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An Alumnus’ Appreciation

04/28/2016, 11:00am MDT
By Kelly Erickson

Why U.S. Olympian Steve Alley gives back to USA Hockey

Steve Alley’s hockey resume is long and covers almost every level. He played four years at the University of Wisconsin under “Badger” Bob Johnson, winning two NCAA national championships. He played in three IIHF World Championships for Team USA in 1974, 1975 and 1978, also making a pit stop in Innsbruck for the 1976 Winter Olympics with Team USA. Eventually, he made his way to the pro leagues, playing a handful of NHL games with the Hartford Whalers after several years with the Birmingham Bulls in the World Hockey Association.

In his time abroad with Team USA, Alley was able to experience hockey in a new fashion, often travelling to Europe and playing against revered powers in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. While he was able to learn from and adopt the European style of hockey at the time, spending time behind the Iron Curtain was a social educational experience, too. 

“What I’ve realized is that the Olympic experience, of all my hockey experience, winds up being the most important because it’s a global experience,” Alley said. “To this day, me saying I’m an Olympian probably means more than anything relative to my hockey career. USA Hockey gave me that opportunity.”

Those days inspired him to give back to USA Hockey. Alley, and his wife Joanie, are members of The USA Hockey Foundation’s Circle of Champions, meaning they make a donation of $1,000 or more annually. 

With his pro hockey days now behind him, Alley owns his own money management firm, Alley Company. He enjoys watching hockey and seeing how it’s evolved since his playing days, and he cheers for the Blackhawks and the Red Wings.

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