"It doesn't matter which level you're in, it doesn't matter how old you are."

“It doesn’t matter which level you’re in, it doesn’t matter how old you are.” That’s LA Kings assistant coach Marco Sturm on the simplicity of forechecking. If your players can skate, they can learn to take proper routes to influence how an opposing team breaks the puck out. After all, your team wants to get the puck back as quick as possible, right? Sure, with five players involved, your team’s forecheck becomes a bit more complicated. That’s why it’s important to get everyone on the same page.

Sturm was a tenacious player in his primary professional stops with the San Jose Sharks and Boston Bruins before finishing his career in his native Germany. It’s a trait that’s followed him into his coaching career, which included a memorable run as the head coach of an underdog German national program that narrowly missed out on Olympic gold at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang. In short term competitions with an under-abundance of elite talent, playing organized hockey without the puck can make all the difference.

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The NHL Coaches’ Association is a professional organization that provides support and assistance to the head, associate, assistant, goalie and video coaches of the 32 teams in the National Hockey League.

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