The NHL lockout is over, but Gospel of Hockey co-hosts Matt Gajtka and Larry Snyder continue to go about their business promoting the sport at all levels.
With Team USA winning gold in the World Junior Championship, Matt and Larry welcome the United States Hockey League’s director of communications Brian Werger to the program to discuss the American development model. 17 USHL alumni played for the victorious USA squad, plus the country’s top junior league is preparing for its second Top Prospects Game, making America’s growth as a hockey nation a timely topic.
Brian also worked in the Penguins’ front office for several years, so Matt and Larry ask him about his impressions on Pittsburgh-area grassroots hockey and how it’s changed in the last several years, plus how the Penguins have invested in the local hockey scene which produced four players on this year’s gold-medal winning Team USA.
Later, the GoH asks what the NHL – and the Penguins – can do to make amends to its fan base in the wake of a second lengthy work stoppage in eight years. Finally, Matt and Larry deliver their weekly Local Hockey Report, featuring Penn State, RMU, the Youngstown Phantoms, Johnstown Tomahawks and the Penguins’ minor-league affiliates in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa., and Wheeling, W.Va.