About


Why the Colorado Avalanche Care?


You are a valuable part of our team. Whether you are a parent, coach, volunteer, or player, you are an important member of our team.


We understand the commitment you make on a daily basis as you mold youth sports athletes. That is why we have created the Colorado Avalanche Cares program - to help you face those challenges.


Youth sports plays an important role in developing character, learning life lessons, and building healthy families.  We are here to assist you with these important roles. If you have a question or need guidance, feel free to email us and we will do our best to assist you.


Join Executive Editor TK Stohlman, the Colorado Avalanche Cares staff, and columnists as we explore the fascinating lessons we all can learn from this great game of hockey.


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Executive Editor


TK Stohlman - Stohlman oversees all editorial and publishing for the Colorado Avalanche Cares program. Prior to being the executive editor of the Colorado Avalanche Cares program, Stohlman was President and co-founder of Sports Esteem, a media company that published print and online publications including the Sports Esteem Newsletter, a must-read newsletter focused on improving the youth sports experience for parents, coaches, and players. Under Stohlman’s leadership, the company produced the first ever on-demand software application for youth sports leagues combining industry-leading educational materials with proven web-based services.

Stohlman also founded and operated a hockey instruction company that developed camps and curricula for hockey associations and families.

To contact TK, click here to email him.

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Managing Editor



Kelly Kordes Anton - Kelly is responsible for providing Colorado Avalanche Cares readers with engaging and informative content.

Kelly has two sons, a 13-year-old and an 8-year-old, who both play ice hockey. They are highly coordinated and motivated athletes who got none of their talent from their mother, who prefers to be a fan. Kelly uses her observational and conversational skills to analyze youth hockey at all levels and all ages to provide her real-world perspective.

Kelly has a bachelor's degree from Ripon College with a double major in English and History and a minor in Art History. If you have questions for Kelly or any of the expert panel, please feel free to send her an email by, clicking here.

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Columnist



Bob Bigelow - Bob is one of the foremost youth sports speakers in the country.  He advocates fully meeting the needs of children as the top priority in youth sports programs, and provides new approaches for positive change in youth sports.

Bob is a former NBA first round draft choice and played four years for the Kansas City Kings, Boston Celtics, and San Diego Clippers. He played collegiately at the University of Pennsylvania for Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Daly. He has devoted several thousand hours researching and lecturing about organized youth sports and its effects on children - and adults. Since 1993, he has conducted over 700 talks worldwide. Bob has also been selected as one of the “100 Most Influential Sports Educators” by the Institute for International Sport at the Univ. of Rhode Island.  With the August 2001 publication of his book, "Just Let The Kids Play", adults throughout the country are reflecting on how they can give youth sports fun back to the children.

For more information about Bob, please visit: http://www.bob-bigelow.com/

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Columnist



Darrell Burnett - Dr. Darrell Burnett is a Clinical Child Psychologist and Certified Sports Psychologist specializing in youth sports. He has been in private practice for more than 25 years in southern California.

Dr. Burnett earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from the United States International University and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Psychology from the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA.

Dr. Burnett was elected in 1996 as a "National Sports Ethics Fellow" by the Institute for International Sport, recognizing his "consistent interest and effort in promoting the ideals of ethics and fair play in sports and society."  He was also selected as the Laguna Niguel, California "Citizen of the Year" in 2001, for volunteer work with developmentally disabled youngsters in youth sports, for volunteer work as a member of the Capistrano Unified School District Foundation and for volunteer work for Children's Home Society and South Coast Medical Center.

Dr. Burnett has lectured on topics such as Teaching Sportsmanship and Fair Play in Sports throughout the world and is considered one of the premier experts on positive coaching strategies.  Dr. Burnett has been a featured expert in media throughout the world including, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Fox Sports, CNN, MSNBC and USA Today.

For more information about Darrell, please visit: http://www.djburnett.com/

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Columnist



Patrick Cohn - Dr. Cohn is the president and founder of Peak Performance Sports in Orlando, Florida. Experts in the field of sports psychology consider him the leading authority on mental skills for entering the zone and pre-performance routines, largely based upon his extensive research. He is a mentor to many in the field of sports psychology and provides performance enhancement skills through mental game coaching for individual and team athletes.

