Don's presence and his keen eye for what is unfolding as Scott Glennie
struts his stuff for the Dallas Stars at this tournament is a tribute to a hockey-loving family in which the family bread winner has excelled as an accounts manager in skill development in Winnipeg.
Don has used those tenets of skill development in helping to shape Scott's playing career.
"Hockey has always been my dad's greatest passion, and I'm glad he passed it along to my brother (Donnie) and I," said Scott, a forward who was picked No. 8 in the 2009 Entry Draft by the Stars.
Glennie had 28 goals and 42 assists for 70 points in 55 games with Brandon of the Western Hockey League last season. He added 3 goals and 15 assists for 18 points in 12 playoff games as the Wheat Kings made it to the WHL's conference finals.
But this isn't the story of a son playing up to his dad's dreams that he never realized. It's the richest kind of love story for a game that is touched by sheer determination, focus, intensity and skill.
"I think back to when Scotty was 2 and I was holding his shoulders to keep him up on his skates," laughed Don. "As a dad, you walk a fine line between parent and your own dreams for your kids. All I know is from the time he entered organized hockey when he was 4, he was like a natural.
"He was good at all sports ... and he even came home with a terrific grade when the chips were down in math and chemistry."
So it's not all hockey with Scott. He loves to play golf -- hits the ball a ton off the tee. And he's pretty good at all of those computer games.
One scout, who has known Scott since his Winnipeg days, says that the only obstacle he's seen in this kid is that at one point his temper occasionally got the better of him.
Not a problem, says his dad.
"I don't think Scotty would play any sport without being intense," Don said with a proud smile.
The temper was never an obstacle that Scott had to overcome. He just needed to understand there's just a fine line between intensity and playing over the edge -- and a maturity that comes to kids whose passion begins on the ultra-competitive barometer.
"That's how I'd put it," said Dennis Holland, Dallas' Western Canada scout. "He's an honest, hard-working kid. He plays an up-tempo attacking game. He competes every shift, from the time he leaves the door at the bench until he comes back."
"He has all the Dallas Stars qualities we look for," said new Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk, who spent seven years as a player in Dallas and won Stanley Cups in Calgary, Dallas and New Jersey. "He's a team guy first. He has speed and skill, which is what everybody obviously strives for these days. He has real good growth potential. He's a solid kid and hard-working kid. He's the type of kid, like a Brenden Morrow
, that we want to build around."
The reference to Morrow just might be the bottom line for the Stars -- the last two times they picked a forward from Western Canada in the first round they wound up with Jarome Iginla in 1995 and Morrow in 1997.
"We've got our fingers crossed that the track record continues," Holland said.
"He's a natural," Nieuwendyk added. "Great speed. Nose for the net. What I really like about him is he's got some personality."
Intense, talented and unselfish. That's quite a hat trick in scouting terms.
"I think Scott realizes this is Day 1 of his hockey career," Holland said of the week in Traverse City in which he was involved in several goals (one assist and a plus-3) in a 4-3 victory against Columbus on Wednesday night. "Coming to work every day now is a job, not just part of his boyhood dream to make it to the NHL."
The only question in Holland's eyes is where Scott will fit best. Right now, it's on the wing.
"To me, he's dynamic off the wing," Holland explained. "He attacks off the boards with speed."
"All I know is that Scotty is super fast, very skilled and a great linemate," said Columbus prospect Matt Calvert, who played on a top junior line in Brandon last season with Brayden Schenn and Glennie. "And when he gets that look in his eyes and puts his head down, it's all over, no one can stop him."
The Stars have told him he needs to get bigger. That would eliminate the comparisons some scouts have made to Edmonton Oilers winger Ales Hemsky and put him closer to the big body to which other scouts compare Glennie -- Philadelphia Flyers power forward Jeff Carter, who was tried on the wing but settled at center and has scored 29 and 46 goals the last two seasons.
Scott just smiles at the thought of being drafted by the Stars and getting closer and closer to the NHL.
"It was almost a surreal feeling, waiting to hear my name at the draft," he said with a smile. "You grow up watching all the NHL players. You dream of becoming one. And now it's coming closer and closer to actually becoming an NHL player. It's a really weird feeling."
It won't be a weird feeling for long. He's that good.
Author: Larry Wigge | NHL.com Columnist