“Don Kohlman [president of the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association] came up and said, ‘I’ve got the spot for you, John,’” Beadle recalled. “And he said, ‘Eagle River [Wisconsin].’ So, we went up in the summertime and we looked over the facility and Ashley [Bevan] and Scott [Aldrich], I gave them the green light. ‘Go do it.’ And they put it together and it’s grown over the years. It’s unbelievable.”
Last February marked the 15th annual national championships in which 280 teams participate with between four and seven players per team. The event sells out in minutes each summer after registration opens.
Another big accomplishment during Beadle’s tenure at USA Hockey was the implementation of online registration in the mid-90s. USA Hockey pushed online registration because rinks nationwide didn’t have the time and resources to deal with all the calls and paperwork of signing up adult players. The online registration system was first put in for adult hockey and that expanded to all registration categories for USA Hockey.
“The adults were a totally different environment,” Beadle said. “They wanted a safe playing game, because they’ve got to go to work Monday morning. It was a different game. We had to adapt our council on a lot of things to take care of the adult player or customer, however you want to look at that, so that they wanted to continue to play the game.”
In 2000, Beadle helped start Serving the American Rinks (STAR), now known as U.S. Ice Rink Association. It is a non-profit national membership organization for individuals, facilities and vendors in the rice rink and arena industry. Beadle served as the first president of the organization for over a decade. Pat Kelleher, who is the current USA Hockey executive director and was originally hired by Beadle, helped launch STAR.
Beadle, now a USA Hockey director emeritus, recently learned the organization was changing the name of its Adult Member of the Year award to include his namesake. USA Hockey President Jim Smith called Beadle to let him know about the honor.
“It’s pretty gratifying,” Beadle said. “But how Jimmy put it, 50 years from now when you’re dead — we’re all going to be dead — your name will still be there.
Beadle’s name will live on with USA Hockey forever, and for great reason.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.