He has consulted with high profile teams such as the Miami Dolphins, NASCAR winners, NHL Players, National Motocross Champions, and PGA Tour professional golfers such as Brian Watts and J. L. Lewis. He’s also worked with powerful corporations such as IBM, Canada and USA Today.

For more information about Patrick, please visit: http://www.peaksports.com/

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Columnist



Mitzi Dulan - Mitzi Dulan, America’s Nutrition Expert®, helps busy people achieve optimal performance. A uniquely qualified professional speaker, Mitzi is a registered dietitian (RD) and Certified Health and Fitness Instructor (HFI). She is currently the team nutritionist for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals.

Mitzi brings her skills from working with professional athletes and applies them to organizations wanting to improve energy and performance of their employees. She shares stories and teaches her audiences how to perform their very best whether it is in the board room, on a sales call, or at a conference. As a nutrition and health speaker, Mitzi’s dynamic style and sense of humor help her audiences feel motivated to improve their own health and nutrition.

For more information about Mitzi, please visit: http://www.nutritionexpert.com/

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Columnist



Brian Grasso - Brian Grasso is considered one of the premier experts on youth athletic development in the world.  Over the past decade, Brian has held several highly esteemed positions in the youth sporting industry. He served as a Conditioning Coach and later Director of Football Development for the well-regarded High Performance Specialists in Toronto and also spent two years as Director of Conditioning for SportScience International.

Additionally, Brian served as Director of Operations for the International Sport Performance Center in Crystal Lake, Illinois.  He is also former Director of Athlete Development for The Sports Academy Northwest.

Brian founded and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer for the International Youth Conditioning Association, which is an educational entity certifying Trainers and Coaches as Youth Conditioning Specialists (YCS) worldwide.

For more information about Brian, please visit: http://www.developingathletics.com/

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Columnist



Jim Johnson - Jim Johnson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth, a defenseman from 1981-85. Johnson was named Rookie of the Year in 1981 and he holds the record for most games played at UMD and in all of college hockey, playing in 174 games, scoring 13 goals and 90 assists for 103 points. He was also named to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association All Academic Team. While at UMD he led the Bulldogs to the WCHA Championship his last three years and had three NCAA appearances including two trips to the NCAA Final Four in 1984 and 1985 and was the Captain in 1985.

Since 1985 Jim has served in a variety of coaching capacities for USA Hockey on several occasions. In 2005 Jim was the Head Coach at the USA Hockey Select 16 Festival in Rochester, NY. Jim continues to be involved with USA Hockey Development Programs at the National, Regional and State levels, as a Coach, Evaluator and Presenter. In 2005 he was a Presenter at the USA Hockey Masters Coaching Symposium. Currently Jim is the Director of Player Development for the State of Arizona Amateur Hockey Association and is a Coach/Consultant for the USA Hockey Rocky Mountain District Camp. Jim was named USA Hockey Volunteer 2005 Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the 2006 USOC Volunteer Coach of the Year.

Jim is the Founder/Director of the nationally ranked PF Chang’s Hockey Program and Head Coach of the U18 Tier I team.

For more information about Jim, please visit: http://www.flexxcoach.com/

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Columnist



Chris Krause - Chris Krause is a former high school and college athlete. As a junior in high school, Chris received interest from more than 100 collegiate football programs, from Harvard and Notre Dame to Tennessee and Arizona. Chris thought he would be able to select a college. His football coaches and athletic director assured him that he did not need to worry about a thing, but they could not have been more wrong.

Chris's problem was not that the college coaches did not know who he was. Chris was uninformed about how the recruiting process worked. After completing his senior football season, Chris discovered that some of his friends at rival high schools were setting up official visits and receiving offers from some of the same programs that had contacted him. It was at this time he decided to take matters into his own hands, before every college opportunity was gone.

Chris began to call the coaches who had previously sent him letters to see if they were still looking to fill their linebacker positions. Some said they wished he had called them earlier and that he was too late, but in his calls, he discovered that there were some schools that were still looking. They were impressed with his initiative and the fact that Chris, not his mom and/or dad, was calling, asking the questions and showing interest. When coaches requested video footage, he was quick to respond and follow up. After these coaches viewed his tape he received offers for official visits. He prepared himself for official visits and was determined to make a positive first impression.

Chris's determination and hard work paid off: He received and accepted a full scholarship to Vanderbilt University and graduated in four years.

