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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 WSH 54 40 10 4 178 124 84
2 FLA 56 32 18 6 153 132 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
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10 CAR 56 25 21 10 137 146 60
11 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 57 25 26 6 159 177 56
14 CBJ 57 23 28 6 144 175 52
15 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
16 TOR 54 20 25 9 127 151 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
V. Rask 54 14 19 2 33
J. Staal 56 12 21 8 33
J. Skinner 56 19 13 -1 32
K. Versteeg 55 11 21 1 32
E. Staal 56 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 56 8 17 -9 25
A. Nestrasil 49 9 12 1 21
J. Nordstrom 45 5 11 2 16
R. Hainsey 56 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 16 11 7 .909 2.35
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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