Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 11, 1985
Michigan Hockey Guide
Berenson stresses the uture
By MARK BOROWSKY
Consider Life After Hockey.
Life After Hockey is that grey area that lies
beyond the end of a player's career, after the skates
don't move as they once did and the once point-
blank slapshot loses its speed and accuracy.
LIKE DEATH, Life After Hockey (or any sport)
is an area of the unknown for the athlete, and like
'death, Life After Hockey is never expected to hap.-
pen as soon as it does.
Also consider Gordon "Red" Berenson, the for-
mer Michigan All-American who observed many
who were unprepared for Life After Hockey in his 22
seasons in the NHL, 17 as a player and five as a
Now in his second year as coach of Michigan's
,hockey team, Berenson sees his job as twofold: not
only to win hockey games but to prepare athletes for
the time when the skates are hung up for good.
"I look at it (my job) as a development job,"
Berenson said. "There is preparing them for their
career outside of hockey."
BERENSON cites this post-hockey prepartion as
one of the main reasons he came back to Ann Arbor
and left his job as assistant coach with the Buffalo
Sabres. His formula for success after hockey is
simple: be prepared. And at the college level,
preparation means education.
"I let my players know that the priorities are
school first, and hockey second," stressed Beren-
son. "I've sensed that those have been reversed in
This is a message that has not been lost on his
players, either. "His main purpose is not just
hockey," said sophomore defenseman Jeff Norton.
"The hockey will take you places if you're good
enough. But a person's hockey career will last only
five to 10 years."
"'LIFE AFTER Hockey' is a term that means a
lot to us," noted junior center Brad Jones. "Coach
Berenson convinced us it's academics first and then
hockey. (Before) it was hockey and hockey.
(Berenson) stresses academics."
Berenson is no stranger to academics at
Michigan, as he earned a BBA degree from
Michigan in 1962. That was unusual, in fact unique:
Berenson was the first collegiate hockey player to
jump right into the hockey wars of the NHL.
Even more unusual than that was Berenson's
return to Michigan to earn a MBA degree in 1966, af-
ter he had begun his professional playing career.
Not that Berenson couldn't play hockey here as
well. An All-American his junior and senior season,
Berenson scored a school record 43 goals (in just 28
games) and added 28 assists, for a total of 70 points.
He was named MVP of the Western Collegiate
Hockey Association his senior year, and went direc-
tly to the Montreal Canadians after Michigan's
season ended. In 17 seasons with four different
teams, Berenson played in almost 1,000 games (987)
and scored 261 career goals and 397 assists.
OF COURSE, Berenson's retirement, from
hockey, or at least playing it, v as not the driving
force in his life. With his playing days over, was he
prepared for Life After Hockey?
"No, I wasn't ready," he said, "and I played until
I was 39."
So after Berenson retired as a player in 1978, he
stayed on with the St. Louis Blues as an assistant
coach, eventually becoming head coach of the Blues
No one ever accused Berenson of being a slow
mover, and he proved it. In the 1980-81 season, he
coached the Blues to their best record ever, 45-18-17,
and was NHL Coach of the Year. After the Blues
sagged to 28-34-6 the next season, Berenson was
seeking employment until he hooked up with Scotty
Bowman in Buffalo, and then, with the Wolverines
WITH 22 years in the professional ranks behind
him, Berenson knows that retired athletes with no
future are a problem and is intent on not letting his
players fall into the same trap.
"It's a serious problem in all sports. Most of the
retired hockey players go through a terrible time.
They're not prepared mentally, educationally, or
"I'm not a savior for all these guys. But no matter
how good they are, they should protect their in-
PROTECTING HIS player's interests not only in-
cludes the mandatory study table for freshman and
sophomores, but keeping track of classes ("There
should be a challenge at school as well as on the
ice," Berenson said.) and providing career coun-
selling and help with job placement for the seniors.
Not to mention the visual presentations ...
"He brought in an ex-hockey player to emphasize
that there is something after hockey," said senior
wing Frank Downing, who himself is in the business
school. "Three times a week he has a lecture about
studies. He wants all the players to take advantage
of what's here."
Of course, Berenson is intent on winning ,a few
hockey games, in case anyone wondered. Last
year's seventh place CCHA finish and 13-26-1 record
leaves the Wolverines with little place to go but up.
"When you're a seventh place team there's a lot of
room for improvement," Berenson quipped. "I am
not going to accept losing for very long. I can see the
light at the end of the tunnel and I want the kids to
SO COMES Red Berenson, to turn around a once
pale and fading program and to develop athletes for
Life After Hockey. Still, he readily admits if a job at
the college level had been offered elsewhere, he
wouldn't have taken it. Even in this age of cynicsm,
sentementality does count for something.
"The four years I had here were the four best
years of my life," Berenson said. He paused and
glanced out his office window. "Nothing has
Coach: Red Berenson
CCHA: 11-20-1, 7th (tie)
Who to watch: Leading scorer
Brad Jones; goalie Tim
Makris; defensemen Jeff Nor-
ton, Gary Lorden; forwards
Tom Stiles, Chris Seychel, John
Bjorkman, Brad McCaughey;
freshmen Myles O'Connor, Dan
Capuano, Bill Campbell, Todd
Brost, Jeff Urban; transfer
Billy Powers. Berenson looks to
finish in top four.
