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Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With 1984 Hobey Baker Award Winner Tom Kurvers

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, January 17 at 1:00 p.m. ET, 1984 Hobey Baker Award Winner Tom Kurvers pays a visit to "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. Kurvers is currently the Director of Player Personnel for the Phoenix Coyotes.

Tom Kurvers

Kurvers had an outstanding college career at Minnesota-Duluth, setting numerous career records including: goals by a defenseman (43), most career assists (152) and assists by a defenseman (career - 149 and season - 58). In 1984, he won the Hobey Baker Award as the top U.S. collegiate player and was also named an All-American. In addition, he was selected as the WCHA MVP and to the First Team All-WCHA.

In 11 NHL seasons, Kurvers played with seven different teams including Anaheim, Vancouver, Toronto, New Jersey, Buffalo, Montreal and the New York Islanders. In 1986, Kurvers was a member of the Stanley Cup Champion Montreal Canadiens. In 659 games, Kurvers scored 93 goals and added 328 assists for 421 points. He also played in 58 NHL playoff games, recording 8 goals and 30 points.

The 41-year-old Kurvers retired from hockey in 1995, playing his final NHL season with Anaheim. He then left North America for the Orient where he played one season with the Seibu Bears in Japan before returning home to Minnesota to pursue a post graduate degree. He spent one season (1997-98) as the radio color analyst for the Phoenix Coyotes before joining the team's Hockey Operations Department.

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Tom won't be stopping by until 1:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 17th, and his time will be limited, so feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
CSTV.com Moderator: Welcome to another edition of "Tuesday @ The Rink". Today's theme is Hobey Baker winners, as we will be joined by a pair of them. The first is the 1984 winner, former UMD defenseman and current Director of Player Personnel for the Phoenix Coyotes, Tom Kurvers. We will be starting around five minutes after the hour.
CSTV.com Moderator: Tom has joined us.
Tom Kurvers: Hi, everyone. I am happy to be here and am ready to take your questions.

Henry (Grand Rapids): can you talk about the difference you see between college players when you played and college players now?
Tom Kurvers: Today's players are much more well trained and more aware of their options of where their hockey career can take them.

Geoff (St. Paul): How do you think college hockey is handling the continuing pressure of the junior leagues around the best young players trying to make the NHL?
Tom Kurvers: There is a lot of competition for the players. The college experience is a great experience for the majority of the players. The junior experience may be better for the elite players in preparation for a pro career. The competition has helped every player in that the junior teams are now offering an education component to the players they recruit, as well.

Jay (Durham): When you are looking at kids as prospects, are college kinds at a disadvantage because they dont play enough games?
Tom Kurvers: The format of the college schedule allows for practice and development. The games are all intense and big events - there are no dead nights on the schedule. So, I don't think there is a disadvantage at all.

Anthony (Duluth): As the first of four Hobey winners at UMD, why do you think it is that Duluth has more Hobey winners than any other school?
Tom Kurvers: I can only speak for the two years (1984 and '85). We had great team success and out of that team success, there were a lot of awards that came our way - not just the Hobey, but All-American Teams and Coach of the Year. I can name Norm MacIver and Brett Hull as All-Americans, Mike Sertich was Coach of the Year for three straight seasons. But, I saw Garry Galley last night - we'd trade it all in to win the last game in 1984 (Galley played for Bowling Green that season).

David (Minnetonka, MN): There's a lot of current college players who are in the Coyotes' system. Are there any in particular who jump out at you as being guys you're eager to see in a Phoenix uniform?
Tom Kurvers: Blake Wheeler, our first round pick in 2004, who plays at Minnesota. He has the potential to be an impact player for us. Daniel Winnik from UNH was our ninth round pick in 2004. He has improved in each of his college seasons and is now a very good prospect for us. Jeff Pietrasiak, Winnik's goaltender at UNH, was our 6th rounder in 2002 and we are monitoring his progress as well. Sean Sullivan is a stay at home defenseman at BU. John Zeiler is a senior at St. Lawrence and a hardworking, determined player. We also have two players at Michigan - Chad Kolarik and Kevin Porter. Porter was the captain of the US team at the World Junior Championships.

Kelly (Anoka): Lots of draft rankings have Phil Kessel #1. If you had the top pick, would you take him? Who else would be up there?
Tom Kurvers: Phil Kessel is a very talented player. A few other players have improved their game to the point of challenging Kessel, such as Eric Johnson, who is on the Under 18 team (and just happens to be from my hometown of Bloomington).

Brian (Cloquet): Do you think college hockey players of your era were better than those of today? It seems like the majority of college hockey records were done in the 1980's.
Tom Kurvers: I think the players are better today than they were when I played. Improved coaching equates to better defensive play and goaltending has improved dramatically in the last 20 years. Scoring is down, so that is why new records are not being set.

John (Detroit): you played as a rookie with Chris Chelios - whats it like to see him still going and on the olympic team?
Tom Kurvers: He is a rare athlete. He has incredible stamina and desire and is the best teammate I ever played with. In Herb Brooks' words, he was born to be a hockey player.

Jonathan (Grand Rapids, MN): Being part of the first class inducted into the UMD Athletic Hall of Fame, is there any particular person you were especially proud to be inducted at the same time as?
Tom Kurvers: The guys I played with are all part of that honor. Every year that another one of my former teammates or coaches are inducted, I am proud of being connected with them.

Rob (Madison, WI): Tom, as a former Hobey winner, who do you believe will win the honor this season? I'd like to think that Elliott would be in serious contention if he continues playing well.... Do you think that Matt Carle or Andy Greene will have an actual shot at the award? It seems that Sterling, Potulny, and Sertich are getting much more hype and attention.
Tom Kurvers: I've seen Elliott play this year and he has been impressive. I have watched Sertich and Sterling in the past, and they are very good hockey players. Potulny has been a good player at Minnesota for three years. The season is only half over - that award is a full season award. In the past, every candidate for the Hobey has deserving, so I can't pick a favorite right now.
CSTV.com Moderator: That is all of our time with Tom this afternoon.
Tom Kurvers: Thanks for having me. I had a great time and enjoyed taking your questions.
CSTV.com Moderator: Join us shortly for the second half of today's doubleheader, when the nephew of Tom's coach at UMD, 2005 Hobey Baker winner Marty Sertich, joins us. We will be starting approximately 2:15 Eastern (Marty is in class until a few minutes after 2), but feel free to go to that chat room now to get your questions in ahead of time. See you soon.

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