John Mitchell

Author:
Publish date:
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

With Kevin Kennedy

My dad got me into hockey and signed me up at Rosedale arena in Waterloo, Ont. The first team I played on was called the L.A. Kings and we had the grey and black jerseys. I still call Rosedale Arena my favourite of all-time. You’d walk in there at 7 a.m. and you’d smell the hot chocolate from the snack bar and you’d be pumped up about your game coming up. My parents have video tapes of games when my grandparents were there watching, which is really cool.

One place I didn’t like playing as a kid was in Cambridge, Ont. I remember they didn’t have a Zamboni - they only had a tractor that pulled the Zamboni part behind it. The rink had a really low ceiling and it was absolutely freezing.

One of the most exciting experiences for me as a youth hockey player were out of town tournaments. I played in the Wayne Gretzky tournament in ‘AAA’ when I was in atom or peewee. I don’t think we won the tournament, but every game they awarded an MVP and out of the five games I think I won four MVPs - that was memorable. Another fun part was riding the bus and watching movies. When I was growing up I was really into the Mighty Duck movies. I liked Young Blood a little more than I liked Slapshot as a youngster.

I remember I really worked on my skating as a kid. Power skating was something I hated doing, but you had to do it if you wanted to become a better skater. That’s what I attribute my speed to, being able to battle through the power skating sessions for nine or 10 years. No pucks, just my skating coach, Bridget Wolf, screaming at me. She was nice, but she was strict. Lacrosse was the summer sport I played every year, which helped with my stickhandling. All the guys on my team in Waterloo were on the same lacrosse team as well.

Growing up I always wore No. 7 in minor hockey because it was my favourite number as a kid. When I got older I switched to No. 93 because Dougie Gilmour was my favourite player.

TOP HEADLINES

ANA_Maharaj
Play

From a Molotov Cocktail to an NHL Goalie Coach

The Ducks' Sudarshan Maharaj didn't have an easy road to pro hockey, but he's determined to help future players face less predjudice than he did.

Sens

Maple Leafs have Trio of Issues Creep Up in Loss to Senators

Three issues that became of a point of emphasis this summer for the Toronto Maple Leafs to correct were brought to the surface after their loss to the Ottawa Senators.

Detroit Red Wings
Play

Detroit Red Wings: The Almost Playoff Dynasty

The Red Wings of the 1930s were just the third team to win consecutive Stanley Cups. Complacency prevented them from becoming the NHL's first tri-cup dynasty