I started skating at 34 and played some organized hockey. As I wasn't as talented as my peers, I decided to pursue becoming an athletic trainer instead of playing and took every opportunity to do so. I still skated and played a little bit but my living was behind a bench not sitting on it. Transcript: "That's an interesting question, Cynthia. Being a Canadian. There's a story that most Canadians were born with hockey skates on. I'd probably no different. I started skating when I was 34 years old, played organized hockey. And then Metropolitan Toronto, Hockey League, growing up as a kid, got as far as playing a couple of games in junior be but realizing I wasn't as quick and as talented as some of the people around me. I decided that if I wanted to spend time in hockey at a better opportunity of standing behind a bench brother than I'm sitting on a bench. So that's when I decided to pursue becoming an athletic trainer primarily in hockey and took every opportunity. I could, when I got to that hockey. I got tons of Joe Louis Arena where there's no one there. I could go out and skate to my heart's content for an hour or so. So I still skated still played a little bit of hockey myself, but, you know, my living was behind a bench not sitting on it."
Showing leadership on the ice means playing responsibly with the puck, supporting teammates, and sacrificing for the team. Transcript: "How do you show leadership on the ice? I think a lot of people think leadership is, you know, being a rah-rah guy, a lot of talk. And, and while that's very important on the bench, it's positive positivity. Pardon me, being on the bench and being, you know, a vocal guy on the bench, definitely helps. But I think the best way to show leadership on the ice is just how you play. How you act are you responsible with the puck? Do you support your teammates? Are you moving the puck or are you? Do you like to keep it on your stick or do you like to pass it when that opportunity is there? I think that all shows leadership and then I know it's a it's not as big of a part of the game but how do you stick up for your teammates? You know, will you take a hit to make a play? You know, will you block shots? Will you kind of selfless acts on the ice that show that you're willing to sacrifice for your team? Definitely also show leadership so I think that's very important as well."
In the last 10 years, the biggest advancement in skating has been skate sharpening advances, specifically with the use of a device called the T Square. This device uses a magnet to make sure the skates are perfectly even, which is crucial for any skater. Transcript: "Sam, thanks for that question. Last 10 years is tough on me because I've been retired for ten years. But what I read and I see the improvements and the skates, the sticks. But more importantly, the contouring of the skates the Precision that these equipment managers now are doing with the what they call them rocker to me though, over my time was one of the greatest things. Is what we called the T Square. It's a device that goes over the blade after you sharpen it. And with a magnet you can tell if you have to even engines, which is probably the most important thing for a skater out there. Whether you're a figure skater hockey player, whatever. So to me it is skate sharpening advances, more than the protective side of it. Thanks for your question, please come back."
To grow womens hockey in Canada, it is important to promote the game, make it accessible for girls to watch and have role models they can look up to, and get more people to sign up. Transcript: "How cans women's hockey grow more in Canada? Well, women's hockey is still fairly new so really just trying to get that exposure. Getting more people and more females to sign up to play and to just try it. I think once they sign up and they and they try it for the first time that a lot of girls will want to continue to play after that for years to come. And it could because hockey is such a great sport. So just really just trying to promote the game across the country, going to different communities and Trying to grow the game and I am trying to get girls to sign up and play. And then I think also just having more women's hockey on TV, having it more accessible for girls to be able to watch women's hockey and realize that they're there is a place where women can play. There's you can get scholarships, I can play for the national team, hopefully playing professional league. So there's really a lot of different avenues for for women to play hockey and make a career out of it. So having those role models and those people Well that they can look up to I think is really important so having that accessibility as well."
After a Stanley Cup win, the team celebrates all summer with a parade and other fun activities. During the regular season, the team might have a couple of beers or let loose a little bit but not too much so that they can still perform on the ice. Transcript: "How do me and my teammates celebrate after a win? Well, after the Stanley Cup win, we celebrate all summer. That's what we did. It was crazy. Awesome parade, a lot of fun. But you know, during the regular season, you know, you win a game, you might have a couple of beers. We did back in the day. You know, nothing crazy. And then sometimes when there's a few days off between games, we might let loose a little bit. But you didn't have a lot of those during the season. But yeah, celebrating a win, especially in the playoffs, especially when you win the Cup is the best because you don't have to worry about waking up with a hangover and getting on the ice. But you know, regular season is different for sure. You know, here and there, you pick your spots, like I say. And we won a lot of games. So you know, you couldn't go too crazy after those games. I hope that answers your question."
Skating is the most important skill to have for hockey, and don't overtrain. Also, keep your dream alive but be realistic - not everyone makes it to the NHL. Transcript: "What advice would I give young hockey players who are just starting out? I would tell them, listen, work on your skating, the most important part of your game. And I'm telling you, if you can skate, you get a good shot at playing in the NHL. Now, yeah, you have to be able to handle the puck and shoot it and pass it and all that stuff. But skating, without a doubt, is the number one thing you have to have. And I would tell guys to work on their skating every chance they get. Can work on the other stuff off the ice, in the driveway, down the schoolyard, shooting puck, stick handling, all that stuff. But boy, when you get on the ice, most important thing, work on the skating. And another thing, don't over train. And also, keep in mind, keep your dream alive, but keep in mind, not everybody plays in the NHL. So go there, work your butt off, do the best you can every time you're on the ice."