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Hatcher enjoying chance to pass wisdom to his sons

Thursday, 07.22.2010 / 4:50 PM / U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

By Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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Hatcher enjoying chance to pass wisdom to his sons
Derian Hatcher has gone from intimidating defenseman to teaching the game to his two sons, as well as future Philadelphia Flyers
Derian Hatcher was one of the more intimidating defensemen of his time. At 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, Hatcher's ability to practically check opposing players through the boards earned him that reputation during a playing career that lasted from 1991-2008.

These days, Hatcher is passing his experiences on to younger players, including his two sons, Chase and Kelton. Hatcher was able to coach Chase during the 2010 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament in March, an experience that was memorable for father and son.

"I'm so glad I got to coach my sons," Hatcher said during a conference call Thursday after being announced as a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2010. "I think sometimes watching them play, I might get frustrated or something, but I'm just glad I had the chance. I'll continue coaching this year, both of them."

Hatcher, who also is the Player Development Coach for the Philadelphia Flyers -- the team with which he ended his career two years ago -- told NHL.com he doesn't have any problems coaching his sons. While some could find it to be a strange experience, the Detroit native is relishing what might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"It's not awkward," he said. "I'm really enjoying it. I think it's great."

Hatcher will be enshrined in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame this November in Buffalo alongside older brother Kevin. Both shined as youth players in the Motown area, which now is loaded with aspiring hockey players who aim to achieve the same goals the Hatcher brothers did. Derian became the first U.S.-born captain to lead a team to the Stanley Cup when he accomplished the feat with the Dallas Stars in 1999.

"They have five teams in the Detroit area that can go anywhere and play," he said. "I coach minor hockey now, as well as Kevin does. Anytime you play a team from Detroit, you always know you're getting in a good game. I think that's a testament to this area. They love hockey. It's been proven."
"It's hard to describe in words what hockey has given me, my family, my brother Kevin, my children … we've all enjoyed it so much and got to do so much through USA Hockey.  I've really appreciated that, and I do appreciate that. I'm honored to be going into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame with these guys."             -- Derian Hatcher
Along with the Hatchers, other inductees this fall include Jeremy Roenick, Art Berglund and Dr. V. George Nagobads. Derian, now 38, was selected in the first round (No. 8) by the Minnesota North Stars at the 1990 Entry Draft. In 16 NHL seasons, he had 331 points (80 goals, 251 assists) and 1,581 penalty minutes in 1,045 games. He also went 7-26-33 in 133 playoff contests.

"It's hard to describe in words what hockey has given me, my family, my brother Kevin, my children … we've all enjoyed it so much and got to do so much through USA Hockey," he said. "I've really appreciated that, and I do appreciate that. I'm honored to be going into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame with these guys."

Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL


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