Building on his experience in being recruited to play in the SEC, Chris began assisting student athletes get recruited and play in colleges best for them. Chris founded NCSA in 2000 with a passion to help turn dreams into a reality. Since its inception, NCSA has become the leader in helping match college coaches with qualified high school students.

For more information about Chris, please visit: http://www.ncsasports.org

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Columnist



Chris Mohr - Dr. Christopher Mohr, PhD RD is a nutrition spokesperson and consultant to a number of media outlets and corporations including Discovery Health Channel, The Dairy Council, Clif Bar, and Nordic Naturals. He is also the Sports Nutritionist for Under Armour's TNP Training Council. Through his company Mohr Results, Inc., he works with all types of individuals from soccer moms to collegiate and professional athletes. His weekly health segment can be heard on WHAS radio in Louisville and often appears on TV as a nutritional guest expert, including an appearance with Chef Emeril Lagasse.

He was the nutrition expert for a book he worked on with LL Cool J called “LL Cool J's Platinum Workout.” He is a sought out nutrition expert who has written over 500 articles for consumer publications, such as Men’s Fitness, Weight Watchers, Men’s Health and Fitness, to name a few. Dr. Mohr has Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Nutrition from the Pennsylvania State University and University of Massachusetts, respectively. He earned his PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Pittsburgh and is a Registered Dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

For more information about Chris, please visit: http://www.mohrresults.com/

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Columnist



Jeff Serowik - Jeff Serowik founded Pro Ambitions Hockey, Inc with one summer camp 19 years ago and has grown to be the largest Hockey School Outfit in the world with over 4,000 kids attending his  day/boarding camps annually.

Jeff attended Lawrence Academy, Providence College Division I Hockey East Scholarship and earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance and played 10 years of Pro Hockey. Highlights of his 10 year professional career include:  Eddie Shore Award recipient, Best Defenseman AHL/Current record holder for most goals in a season by an AHL defenseman.  NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins. Unfortunately Jeff suffered a career ending injury in 2000 at the pinnacle of his pro career while playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Jeff has been featured on the Competitive Edge television series on ESPN, TSN, Fox Sports Net, NESN Sports Desk. Jeff also founded Sports Saves Souls in 2003. Its mission is to help children that are facing adversities out of their control. The charity provides kids an opportunity to shine and strengthen their spirit through hockey (www.sportssavessouls.com). Jeff and His wife Christine reside in the Boston area have 3 children Alexa, Jeff Jr. and Pia.

For more information about Jeff, please visit: http://proambitions.com/

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Columnist



Sean Skinner - Sean Skinner just finished working for the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation and has worked the Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes, the US Olympic Women's Hockey team, the English Ice Hockey Federation, the Japanese Ice Hockey Federation, the International Ice Hockey Federation, and worked in Canada, United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Denmark, Israel, and Taiwan.

Sean is also a guest lecturer and has presented at over 70 different coaching symposiums including the IIHF(Int'l Ice Hockey Federation coaching symposium hosted at the World Championships in Sweden), Hockey Canada's Level 5, Roger Neilson's Coaching Symposium, USA Hockey Coaching Education Program Levels 2-4 in Michigan, Boston, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, Florida, California, Alaska and Nevada, the Minnesota High School Coaches Symposium and Pro Hockey Services Coaching Symposium. Sean has also presented internationally with the Swedish and English Ice Hockey Federations and coaching for the Israel Ice Hockey Federation.

For more information about Sean, please visit: http://www.skinnerhockey.com/

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Columnist


Lee Taft - Highly respected as one of the top athletic movement specialist in the country, Lee is co-owner of Sports Speed, Etc., Inc. and President of Lee Taft Speed Academy, Inc. Lee earned his B.S. in Physical Education from Cortland State and his M.S. in Sports Science from the United States Sports Academy. He is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), a Sports Performance Coach certified by USA Weightlifting (SPC)and he is also a certified Level 1 Track and Field Coach by the USA Track & Field (USATF level I).


Over the past 20 years, Lee has worked with many athletes of all ages and abilities. His major focus and passion has been in the athletic development of young athletes. Internationally known as an expert in athletic movement technique, Lee teaches innovative techniques to improve multidirectional speed that are the up and coming teaching methods of many professionals. He has written many articles and e-books on the topic of multilateral speed and youth development, as well as, produced audio CD and DVD programs to assist parents, coaches and athletic development specialist in teaching his proven movement techniques to athletes. Lee recently wrote an inspiration book, 7 Points to a Championship Attitude. He is one of the most sought after speakers and clinician in the U.S. and Canada.


