Summers Over – Let The Games Begin


As we settle down for the winter and get our TV warmed up……………are you kidding me, it’s almost 100 degrees F outside today and it’s September 10th…..what the heck are we thinking, is it actually hockey season out there!

Well my friends it is and the NHL camps are about to be opening up now that the rookie camps have been (dis)-played for the past week or so in various towns and cities across North America. Some great prospects all around,and some have been invited to the main camps to show their stuff along with the ‘Big Boys’.

I keep getting these news flashes across my bumbleberry stating which team is starting camp and how many invites are to show up. I have noticed the amount of rookies that will be attending (Montreal has 23?) and I wonder, is there going to be so much change in the line ups across the league? It looks like there could be some drastic changes for some teams while the higher end clubs seem to be standing pat and maybe adding a couple guys here or there.

Since I’m a fan of the Leafs (insert joke here ok!) I just received the ‘beep’ on my cell indicating that the Leafs will be having 59 players attending. Where the heck are they going to put all these boys, oh ya they might be minus two, since Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson haven’t signed yet (they still have 24 hours) but don’t be looking for them to soon as what we all hear, they are both far a part in dollars.

We also have to welcome two new boys to Leaf Nation, that being Mimico’s very own, David Clarkson and David Bolland. What these guys will bring you is experience, leadership and the will to win. Nothing like suiting up for your home town team in which you grew up watching on Hockey Night In Canada every Saturday night. These boys will be primed once the season opener comes October 1st and even more so for the Home opener on the 5th.

But diving into the Leafs team for this season ahead, we must look at some of the other changes that GM Nonis and his assistant lieutenants have been up to, as we already know this team will be a bit different then last years club.


In: Dave Bolland, David Clarkson, Mason Raymond


In: Paul Ranger, Morgan Rielly (still available for junior)


In: Jonathan Bernier, Drew MacIntyre

What intrigues me most about this years camp is several things. For one did they loose to much speed up front? and two, how is going to pan out in the nets?

Let’s look at the number one question, the speed factor. Not bringing back Grabovski might hurt the ‘Buds’ on the speed dial but with some of the new boys and keeping Lupul healthy will be helpful. As long as Kadri does get signed then the number two centre role is #43′s for his to lose.

Not that Clarkson and Bolland are slow, which they are not but that isn’t what they were brought in for. Their style is going to the net, crashing ‘n banging their way to get some goals. Also with Bolland you have a third line centre who thrives in the role of the ‘shutdown’ guy and the opportunist role if needed.

Now for the number two question and the answer we all been waiting for, well just ask Coach Carlyle and he will tell you like it is. He was asked this question about his two young ‘tenders of the twine’ as to who would be the starter and how he was going to handle it? He comments were the usual Coach Carlyle’s style, ‘ If you win, your in!’ Well you can’t get much simpler then that can you?

So now we go through the next two and half weeks of exhibition games and weed through the players that can perform to the one’s who just don’t have right now and then start up what a lot of folks think will be a season that the Toronto Maple Leafs finally make justice to what they did last season, all for one being a shorten season.

We will go into a full season, 82 games of up’s and downs, injuries will occur and some trades might be made but the one common denominator is this, everyone starts at zero and anyone can win the ultimate trophy, the Lord Stanley Cup!

Let the games begin!!

What Makes A Good Hockey Coach?

As summer is rolling to an end and we who are involved in the game of hockey, we look forward to a new season ahead. Some as spectators and some folks who get involved in the coaching side of the game.

More and more volunteers are always needed to help out with any minor hockey organizations from registration to tournaments and finally to coaches. Here in Canada and what we know as Hockey Canada for our minor hockey development programs, a very in-depth procedure for our coaches is needed.

If you haven’t had a chance to really go through the HC web site and research the Hockey Program tab I suggest you do. It will give you the information you need to get involved in the coaching ranks and beyond. From what requirements are needed to the skills manuals and resource guides that have been done over the years.

Coaches and Athletes in Action

Now if you are serious about coaching and that includes really any sport but I will stick with Hockey, here are a few things I feel that you really need to look at before you begin your journey, let’s have a look.

What Makes A Good COACH!

C – Before you even get on the ice for the season ahead and you are a new coach I always suggest to these folks is that, Have you thought about your coaching philosophy or your style? You have to factor in a lot here such as your values and beliefs, your past coaching experiences, if you have been a coach before and even your past playing experiences with past coaches.

Your likes and dislikes of the game and different styles/systems. Your athletic experiences will factor in, did you play to a high level or did you play recreational hockey before. Your education also factors in. Have you gone through coaching clinics before or are you just entering the coaching field?

O – With this section I like to see what your objectives are going to be for the up coming season. It depends on what level you coach at and what level the players are at this will determine the objectives of the skills you will be teaching. This is where Hockey Canada comes in with their Player Development Model and all the skill manuals you will need to review.

