ST. LOUIS - A disciplined player with a positive attitude who brings humor to the locker room.
That's the kind of guy every coach and general manager wants on the roster, and that's what the Blues had in Dan Hinote for three seasons from 2006-2009.
The winger was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in 1996 after just under two years at West Point Academy, making him the first NHL player to come out of the program. Prominent on special teams, he played 503 games in the League and totaled 90 points. Following retirement from his playing career, Hinote was an assistant coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets for four seasons.
He recently returned to St. Louis on business and to catch a Blues game, so we caught up with him to see what he's up to these days.
BLUES: First thing's first. What brings you back to St. Louis?
HINOTE: I'm currently a sales trader with Wedbush, which is a bank based out of California, so I trade equities and stocks. One of my accounts in based here in St. Louis, so I wanted to take them out to see my boys play Oilers!
BLUES: So can Blues fans expect to see you around more often now?
HINOTE: Absolutely! I will take any chance to come back here. Anytime you get off that plane and you're in St. Louis it feels like home. You know, I saw Jax (Barret Jackman), Cam Janssen, Reed Low… it's just like coming back for a family dinner.
BLUES: How did you get into the sales industry?
HINOTE: A buddy of mine from college was the head of trading, and I always heard there was really good synergy between hockey and the stock market world, so I wanted give it a shot. It's been fantastic, and those rumors are correct because there's a lot of winning and losing in the stock market world!
BLUES: Speaking of college, you were the first NHL player to be drafted from West Point. What does that legacy mean to you?
HINOTE: It's kind of weird! Obviously it's something I'm very proud of, but I owe a lot to my teammates. Actually, the guy who hired me at Wedbush was my linemate at West Point. I would never give him credit to his face, but I will give him credit in the interview that he was a big reason I got drafted. So it's come full circle… he was the reason I ended up in the hockey world and now he's the reason I ended up in the financial world… Credit to Ian Winer!
BLUES: Do you feel like undergoing training at a military school like West Point made a difference for you once you were drafted?
HINOTE: I think so. I kind of grew up that way… my old man was pretty old school. Then it transitioned into my high school hockey coaches being old school, then West Point. Then once I got drafted Bob Hartman was very old school so I was very prepared. They teach you a lot about life and a lot about attention to detail, and I think in hockey the more you can perform, the better chances you'll have.
BLUES: Outside of work, what are you up to these days?
HINOTE: I live in Novi, Michigan and I have two kids. My son is in hockey and gymnastics and ninja training! My daughte is also in gymnastics. He's seven and she's five, so that keeps me busy. I also still do some player development and scouting for Columbus Blue Jackets where I coached for four years, which has been great. To watch the progress of the guys I was coaching and the success of the city has been a lot of fun, and to keep my foot in the door in the hockey world is great.