Carle: Getting down to business

Editor's Note: The day before the 2008 NHL draft, doctors determined David Carle had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition that results in a thickening of the heart and could cause sudden death during physical activity. Carle was forced to retire from hockey but is now a student-assistant coach at the University of Denver, where he had originally signed to play. Carle is documenting the experience for ESPN.com.

Hey Hockey Fans,

Last weekend resulted in what will definitely be a change for our team Friday night. Coach George Gwozdecky will not be allowed into the rink Friday as a result of his actions this past Saturday during our game at North Dakota. After numerous questionable calls by the referees, Coach finally lost his temper and was ejected from the game. Everything was fine and dandy until he unknowingly broke a few NCAA rules by being in contact with the team during intermission and by talking to assistant coach Derek Lalonde through our team's headsets from the press box for the remainder of the game. Doing so after he was ejected is the reason for his one-game suspension that he will serve Friday.

Running things behind the bench along with Coach Lalonde will be our other assistant coach, Steve Miller. Both have a ton of coaching experience in our program and a lot of time under Coach Gwozdecky. I think as far as the coaching staff, everyone will need to be a little sharper than usual because an integral part of the staff will not be there. When it comes down to it, hockey is a very simple game, and our guys know that. Whichever team wants it more will win the game nine times out of 10. It is this attitude that will lead our team to success Friday night without Coach behind the bench.

On a different note, we are all back into the routine of having all of our free time filled with school. Classes certainly are much harder this term for me. The amount of work has increased quite a bit, but at the same time, a couple of the classes are definitely more interesting.

I am continuing French I again from last term. Our teacher is a great guy who loves life, and I think for a lot of us, he is the reason we get out of bed and make it to class every morning. No matter what, he makes us laugh using acting and music analogies to relate to French culture. Every show he puts on is spontaneous, and if they were caught on tape, I think it could make a pretty good home video.

Next is writing class. Well, it is writing. Grammar stuff, citing and long papers.

Lastly, I have two business classes. The first is a business tech class that is probably my most challenging class this term. It is half online and half in-class, requiring the completion of the work to be totally on the student. You don't have the teacher reminding you every day of what is due and to keep up on your final project. It is supposed to simulate independent thinking that occurs in the real business world. In the real world, you're going to be told to do something, be given a date to have it done and be expected to complete the task -- no ifs, ands or buts about it.

The second course is a business leadership and community service class. It is all about building successful teams while giving a bit of your time and energy to the community. I think through my many experiences on teams, the building-teams part comes fairly naturally to me. However, it is interesting to analyze it from a different perspective and, in the end, surely something positive will be taken from the course.

Now a huge part of going to college and playing a sport is taking care of business in the classroom. We are constantly reminded that "student" comes first in student-athlete. This is absolutely true. I've never known good grades to shut any doors, but I surely have seen many examples how poor grades will close doors. If you do not take care of business in the classroom, then you will make it hard on yourself to be successful on the ice -- or whatever the surface of your sport.

Thanks and until next time,
David Carle