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(Page 3 of 4)
Hockey Skills presented by Canadian Tire

Ex-stars connect with game's future at youth clinics

Wednesday, 12.21.2011 / 9:00 AM / Hockey Skills presented by Canadian Tire

David Kalan - NHL.com Staff Writer

The NHL, at its core, is a business. To spend your life immersed in the business of hockey, however, you have to love the game -- and you have to have loved it since your young days skating on backyard rinks in the dead of winter.

As Canadian Tire looks to find the most skilled youth hockey play in Canada, a group of NHL alumni who have spent their life around the game are getting the opportunity to participate and educate the young children who are hoping to be the stars of tomorrow. And for retired NHLers like Marty McSorley, Dale Hawerchuk and Marcel Dionne, having the chance to skate with those kids can make them feel young again.

"I really enjoy putting my skates on and going on the ice to begin with," McSorley said. "But to go on with kids that are so motivated and so fired up, it kind of renews your own love for the game to be on the ice with these kids. There will be times when the doors will open and the zambonis will come out on the ice, and we're just starting to have fun."
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Coaching your child comes with unique challenges

Wednesday, 11.30.2011 / 9:00 AM / Hockey Skills presented by Canadian Tire

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Hockey Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine and his son, Daniel, have a mutual respect for each other.

That's a good thing considering dad also happens to be Daniel's coach for the Long Island Royals Under-16 Midget National team based out of Superior Ice Rink in Kings Park, N.Y.

While there's no question the relationship between coach and son is never an easy one, the LaFontaines seem to have found a common ground. The results have been encouraging, too, for any father hoping to one day coach his son.
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Leaving home to pursue hockey tough on families

Wednesday, 11.09.2011 / 9:00 AM / Hockey Skills presented by Canadian Tire

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

Jonathan Toews still remembers the conversation with his mother well.

Just a few weeks after leaving home at the age of 15 to attend school and play hockey at prestigious Shattuck St. Mary's in Minneapolis, she wanted him to come back home to Winnipeg. Her son wasn't even old enough to drive, yet he was already living on his own in a dormitory hours away.

"She was getting pretty emotional on the phone," said Toews, the 23-year old captain of the Chicago Blackhawks who was dubbed "Captain Serious" by his teammates. "She wanted me to come home and I said, 'No, I've got to stick with this decision. There's no going back now.'"
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Coaching youth hockey life-altering experience

Wednesday, 10.26.2011 / 9:00 AM / Hockey Skills presented by Canadian Tire

Deborah Francisco - NHL.com Staff Writer

Coaching youth hockey will change your life. It certainly changed mine.
 
The moment it hit me, I was standing at center ice, watching 14-year-old Cheyann Newman grin from ear to ear as she effortlessly and fluidly skated around the circles in a typical cross-over drill -- each stride infused with a passion I'd never seen before.
 
I had been coaching Cheyann all that week at camp, and the way she lit up every time I talked to her, even to correct her on her form, was humbling. I learned that she is the only daughter of a single mom, that she plays basically every sport under the sun but hockey is her favorite, that she is the lone girl on a tier 2 rep team in Quisnell, B.C., that she makes perfect grades in school, and that she dreams of one day going to Boston University to play for the Terriers. Oh, and that she is autistic, but you would never know it.
 
"I've had autism all my life," Cheyann explained. "It's crazy because most autistic kids avoid sports because the majority of them are clumsy and do not have any hand-eye coordination … I'm drawn to hockey because it's a place where I can completely be myself, it takes away stress and I get to showcase some talent.
 
"Ever since I started playing hockey I've loved every second of it."
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Canadian Tire seeks most skilled youth player

Thursday, 09.08.2011 / 3:46 PM / Hockey Skills presented by Canadian Tire

NHL.com

The National Hockey League and Canadian Tire Hockey School announced an exciting initiative this week with the launching of the Canadian Tire NHL Junior Skills Competition, which seeks to award the title of Canada's most skilled youth hockey player.

Fifteen regional qualifying competitions will run across Canada through December, with the strongest contenders competing in the Canadian Tire NHL Junior Skills National Championship in Ottawa during the 2012 NHL All-Star Game weekend (Jan. 29-30, 2012).

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who has won the Stanley Cup and an Olympic gold medal, is a founding member of the CTHS, which was created in Aug. 2010 to offer opportunities for kids and parents to learn more about hockey.
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Freedom to explore game makes hockey fun

Wednesday, 06.15.2011 / 10:42 AM / Hockey Skills presented by Canadian Tire

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

"I loved playing hockey as a kid because at the time, thankfully, the parents who were coaching me didn't really know much about the game. It allowed me to just play, it allowed me to make mistakes. Systems came later, so when they came I was able to apply the creativity and imagination I developed as a kid just playing the game." -- Former NHLer Stephan Lebeau

MONTREAL -- Stephan Lebeau has a novel idea when it comes to teaching kids the game of hockey -- let them simply play and explore the game.

