it.”

Including sore muscles the next morning.

“Oh, definitely,” Levi said. “The groins will be a little sore tomorrow, that’s for sure.”

“They should be [sore],” Muir said. “If not, we’ll do it again.”

Muir said she plans to lead more powerskating instruction at the Hurricanes and Checkers training camps in September. Becoming a more refined skater through powerskating is accomplished through repetition, she said.

“Through performance comes confidence,” she said. “You need to have someone tell you, technically, what you’re doing right and wrong.”

Muir concludes each powerskating session with a hug for each player, something that never ceases to elicit a smile.

“[Hugs] are free, right? When you make a connection with someone, that’s what it’s all about,” Muir said. “If that’s what connects you and you make them feel good, then you had a great day.”



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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
N. Hanifin 79 4 18 -14 22
J. Slavin 63 2 18 1 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81