Wolski, Del Zotto, Prust To Work With Barbara Underhill

June 8, 2011, by

Via Blueshirts United, Brian Boyle answered questions from fans yesterday as a part of an offseason fan interaction promotion. One of the questions asked was about his training with Barbara Underhill, if he would be training with her this summer, and if any Rangers would be training with him.  The answer was very positive.  Boyle stated that not only would he be continuing his training with the former Olympic skater, but teammates Wojtek Wolski, Michael Del Zotto, and possibly Brandon Prust will be joining him as well.

The news about Wolski and Del Zotto joining Boyle in the skating training is fantastic news.  Both Wolski and Del Zotto had underwhelming seasons, which has led to a demotion for Del Zotto and rumors of a buyout for Wolski.  Both players are in similar positions as Boyle was at the end of last season, their roster spots in jeopardy barring a significant showing in camp.  As for Prust, his roster spot isn’t in doubt, but imagine what he can do if he improved on his skating a bit?

Saying that the training worked for Boyle is a tremendous understatement, as Boyle quadrupled his output offensively and was a force on the ice.  He went from borderline 13th forward to core piece on the third line.  Del Zotto is a key to the future of the franchise, and if Wolski shows improvement, he may answer the Left Wing Connundrum and provide some support for Marian Gaborik.

*** Additional Note By The Suit: For those of you who are unfamiliar with what power skating coaches teach, a lot of the drills are designed around skating and turning on your edges like inside edge – outside edge crossovers, toe cuts, transitions, etc. The purpose of these drills isn’t just to make you “skate faster,” but to become more explosive while making your stride more balanced and efficient.

As far as Boyle goes, I think his posture was a lot better this past season, as well as his overall technique. His arms didn’t seem to be flailing as much and he looked like he was skating more effortlessly. This is what a power skating coach will teach you.


  1. Zen says:

    Wolski is the name that really pops out to me. A lot of potential there if he can improve his skating ability to go along with that skill level.

    • Dave says:

      If he can get it all together, it could be a lethal lineup with Richards (assuming he comes)and Gaborik.

  2. Matt J says:

    U realize Eric Christensen and Wojtek Wolski are the same player. “if only they could get it all together……” not in a million years. Also, Prust could really work on his skating ability LMAO.

  3. mhurley says:

    In addition to what you described, Barb Underhill was a World Champion Pairs Figure Skater. So much of the technique she teaches comes from that perspective. Solid edges and transitions for inside to outside, forward to backward are what most hockey players need to improve upon. If you don’t have to concentrate on your skating because of improved technique and muscle memory, it gives the player more time to concentrate on stick placement and shots.Better shots, more accurate shooting puts pucks in the net.

  4. Mikeyyyy says:

    Wowo always seemed to be one move away from scoring all the time. Would love to see torts reaction to all these guys in camp.

  5. Section 121 says:

    Awesome news – great to see Wowo’s head is in the right place

  6. Section 121 says:

    Reminds me of summer camp – power skating with Laura Stamm…

    stops and starts are most important – no wide turns away from the play, lots of edge work

  7. Andy says:

    Underhill does marvelous work and did a complete turnaround with Boyle by bringing his shoulders and elbows “in check” with his hips… by bringing his elbows “in” (instead of flailing around like Dubinsky’s) they pump “in check” with his hips and legs and get him to prime speed from a dead stop very quickly (and down ice in 1/2 the time…) Most, if not all, Hockey players at all levels could significantly improve their game by working with a disciplined power-skating coach…

    • mhurley says:

      As figure skaters, if you are taught by a decent coach, we learned that check is everything. Your check is how square your shoulders are to your hips and how your weight is placed over your center, which is your shoulder over your hips over your ankle. Your weight is aligned on that axis. Like in dance, arms are a decoration. Power and rotation in jumps come from how square and upright your body is on the axis. Most times when you see a figure skater fall out of a jump it is because it was under or over rotated. Skating is all about geometry and physics.