With teaching skills on the ice you must realize some things here. Are you going to be the one demonstrating the skills or having someone else to do them as you all know showing how it can be done is better than just talking about it! Also making sure in your practices they are running at a good pace and no players are standing around to long before they get involved in the drill.

There is a lot of great information on the Hockey Canada site plus some great books/videos out there as well. One good article which I have read over and over again about topic complete guide hockey sticks by Richard. It goes over the skills and strategies for the coaches and the players.

A – Attitude is a big factor in your coaching style but also in your way you treat others. You must lead by example to gain the trust and respect from just not your players but from their parents and the organization you belong to.

You see, coaches of children are role models and this carries some big responsibility. How you behave both on the ice and off. How you dress and look. What standards do you hold, and if they are the high, then these will rub off onto the players you coach.

C – Continuing education. Willing to learn and always open to constructive criticism from the organizations Coaching Mentor. Also check out HC site on the Mentor Ship program that is available to all coaches. Be willing to adapt in different situations on and off the ice.

Communicate with your players both verbally and with actions as body language is important. Also do you know enough of the mind and body? How to train off ice and to adapt to safe practices and prevent injuries. Do you understand how to build confidence in a player? To goal set for individual players?


If you are serious about coaching and I hope you are then do some extra research through HC sites and other great coaching sites such as my good colleague Dennis Chighisola or as we all know him as CoachChic who holds USA Hockey highest certification as a Level 5 – Master Coach. Also another great reference to look at is Michael A. Smith and his book The Hockey Play Book it goes into some great detail of practice plans and skill development.

H – Highlights of your past and present coaching experiences are always good to review. This can be done through out your season as well as the off season. Ask yourself these types of questions. Could I have done anything differently? Could I have handled this situation differently?

What do I want to accomplish next season? What do I want to accomplish in the off season to help me be a better coach? Who can I contact and ask more questions about coaching if needed? Is there any other seminars or clinics I can go to learn?

So there you have it, a small outline in what it takes to be a coach. I hope you get some things out of this post and if you would like to discuss or add to the list (which I know there could be a lot more) please send me your comments and we can discuss .

How To Accomplish Your Goal


Have you ever wondered what life will bring you? What direction you maybe going? It doesn’t matter what stage in your life or career you are in I think most folks sit back and think about these questions, I know I do.

I also know a few people out there who think about these things but do very little about them, hey that’s their choice I guess but I do hope it isn’t your’s.

You see to accomplish anything good or even great in your life you need a dream, a vision or to down play it a bit, you need a goal. And the reason I say ‘down play it‘ and you will fine this out later why but it’s because there are dream crashers out there who as I have always say, “Dysfunctional people hate seeing healthy progression of character in others” – Don’t let these people get you down ok!

Over the next little while I will be sharing my perspective of “Goal Setting” and how to get yourself going in the right direction. We will be looking at the process of setting your goals, how to get started and then how to keep moving forward towards the ultimate accomplishment which will be the end result. Along the way there will tips and warnings to look at and discuss because with all great dreams and goals there comes different ‘things’ that sometimes get in the way right!

Now you maybe saying, “Hey Coach what does this have to do with Hockey?” well I say it’s everything that has to do with hockey. You have to remember this great game we play is just not on the ice or in the weight room, this great game is also played and thought between those two hearing devices on the side of your head-your ears! and what is in the head, the brain. You see the brain is a very powerful computer which if it isn’t always fine tuned will not work properly. I like to call this stage of the game the Hockey Tough or Mental Tough stage of your career. As I said earlier on it doesn’t matter if you are an elite athlete just going into your minor midget draft year or you have already gone through the trials of playing Junior or even College hockey you will need to continue to re-shape the mind and the way you think just as much as the healthy body you keep.

There is already great people out there that do and say the same things we will be covering over the next little while and that’s all great and I suggest you check them out. Such as Craig Sigi of Mental Toughness a outstanding teacher who breaks things down to the level for all to understand. Another gentleman that I read and listen to and he has nothing to do with sports but is a business man Brain Tracy -Brian Tracy International who goes through several steps on how to reach your goals and accomplishments, all great stuff to go over.

But why listen to this ‘ol Coach and all you have to do is check out these sites? Well maybe it’s because I have been through it myself and that I have been coaching these success guidelines for years to players who have gone onto bigger and better things (Junior, College and Professional leagues) But also you may want to check out what we have to say, because you may see something that you haven’t seen or heard before or something might just click in that brain and you say, ” Oh ya that’s what that means! ” you just never know.

Goal quote

Before I go I want you all to do a couple of things for me but more importantly, for yourself. Start with getting some paper or pen or even turn on the computer to blank page and start with this. Your personal success is a result of two things:

1. You must know exactly what you want.

2. You must determine the price you are willing to pay to succeed.

I like you take your time and really think about these two points and reach deep inside yourself and search yourself through and through. If you already have done something like this great but do it again with real meaning ok because one word or small sentence answers don’t cut it here. When you have to answer a question like the first one, dig deep and write down everything in greatest detail, you will be surprised at what you see and what you feel, go ahead give it a shot.