Doily Photo by DAN HABIB-
Red Berenson is in his second year as Michigan hockey coach. The for-r
mer Wolverine hockey great emphasizes to his players the importance oU
life after hockey.
Coach: Ron Mason
CCHA: 27-5, first
Who to watch: Freshman Joe
Murphy; goaltenders Bob Essen-
sa, Norm Foster; defensemen Don
McSween, Brad Beck; forwards
Mike Donnelly, Kevin Miller, Bill
Shibicky. Do not be fooled, State is
the team to beat.
Offensive output a strength?
By ADAM OCHLIS
, Scoring goals. That, of course, is the
objective of any hockey team. If this
year's version of the Michigan hockey
team hopes to attain its pre-season
goal of placing in the top four in the
Central Collegiate Hockey
Association (CCHA), it will have to
score at a better rate than last year.
If last week's intrasquad game in
which 22 goals were netted is any in-
dication of things to come, the
.Wolverines just may have enough
firepower to offset a defense which
helped let up 22 goals and a trio of
goalies consisting of a sophomore and
INDEED the offense is looking
bright, as six of last year's top seven
Jones, Stiles lead
Blue scoring punch
goal scorers return for another year
as well as ten out of twelve. In all,
seventy-five percent of last season's
goals were scored by players still on
That, however, may not be as
significant as it sounds, as last
season's offensive production was not
as good as coach Red Berenson might
"We were not a high scoring team
last year," said Berenson. "We went
through stretches where we couldn't
buy a goal."
BERENSON, however, sees offen-
sive improvement over last season,
one in which the Wolverines were out-
scored 208-151 and one in which his
team failed to average four goals a
game - a must nowadays in
"You just don't see many 2-1 hockey
games," noted the second-year top
man. "I see better potential this year
in terms of scoring. We are not one of
the strongest (offensive) teams in the
league but we'll be better than last
"We have very few proven offensive
players," admitted Berenson.
PROBABLY THE most proven of-
fensive player is junior center Brad
Jones. Hobbled by injuries throughout
last season, the Sterling Heights
native still led the team in scoring
with 21 goals, 27 assists for 48 points.
Jones thinks both he and the team will
progress from last year.
"I think we've improved offen-
sively. We got a good crop of fresh-
men and we have a lot of firepower
this year," Jones said. In response to
his personal goals, the Winnipeg Jet
draftee would not cite specific num-
bers, but did add, "they are a bit
higher than last year."
Berenson said he is looking for a big
year from his high-scoring center,
"He's ready to have an outstanding
ALSO EXPECTED to put im-
pressive numbers on the board is left-
winger Tom Stiles, second to Jones in
Seychel and sophomore Brad Mc-
SEYCHEL (11-22-33), is trying to
rebound from a couple of not-so-hot
years after an excellent freshman
season while McCaughey (16-11-27), is
continuing development from his im-
pressive rookie campaign. Along with
freshman left winger Jeff Urban,
these two comprise Michigan's most
potent pre-season line.
At the intrasquad game, this line
was devastating, compiling eight
goals. McCaughey himself tallied
five - yes - five goals while Seychel
added two and Urban one. Both Mc-
Caughey and Berenson like the
makings of this line.
"We work well together," said Mc-
Caughey of Seychel. "We always
seem to be at the right place at the
"I TRIED them together at the end
of last season and then split them up,"
said Berenson. Now, however it
seems to be a fixture.
"They certainly play well
together," Berenson added.
Other players looking to make an
impact on offense include senior cap-
tain Frank Downing (9-18-27), center
John Bjorkman (10-16-26), and junior
left-winger Bruce Macnab (7-12-19).
BUT, PERHAPS the biggest con-
tribution could be made by the im-
pressive crop of freshman Berenson
and his staff brought in. Of these, 5-8
center Todd Brost could have the
most impact, as his numbers from
junior hockey indicate that the native
of Calgary, Alberta has proven offen-
Not many players score 112 points
in 52 games as Brost did last season.
Overall last year, Brost saw action in
90 games scoring 70 goals and adding
100 assists. His flashy moves have not
"He's been dangerous every day (in
practice)," commented Berenson.
Coach: Frank Anzalone
CCHA: 21-11, 2nd
Who to watch: Forwards Scott
Johnson, Keith Martin, Nick
Palumbo, Jim Roque, Paul
Jerrard, Dean Dixon; defensemen
Matt Cote, Mark Vichorek; goalie
Randy Exelby; freshmen Ken
Martel, Mark Vermette, Vic Styn-
sky, Rene Chapdelaine, Mike de
Carle. If the defense is solid, the
title could be won.
Western Untva stty
Coach: Bill Wilkinson
CCHA: 18-13-1, 3rd
Who to watch: Forwards Dan
Dorian, Troy Thrun, Bob Bryden,
Stuart Burnie; defensemen Chris
MacDonald, Wayne Gagne; goalie
Kevin McCaffery. Dorian cannot
carry the team by himself.