The opening face-off. You can feel the anticipation in the air as a pair of steely-eyed centres square off on a pristine sheet of ice, ready for the start of a brand new game.
With the middle of August upon us, training camp and tryout season are just around the corner. It may be the most stressful time of the year for hockey players looking to take their competitive careers to the next level.
Practice without improvement is meaningless. Former NFL coach Chuck Knox, to whom the statement is attributed, might have been having a bad day at practice and muttered it in frustration. Then again, perhaps he was in a circumspect mood and the pithy aphorism was suitable at the moment.
Things will never be the same for the people of Fort McMurray, Alberta. Mike Brodeur knows that as well as anyone. The former professional goaltender-turned-coach lost his home to the wildfire in May along with thousands of others — including four of his on-ice students — but he’s on a mission to ensure the young athletes can preserve a quintessentially Canadian way of life.
Many men are built up like legends, but so few live up to the lore. Gordie Howe was one of those few. His accomplishments on the ice are insurmountable, but it was his character away from the game that truly made him the man known as Mr. Hockey.
Earlier this week, Hockey Canada announced their list of 196 players that were invited to join the National Teams Summer Showcase. The national under-17 development camp will take 111 of those players to the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary, Alta. from July 26 to Aug. 1.
"Hockey... Here's Howe!" That was the title of a 1963 book that I took home from the school library dozens of times. It was an instructional guide written by Gordie Howe that contained a bunch of great hockey tips from Mr. Hockey himself.
I've got all the time in the world for Peter DeBoer. Prior to becoming a talented NHL bench boss, DeBoer had a tremendous run in the OHL, highlighted while serving as coach and general manager of the Kitchener Rangers when they captured the Memorial Cup in 2003.
Does he have a steady girlfriend? What are his hobbies and interests away from the rink? Would he vote for Donald Trump? These are some of the questions about Sidney Crosby, a notoriously private hockey superstar, that we don't have definitive answers for.
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