Tag Archives: minor hockey

Good Read In The Star

Interesting piece in the Toronto Star that my boss sent me, regarding the costs of playing midget hockey in Toronto, the small percentage of kids who go anywhere, concussions suffered, the effect of global warming on rinks, and a whole whack of stuff.

Here’s the link – Is minor hockey worth it?

And here’s an excerpt:

The annual cost for a (midget) AAA player is between $10,000 and $15,000, not much less than the tuition for the University of Toronto medical school ($19,546).

The parents of Patrick Kane, the Chicago Blackhawks star, estimated their investment in his minor-league career, which he spent in the U.S., to be $250,000. Given his current salary of $6.3 million per year, it was a good investment. But the cost is high for all elite minor league players, while the odds of playing four seasons in the NHL are roughly 1 in 6,000.

Here’s another:

It is the lament of one Triple-A coach — the players are all skilled, he says, but they lacked creativity. Unlike Guy Lafleur or Wayne Gretzky, they hadn’t logged thousands of hours playing shinny. Instead they log thousands of hours in minivans; a game can be a three-hour commitment when factoring in commute times and dressing time, but it only yields 10-17 minutes of ice time for the player.

In 1972 we accused the Soviets of being skilled but mechanical. The Canadians, by contrast, had flair, we had heart. Now we are in danger of losing both.

Oh, I Was So Much Older Then, I’m Younger Than That Now

That’s me on the right during some sort of minor hockey tournament. It represented the top goal scorers from atom, squirt, and peewee. I was the peewee. All I wanted to do was grow up and become a Montreal Canadien. I wanted to be like Ralph Backstrom. Instead, I grew up and became a factory worker, a semi truck driver, and a BC Ferries worker, among many others.

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The bottom picture is of me and my buddies getting  pinned at a tournament. John French was our best player amd he went on to play junior with the Toronto Marlies, was drafted by Montreal and played for the Montreal Voyageurs, and then signed with the New England Whalers of the brand new World Hockey Association where he played along side Gordie Howe and ex-Orillian Rickie Ley. He later played with the Indianapolis Racers. Ron Clarke, on the left, got smashed so hard into the boards one night in Collingwood they had to remove a kidney.

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