The first person Ogdensburgs Jimmy Howard saw after walking off the ice following his teams loss in the NHL Winter Classic last month was Potsdam resident Gavin Regan, who was preparing to take part in the announcement of the U.S. mens Olympic team.
You could see (Howard) was ticked off he lost in the shootout; hes such a wicked competitor, Regan said.
Among the more than 100,000 people at Michigan Stadium for the Winter Classic on New Years Day were the two former north country residents from towns 28 miles apart. Both had a role in preparing for the Sochi Olympics.
Howard, a goalie for the Detroit Red Wings, came back on the ice shortly after the game against Toronto when his name was announced as one of three goalies on the U.S. team.
But one of the men who played a part in Howard being selected for the team was Regan, 52, the vice president of international hockey for USA Hockey. Regan is the U.S. representative at any international hockey meeting.
I have oversight for everything for the mens and womens teams, Regan said. I help pick the staff and all that. Im like the (general manager) of an NHL team. Everybody reports to me.
Regan, who runs the branch and investment services for the Key Bank in Massena, has been involved with USA Hockey for almost 20 years.
In the late 1990s, he started as a vice president for the New York State Amateur Hockey Association in the northern zone. In 2006 he was involved in the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, serving as a general manager for the womens team, but that job involved activities such as arranging the teams travel and hotels and making sure everything was ready once the Games began.
Regan played high school hockey for Potsdam and played NCAA Division III hockey at Norwich University in Vermont under Don Toot Cahoon, who went on to coach Princeton and UMass. A major ankle injury ended Regans collegiate career after one season.
While in youth coaching, he worked with future NHL players, including Clarkson alum Erik Cole. Regans current role gives him a chance to see a plethora of games and do a lot of traveling.
For the most part, its been pleasant.
Some days are better than others, Regan said. There is a lot of stress involved. We have so many good (NHL) players now that it was hard for us to put a team together. We have tough choices of who we have to leave off. Its stressful making sure you put the right pieces to the puzzle together to have the best opportunity to be successful. Its also fun. You get to see a lot of good hockey and meet good people, and its a great sport.