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Mike Toth: The Cornered Coach


Veteran broadcaster Mike Toth is a freelance journalist in Toronto. Mike was a longtime sportscaster at TSN and Rogers Sportsnet, and also served as Sports Director at Newstalk 1010 Radio. Coaching both of his sons in the minor hockey ranks, Mike writes for HockeyNow Magazine about his life behind the bench in his weekly "The Cornered Coach" blog.

Cornered Coach: Pride in the Uni

In my humble opinion, black and gold are the most gorgeous colours in the hockey rainbow. My nine-year-old lad plays for a Minor Atom AA team in Toronto and, yes, black and gold happen to be the primary colour scheme of their jerseys. 

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Cornered Coach - Misery of a Little Masked Man

I knew we were in big trouble. Last weekend, my nine-year-old lad's Toronto Minor Atom AA hockey team had a tournament tilt against a squad with a ton of talent. 

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Cornered Coach: It's in the Cards

"I'll trade you Nic Petan for Connor McDavid!" Nothing against Nic. He's an excellent young hockey player and, like McDavid, Petan was part of Canada's star-studded squad that captured gold at the 2015 World Junior Tournament.

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Cornered Coach: Avoiding the Hockey Parent Trap

It's supposed to be easy. Sure, being a hockey parent comes with an equipment bag full of challenges; not the least of which is arriving at the rink to discover your little player has forgotten to pack something inside that equipment bag.

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Cornered Coach: The Leafs: A Sick Team on the Road to Recovery

"The Leafs make me barf!" That was the rather graphic message delivered in a tiny, cute voice from the back seat of our family sedan on the way to hockey practice last winter. 

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Cornered Coach: The Man Who Cut Bryan Trottier

My dad was the best coach I ever had. Was he the "World's Greatest Father?” Well, like most of us in the "dad game,” he had his ups and downs. Dad was a hard worker and good provider for the family.

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Cornered Coach - Painful Lessons

I finally hit the wall. Last weekend, I was busy coaching my eight-year-old lad in the playoffs of the Withrow Park Ball Hockey League in Toronto. We also drove back and forth from Wayne Gretzky country in Brantford, Ontario, where Theo was also involved in a baseball tournament.

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Cornered Coach: Blowing Up and Bouncing Back

A million splinters. That's one of my personal minor hockey memories. As a young goaltender, I recall one game when I gave up a late goal that cost us an important win and smashing my stick into smithereens over the crossbar.

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The Cornered Coach - The Kessel Conundrum

Phil Kessel is having a Stanley Cup playoff for the ages— goals for the Pittsburgh Penguins and just two wins away from wearing a championship ring. Those are pretty impressive numbers for a guy who was run out of Toronto carrying a bad reputation as a lazy hockey player with a lousy attitude.  Read More

The Cornered Coach - Having a Ball!

When "The Cornered Coach" last left you, it was early April and I'd just finished coaching my 10-year-old lad's Atom squad to a championship in their local Toronto house league. Read More

The Cornered Coach - Fun, Hustle, Improve: The Championship Recipe

"We are the Champions, my friend!" Yes, it's a tad cliche but that catchy line from Queen's famous rock anthem blasted over the East York Arena loud speaker last Saturday.

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The Cornered Coach - Staying Alive

"We're not dead yet!" That was the brilliant catchphrase one of my assistant coaches came up with in the aftermath of our big upset victory over the first place Blues. 

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The Cornered Coach - Beware Playoff Fever

Out of the mouths of babes comes great wisdom. And eight-year-old Novice hockey players can be pretty sharp cookies, too. Read More

The Cornered Coach - The Long and Winding Road

Sometimes, being the father of an 8-year-old goalie can make you feel like an 80-year-old grandfather. Time marches on, and when March rolls around a serious case of "hockey burnout" begins to rear its ugly head. Parents definitely suffer from the affliction, including the hockey moms and dads responsible for strapping the pads on their small fry goaltenders. 

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The Cornered Coach – Tools of the minor hockey coaching trade

Most minor hockey coaches also serve as minor hockey trainers. Slip-sliding on the ice, for example, to tend to a fallen little fella who has collapsed in the corner. Usually, thank goodness, the injury isn't serious; which is a good thing since most volunteer coaches aren't exactly beacons of medical science. Read More



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