PITTSBURGH -- Ryan MacInnis is hopeful that he'll one day be able to follow the path of his Hockey Hall of Fame father. The only difference is he'll do so playing at a different position.
Unlike Al MacInnis, a seven-time All-Star defenseman who spent 23 seasons in the League with the St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames, son Ryan plays center for the Ontario Hockey League's Kitchener Rangers. The younger MacInnis was one of 39 players in attendance here at Consol Energy Center for the morning practice session in preparation for the second annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game.
He'll skate with Seamus Malone of the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the United States Hockey League and Blake Clarke of the OHL's North Bay Battalion for coach Joe Mullen's team.
Ryan, who received a "B" rating on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the OHL, said it was no big deal when he told dad he would prefer to score goals instead of preventing them.
"He works with the St. Louis Blues [as Vice President of Hockey Operations] so he knows the game and tries to help me out as much as possible," Ryan said. "We're always trying to work on the good and the bad things."
Ryan was asked at what age he actually figured out how special a hockey player his father was in the NHL. Al MacInnis was a 1981 first-round pick (No. 15) of the Flames. He finished his career with 1,274 career points in 1,416 games.
"I think when I was 10 when I saw his number retired by the St. Louis Blues and 13 when I realized he was pretty famous when I saw the bronze statue in front of Scottrade Center," MacInnis said. "I'd Google his name a lot too, and there was plenty there to read. I learned quickly that he was pretty well-known."
Does the younger MacInnis offer the same type of cannon shot that Dad once did?
"No, not even close to Dad's," MacInnis said. "We'll go outside a lot whenever I'm home in St. Louis and we'll shoot a lot. He'll just feed me one timers and he'll teach me about the art of shooting.
"He says the secret to a good shot is using all of your body and just laying into it. Flex that stick as much as possible; just let the stick do the work."