I was watching the @NHLNetwork coverage on passed hockey icon #JeanBeliveau and was struck by all the people’s comments about him. Not that he was a phenomenal hockey player, or incredible NHL executive, or how much he gave to the hockey world, those are all chronicled. It was the impact he made in setting a precedence on how a hockey professional should be on and OFF the ice. He might have had more of an impact on people on the way he carried himself, treated other people, and set an example of how that should be done. There is a reason that NHL players are the class of professional athletes, and Jean Beliveau and others set the precedent.
This is the time of year when coaches are figuring out their line-ups at all levels of competitive hockey, juggling players, finding the right mix. Players and parents may not always agree with the coaches decisions or how they manage our players, and it is hard to restrain ourselves (hockey is a very passionate sport, we all put a disproportionate amount of money, time, blood, sweat and tears into it if involved in the sport, it is an all-in sport). Competitive hockey is tough, a lot like the quote above (flipped to that while doing work at 5 am this am) and landed right on this well know speech in the graphic above.
It is up to the players to battle their way through, earn the time, convince the coaches and to earn and build on the respect of their teammates and fans. It is up to the parents to support their players, keep them positive and focused, and help them mediate through the tough moments and appreciate the great moments that hockey provides. It is the impact that the player makes ON and OFF the ice that counts. Stats drive scouts to rinks but character and the total impact you have on a team keeps them coming back and gets them to offer opportunities to play at the next level.
Remember #URBTRthan1A (You are better than 1A) #PIOTI (Prove It On The Ice) and Happy Holidays from your friends at @DITR1A.