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Dziedzic takes Minneapolis job

09/14/2012, 6:51pm CDT
By Loren Nelson, MN Hockey Hub editor

Former St. Paul Academy coach returns to hometown to lead Novas

Joe Dziedzic, the former Minneapolis Edison and University of Minnesota star who played 130 regular season NHL games, was hired Friday, Sept. 14, as the new Minneapolis head coach.

Dziedzic was the head coach at St. Paul Academy the past two full seasons after taking over midway through the 2009-10 season. He complied a 24-38-5 record.

“This is a great opportunity to come full circle from where I started,” said Dziedzic, who grew up in northeast Minneapolis and was named Mr. Hockey in 1990. 

Minneapolis went 18-9-0 last season and finished second in the Two Rivers Conference under second-year coach Shawn Reid, who left the Novas to take over the girls’ hockey program at Blake. 

Minneapolis is a combined program of seven public schools (Edison, Roosevelt, South, North, Patrick Henry, Southwest and Washburn).

“It’s kind of a sign of the times and the way the city is,” Dziedzic said about shrinking number of Minneapolis players and teams. “There are a lot of the kids in the city who just don’t play hockey. I don’t know if we have any players from Henry, North, Edison or Roosevelt.”

Based on the growing numbers of players in the Minneapolis youth program, Dziedzic is optimistic about the future of the high school program. Some of the state’s top players the last few seasons were developed in the Minneapolis system before enrolling in private high schools.

“You get good playes who end up going to private high schools,” Dziedzic said. “There are still enough kids there that if you show that we are committed and you have something good going, they will stick around.”

Mike Shogren, the Vice President of Hockey for Minneapolis Hockey, said he expects there will be five or six Bantam teams, seven Pee Wee teams and eight Squirt teams this season. 

Shogren recommended Dziedzic for the Novas’ head coaching position in part because of the work he had done with Minneapolis’ youth players. Dziedzic runs camps and clinics as part of Joe Dziedzic Hockey.

“We have had a lot of youth teams that have dealt with him,” Shogren said. “He is one of the best guys with kids that I’ve ever worked with. We’ve come a long way with Minneapolis hockey over the last 10 years, and he was looking to rebuild it even further. 

“He is one of us, he is from the northeast side, and getting the kids to come out for hockey in those neighborhoods is so critical.”

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