For more information about Lee, please visit: http://www.leetaft.com/


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Columnist


coach-chic-aboutDennis Chighisola - or "Coach Chic", as he's known in North American hockey circles, is a former high school and college head hockey coach.  As President and Director of New England Hockey Institute (for nearly 40-years), he has guided thousands of players from toddlers to pros. Numerous former Coach Chic students have gone on to star in professional hockey as well as at top colleges and New England area high schools.


Dennis has a degree in physical education with a concentration in coaching. He has spent a lifetime keeping up with the latest in scientific training principles and specializes in analyzing hockey movements, which has helped him develop an artful approach, and even shortcuts, to solving skill related hockey problems.  He also studied at the Moscow Institute for Sport & Physical Culture in former Soviet Union.  He credits this experience as forever changing the way he views hockey training.


Coach Chic's minor degree in instructional media led him to be one of the earliest users of video-tape in coaching.  In the beginning he used tape to study the movements of his players and students, however, in recent years he has produced over 50 hockey training films.  Dennis currently writes advice columns for two prominent hockey magazines. He is the author of several training manuals and has created numerous drill formats and training aids used throughout the hockey world.  He is also a popular guest lecturer at advanced level coaching seminars.


For more information about Coach Chic, please visit www.coachchic.com


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Columnist


lance_pitlick_headshotLance Pitlick - A native of Minneapolis, Lance Pitlick played high school hockey for Robbinsdale Cooper and joined the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher Hockey team in 1986, playing in the NCAA Championship game in 1989. Lance was drafted in 1986 by the hometown Minnesota North Stars and went on to play eight years in the National Hockey League; five seasons with the Ottawa Senators and three years with the Florida Panthers.  He retired from the NHL in 2003.



A gritty stay-at-home, physical defenseman known for his tutelage of younger players, Lance turned his efforts toward coaching and skill development following his retirement and has been heavily involved in minor hockey in Minnesota. He created and ran “Lance Pitlick’s Hockey Skill Development School” for five years and founded his company Sweet Hockey after inventing its flagship product SweetHands to help teach the fundamentals of stickhandling to the youth team he was coaching.

For more information about Lance, please visit his websites at www.sweethockey.com or www.onlinestickhandling.com.


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Columnist


john-shorey-headshotJohn Shorey - John is a Canadian hockey author, Ontario, with over 50 years of hockey experience. He is a former Junior 'A' player and scout, European professional, Junior 'B' Coach and General Manager and owner of a Junior 'B' Hockey franchise. He is presently entering his 27th consecutive season as the President of an Ontario Junior 'B' Hockey League.



His hockey career includes many outstanding playing, coaching and league management achievements. At age 16, John won the Junior 'A' Rookie of the Year Award, garnering an invitation to play for the Toronto Marlboros. He is the recipient of the Hockey Canada Junior Hockey Recognition Award (2004), Ottawa District Hockey Association Recognition Award (1995) and was inducted into the Brockville and Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

As the author of the Hockey Made Easy Instruction Manual (now in its 8th edition), John has helped an estimated 200,000 Minor and Youth Hockey coaches, parents and players improve their performance by offering skills, strategies and systems on and off the ice.

For additional information about John Shorey, please visit: www.HockeyMadeEasy.com

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Columnist


marie_spano_headshotMarie Spano - Marie Spano, MS, RD/LD, FISSN, CSCS is sports nutrition and nutrition communications expert. As a former college athlete, Marie brings her passion for improving athletic performance to her work. She has helped professional and recreational athletes achieve maximum performance in their respective sport. Marie is a nutrition consultant to the Atlanta Thrashers, Vice President of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, frequent contributor to several fitness magazines including Muscle & Fitness Hers and FitnessRx for Women. She is also co-editor of a forthcoming (2010) Human Kinetics textbook on Sports Nutrition.



Marie is a highly sought advisor to some of the most respected food and nutritional supplement companies in American and Europe. She has formulated products, developed marketing materials and provided media communications exposure through TV, radio and public speaking.

For more information about Marie please visit http://mariespano.com.



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