Last week we ran a piece by youth hockey coach Eric Rigsby about pending legislation in Maryland that would ban contact for certain age levels. In his column, Rigsby argued that the well-meaning legislation may actually put children at greater risk.

Today, St. Mary’s Ryken Head Coach Chris Palombi, a speaker at the hearing, give us an update.

Hello everyone,

Come to find out, this bill, if passed, could also have huge unintended consequences for not only high school hockey, but any sports with contact (football, lacrosse, etc). A vote was not held yesterday, and the this bill is currently still pending. I do not think it will pass, but what bothers me is that if the Ways and Means Committee approve it to go to the House floor, it is such a small bill it may get packaged with other legislation and easily passed based on a passage of approval from the committee. Am paying attention closely and have been in direct contact with my Delegate, Mark Fisher, and State Senator, Mike Miller (both stated they oppose this legislation). Having Senate President, Mike Miller, on our side is huge for us.

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Eric Rigsby is a beer leaguer in the Old Fat Bald Guys Hockey League, a former college player, and a USA Hockey Level 4 certified coach who has worked with 8U mites for the last three years and coached skills development for over 15 years. He writes from Frederick.

On February 12, House Bill 1424 entitled “Regulation of Youth Sports – Ice Hockey Clubs – Noncontact League” was introduced and read in the Maryland House of Delegates. It was sponsored by delegates Angela Angel (Dem District 25), Joseline Pena-Melnyk (Dem District 21), Ben Barnes (Dem District 21), Barbara Frush, (Dem District 21), Carlos Sanchez (Dem District 47B), and James Tarlau (Dem District 47A); all delegates primarily representing Prince George’s County. The general idea is that any youth ice hockey club operating in Maryland must offer a “non-contact” option for all age groups and skill levels where there is “full contact.”

At first glance, this is outrageous and sounds like the Maryland government is trying to take hitting out of hockey. However, if you’re involved in youth hockey at any level, you will quickly realize why this legislation isn’t necessary and that these matters should continue to be addressed by USA Hockey and its sanctioned clubs.

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Photo credit: Tri City Eagles

Between making internets and blogging the hockey blogs, I rarely get an off day. But when I do, I am the epitome of laziness: couch, TV, channel-surfing until I find something trashy.

For Dmitry Orlov, an off-day means the opposite. On Wednesday, the Washington Capitals defenseman did some more driving, but (thankfully) not up Route 15 to Hershey. Instead he went to The Gardens Ice House in Laurel to practice with the Tri-City Eagles. The Eagles’ mite squad is a co-ed youth hockey team consisting of 30 or so adorable children. The surprise visit thrilled them.

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Alex Semin

Alex Semin signs autographs for the kids in attendance.

This past Wednesday, Alexander Semin held a workshop for kids of the Sokol Hockey School in Podgorny, a southern Siberian town about 25 miles from his birthplace of Krasnoyarsk. The winger spent the day showing the young players everything from the basics — improving their shooting, skating, and passing — to how to warm-up like an NHL player.

“To become a star,” Semin told the kids, “you need to work hard in training sessions and always give your all in games.” No word on whether Matt Bradley was in attendance.

Later, the 27-year-old held a Q&A with the children and signed autographs for the participants.

During his summers off, Sasha Minor often quietly volunteers his time near Krasnoyarsk — Semin gave away a signed stick the winner of a contest to name the new local ice rink last week, participated in a charity hockey tournament at the beginning of the summer, and even visited a group of orphans during his time off last year.

Below the jump, RMNB’s own Fedor Fedin transcribes Vesti-Krasnoyarsk’s video of the event.

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