Lebeau played seven seasons in the NHL, winning a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens in 1993, and finished his playing career with six seasons in Switzerland.

He registered 277 points in 377 NHL games despite lacking size because Lebeau relied on his guile to become an effective player, one that notched a career-high 80 points in 71 games with Montreal in 1992-93.

Upon his return to his home to Sherbrooke in the Eastern Townships region of Quebec, Lebeau coached at the Junior AAA level with Champlain College Lennoxville, the Major Junior level with the Victoriaville Tigres in the Quebec league, the Midget AAA level with the Magog Cantonniers and finally at the prep school level where he currently coaches at Bishop's College School in Lennoxville.
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Learning to cycle the puck a valuable skill

Wednesday, 06.01.2011 / 10:12 AM / Hockey Skills presented by Canadian Tire

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

"A good cycling team is usually a highly skilled team. The Sedins probably cycle the puck as well as anybody. They have good size, good skill and they know where each other is at all times."
-- New Jersey Devils assistant coach and Hall of Fame defenseman Larry Robinson

We see it night after night in the NHL: The attacking team works the puck into the corner in order to set in motion the most commonly used offensive tactic in the game today -- the cycle.

So it should come as little surprise that as the Stanley Cup Final begins, we will get to see two of the players considered by many to be the very best at it.

That would be Henrik and Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks.

"A good cycling team is usually a highly skilled team," New Jersey Devils assistant coach and Hall of Fame defenseman Larry Robinson told NHL.com. "The Sedins probably cycle the puck as well as anybody. They have good size, good skill and they know where each other is at all times."
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Breakfast vital to charging players' batteries

Wednesday, 05.18.2011 / 10:41 AM / Hockey Skills presented by Canadian Tire

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

"You have to think of yourself as having battery packs, and you want them to be as full as they can just prior to the game. So, if you start to fill your battery at breakfast, you don't rely so much on that last meal before a game. If you rely solely on the pre-game meal you probably won't have enough time to fully charge, because the more stressed you are about the game the slower you'll digest food." -- Montreal-based nutritionist Pearle Nerenberg

It is no secret that hockey players often appear superstitious, but that perception is borne out of a more accurate statement that they are generally slaves to routine.

That definitely applies to what they put in their bodies on game day.

Take Montreal Canadiens rookie Lars Eller, who has a pretty well-defined game day eating plan that he can reel off with ease, largely because he's gone through it countless times.

First thing in the morning, Eller will have a whey protein shake before heading to the rink for the morning skate. Once there, he'll have two eggs with some fresh fruit and oatmeal before jumping on the ice.

Afterward, he'll have spaghetti with meat sauce, "maybe" a chicken breast and "maybe" a salad for lunch before taking a nap.
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Lots to be learned in watching an NHL game

Wednesday, 05.04.2011 / 12:13 PM / Hockey Skills presented by Canadian Tire

Brian Hunter - NHL.com Staff Writer

Ask any of today's NHL players, or even the hopefuls coming up through the AHL, collegiate or junior hockey ranks, and they're bound to have a special memory or two from the first time they went to watch a hockey game live and in person.

It might be a favorite player scoring a couple of goals or making the big save, or just the bonding experience with family members. It could involve the first glance of that great sheet of ice or the blare of the horn after a goal is scored.

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Dealing with parents is important

Wednesday, 04.20.2011 / 9:00 AM / Hockey Skills presented by Canadian Tire

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"Every situation calls for a different approach," Nielsen told NHL.com. "If you're dealing with a parent who's out of his mind over little Jimmy only getting 12 minutes of ice time while the other kid got 15 minutes of ice time, the first thing that hits me is this (parent) is sitting in the stands with a stop watch."
-- veteran youth coach Bob Nielsen

One of the joys for parents with children involved in youth sports is getting the chance to watch their kids revel in all the great things that can be gained from the athletic experience.
 
However, some parents end up doing the opposite when they allow their fun to turn overzealous.
 
When parents get upset over something regarding their kids' sports experience, the target of their ire usually becomes the coaches. And for veteran youth coaches like Bob Nielsen, it's become a frequent headache.
 
The majority of parents, he says, are well-behaved – but as with anything else, one or two bad apples can spoil the bunch.
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