So the next time you join me we will be able to take these two questions and work from there and expand your writings but more importantly expand your thinking and your GOALS!

Integral Stick Repair

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It’s a simple concept: you paid a lot of money for your twig. Why throw it away when you break it at your practice, game, pick up, or stick time? We can fix all one-piece sticks from junior to senior, and goalie sticks as well. We can fix all makes and models of hockey sticks.

Our pricing is as follows:

$50.00 per stick. It’s as simple as that.

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We currently provide pick up and drop off to players at following rinks in the

Lucan Arena

Exeter Arena

St. Marys Arena

Let us help you and your team at your local rink next!

Check out our Photos page to see some before & after examples of our work.

We hope to fix your sticks soon! You can reach us through our Contact Us page above. Thank you for your interest in our services. Game on!

Around The CHL Playoffs-Coach Nye Talks Jr. Hockey


You know the old saying, “If you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen” well guess what,, these CHL playoffs are starting to boil over!

Here is what we mean as we take our tour through the CHL and the playoff match ups.


Western Conference Final

London Knights (1) vs. Plymouth Whalers (2)

Can you say equally matched or what? This series will be the series of all series I have been told and we can’t wait until it gets going on the 19th.

Mike Vellucci, coach of the underdog Whalers (well that’s what Mike wants us to believe!) has been preaching to the press that his team came in second overall and it’s the almighty London Knights (The Yankees of Jr hockey I’m told too) that are the favorites and will be the team to beat. Well Coach Vellucci might be right on one thing and that is, it will be a barn burner of a series.

Let’s get a full recap from the OHL Aaron Bell OHL Western Conference Championship Final

Eastern Conference Final

Belleville Bulls (1) vs. Barrie Colts (2)

Going into a Championship Final is exciting enough but going in undefeated as has the Barrie Colts are well that’s pretty impressive don’t you think. Well you go ask the Belleville Bulls about be impressed, you won’t get much of a statement back because they don’t want to give anything away.

What we think will make the difference in this series are two things, goaltending and big ice. Either Malcolm Subban will be standing on his head and leading the Bulls pass the Colts or the Colts will…… lets find out more from OHL Aaron Bell OHL Eastern Conference Championship Final


whl Logo2

Western Conference Final

Portland Winterhawks (1) vs. Kamloops Blazers (3)

This will be year number 3 for Portland to be in the finals and the first time since 1999 for the Blazers to do battle. So we will find out who is more hungry at this point to move on.

It would seem the Winterhawks are on a roll as they enter the finals, having scored 18 goals in four games versus Spokane but while the Winterhawks have been scoring the Blazers have been silently going along doing their own scoring and attacking the opposition with relentless and great fortitude, what great teams are made of!

Let’s have a closer look at this great final WHL Kal Tire Western Conference Championship Final

Eastern Conference Final

Edmonton Oil Kings (1) vs. Calgary Hitmen (3)

With six consecutive playoff series won, 44 goals scored in nine games and converting 27% of their power play chances you would think the Oil Kings could just skate on the ice and win everything now wouldn’t you?

But guess what the Hitmen are coming into this series rolling along on the shirt tails of one Victor Rask who has been a force all by himself. Also showing up big time is goaltender Chris Driedger who has stepped up his play in the post-season posting a 1.73 GAA and a .946 save percentage through 10 games to rank second behind only his dueling partner from Edmonton, Brossoit.

It should be a dandy for sure Husky WHL Eastern Conference Championship Final


QHL Logo


Ok there is one point that I want to show you all that will tell you something about these two finals and here it is,

All undefeated at home – None of the 4 semi-finalist teams have yet lost “home” since the start of the series: ROU (6-0), HAL (4-0), BAC (4-0), BLB (4-0)…

Now that is very impressive don’t you think? and to top it all off there is some players in each series that are going to get even better as they age.

Halifax (1) is going up against the hungriest underdog that I have ever seen, that being Rouyn-Noranda (8) who are going at a clip of 38% on their powerplay, that’s impressive.

While in the other series you have Baie-Comeau (2) going against a close rival in Blainville-Boisbriand (3). With Amanda winning the series in the regular season (3-0-0-1) vs the Drakkar team you would think it might be a easy ride for them but the defense of Drakkar is extremely tight while playing shorthanded in the playoffs, with 86.3% efficiency.

This will be the tightest of all series in my humble opinion. With a little more information from the Q league, let’s check out in detail about all these four teams QMJHL Semi-Finals President Cup

Well there you have the CHL Playoff wrap-up, all the series should be exciting and very entertaining so sit back and enjoy!