Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Lindenwood coach discusses the challenges of being a new Division I program, his playing career

Rick Zombo played defense for the University of North Dakota, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins. Since 2008, he has been a coach for Lindenwood, a university in St. Charles, Mo. He discusses his career, the art of coaching and more on The Rink Live podcast.

Text that reads "The Rink Live Podcast" on a light blue background
The Rink Live

Rick Zombo played defense for the University of North Dakota from 1981-84 and then played in the NHL for the Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins from 1984-96. As he was finishing his pro career, he was asked to be a player/assistant coach for the Phoenix Roadrunners, a minor league team of the Los Angeles Kings.

Since he retired, he has coached ever since. In March, Lindenwood announced that it was moving up from the club team level to NCAA Division I. Zombo talks about his career, the challenges his team is facing and more on The Rink Live podcast with Jess Myers and Mick Hatten.



2:00 First win as a Division I program, what all has gone into Lindenwood moving up from ACHA to the top level in college hockey "in short order"

3:25 His path to college hockey went through the USHL's Austin Mavericks after getting drafted by Cornwall


5:10 What the college recruiting process was like for him, visiting Wisconsin, North Dakota, RPI and Minnesota, how he almost played with Chris Chelios

7:20 What it was like playing at North Dakota

8:20 Playing against the Gophers, what the rivalry was like

9:40 Playing against Wisconsin for the national title in Providence, R.I., in 1982 as a freshman, his last two NCAA tournament appearances

11:30 How he ended up in coaching, being a player/assistant coach his last season of pro hockey, why he didn't coach his son

16:30 Playing for the Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and his NHL career from 1984-96, playing in the Norris Division, the game of intimidation when he played, getting challenged because he'd played college hockey

21:00 How they put together a 32-game schedule this season in March and how he got Minnesota, Michigan, Denver, Wisconsin, North Dakota on it

23:40 How did he put the roster together for this season? Selling the name on the back vs. the front of the back first, the importance of listening as a coach.


30:45 The 3-year-old facilities for Lindenwood, playing in the same building as where the St. Louis Blues practice

33:00 Scheduling and possible conference affiliation in the future

35:25 Getting no recognition as a program, making his own path<br/><br/>37:45 Before Lindenwood's first game at Minnesota, what it was like for him to see it coming together

Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage TheRinkLive.com, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014. mhatten@forumcomm.com

For more coverage of St. Cloud and the surrounding communities, check out St. Cloud Live.
What to read next
Many of the comic antics in a popular hockey movie were based on real-life incidents that happened in the now-defunct World Hockey Association, as recorded in "A Slap Shot In Time," by Dan Whenesota.
Murphy grew up in an Illinois family with two brothers who have played college sports, a mother who played college softball and a dad who was a Marine. She won gold last month with Team USA
Get Local