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Ryan Strome

Ryan Strome

Current NHL Player
New York Rangers

As a former 8th overall selection to the Barrie Colts in the OHL draft and a 5th overall selection by the New York Islanders in the 2011 NHL draft, Ryan was on the fast track to NHL fame. Things were expected from him and he was earmarked as a “can’t miss” prospect.

Ryan Strome

Current Player for the New York Rangers

Episode 18. Season 1. May.24 2020

Up My Hockey loves the journey of becoming a hockey player and Ryan Strome was willing to share his.

As a former 8th overall selection to the Barrie Colts in the OHL draft and a 5th overall selection by the New York Islanders in the 2011 NHL draft, Ryan was on the fast track to NHL fame. Things were expected from him and he was earmarked as a “can’t miss” prospect.

Watching Strome play big minutes this season for the Rangers during a high stake’s playoff drive, it would appear things have naturally worked out as expected. You might think it was smooth sailing for Ryan.

However, when we look a little closer, things were not easy at all. He was a fourth liner as a 16-year-old in junior. He wasn’t identified as a top 40 player for the U-18 program with Hockey Canada. He was the last player selected in the top 10 of the 2011 draft to play an NHL game. He was sent to the minors – a few times. He was a healthy scratch. He was traded twice in 15 months.

Bu through it all Ryan leaned on the support of his family and the foundation of principles that were instilled in him, and he preserved. He did the right thing. He worked hard. He focused on getting better and doing the best he could where he was at. He stayed humble and was willing to learn.

And now he is a top 6 forward, plays 20 minutes a night and is a crucial component of the New York Rangers.

His journey made Strome ready for this opportunity and the opportunity was ready for him.

Not one player knows where their road will take them, but we all have our own path.

To all you parents and players out there, be patient with your path. We all want it to happen right now but most of the time, as Ryan put it, “the obstacle is the way”.

This is the story of Ryan Strome

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Ken Holland

Ken Holland

General Manager of the Edmonton Oilers

Recognized as one of the “good guys” in the game, Ken was great to talk with. He knows player development, he knows the value of leadership and he knows how to build a winner. He knows a lot about every aspect of the game! So it was hard for me to decide what to talk with him about.

Ken Holland

General Manager of the Edmonton Oilers

Episode 17. Season 1. May.18 2020

Ken Holland is one of those names that needs no introduction, but I will give it a try.

Holland has been around the game of hockey his entire life. Originally a goalie with the Medicine Hat Tigers, Holland was selected 188th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1975 NHL entry draft.

Holland went on to play 8 seasons of pro hockey and played 4 games in the NHL – one for the Hartford Whalers, and 3 for the Detroit Red Wings.

After his retirement Ken had a brief job as a door to door vacuum salesman, before landing a job as an area scout for the Red Wings. In 1997 Holland made his ascension up the ranks complete and was named executive Vice President and General Manager. 

Ken helped comprise one of the most potent teams of a generation with the Wings. Aided by drafting two cornerstones in Zetterberg and Datsyuk (round 7 and round 6) Holland gained a reputation as one of the most successful general managers in the NHL. Under his leadership as GM the Red Wings won the Central Division ten times, the regular-season Conference title five times, the President’s trophy four times, and the Stanley Cup three times. Holland and the Wings also lost in Stanley Cup final twice during his tenure.

Ken is now just finishing his first season as GM of the Edmonton Oilers and signed a 5 year contract in late spring 2019.

We cover a lot in this episode. Mostly we focus on the draft, and player development and the road to the show. But we do come off the rails a few time and go down some rabbit holes!

I know you will enjoy this one… it’s not often you get an NHL GM to donate 90 minutes of his time!

Enjoy!

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Joe Oliver

Joe Oliver

Hockey agent for KO Sports Inc.

Being an agent or running an agency is a competitive business. After all, there are only about 700 NHL jobs and a lot of agents vying for a piece of that pie…

Joe Oliver

Partner and Agent with KO Sports Inc.

Episode 16. Season 1. May.11 2020

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Scott Nichol

Scott Nichol

Over 600 NHL games played, and Director of Player Development for the Nashville Predators.

Scott Nichol is the underdog – although he would never agree to that term because he never saw himself that way. Scott just went to work, everyday. He got the job done.

Scott Nichol

Played 600+ NHL games, and was the Director of Player Development for the Nashville Predators

Episode 15. Season 1. May.04 2020

  • About Scott Nichol

His story is one to fall in love with. At 5'8 and 175 pounds, Scott never intimidated with his size, but he would outwork anyone and he would never back down.

Scott was high scoring junior player that earned him the distinction as being the third last player drafted in the NHL draft of 1993. He fought to stay in the line-up at the AHL level. He battled through injuries. He kept showing up.

After 7 years of pro hockey and only playing in 5 NHL contests, Scott made it big and earned a spot on the Calgary Flames at the age 25. Many called him a career minor-leaguer up until that point. It was a story even Scott had a hard time believing.

Scott Nichol went on to play almost 700 NHL until he retired at 37 years old. He was a great teammate and character guy in the locker room. He knew his role, he embraced it, and he did it well. 

Scott's improbable story is wonderful to hear and motivating to listen to. Everyone has their own path and their way. It's up to the athlete to find their way.

After retirement Nichol got involved in player development and is helping young Predator prospects realize their dream of becoming NHL players, just like he did.

Learn from Scott's story and how he is helping athlete today, in this can't miss episode!

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Tom Kowol

Tom Kowol

20+ years being an NHL referee.

Tom Kowal tells his story on this episode: his journey from minor hockey to the WHL, the AHL and then a 20 year career in the NHL.

Unfortunately referees are generally overlooked, underappreciated, or completely disrespected.  

Retention rates of young officials are down because the environment our arenas create for them are less than hospitable.

Tom is now responsible for developing the young referees in the WHL.

This interview was an adventure for me. Tom peeled back the curtain on what it’s like to wear the black and white stripes. 

Tom Kowal provides some insight into what it is like being a referee and how he handled coaches, players and parents who were always hyper critical of them.

Enjoy some awesome stories from Ex- NHL referee, Tom Kowal.

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Dave Oliver

Dave Oliver

Assistant Coach of the New York Rangers

Dave is the current assistant coach of the New York Rangers in the National Hockey League.

Dave has an incredible story about his journey to the NHL and what led him to becoming a coach, as he takes us on his journey where he decided to go the Junior A to College Hockey route, one that may not get enough credit.

We dive into the challenges Dave faced throughout his career, as well as the successes.

He discusses what it was like playing on a star studded team with players like Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Luc Robitaille, Brian Leetch, Adam Graves and the list goes on and on.

Dave provides incredible insight to the game of hockey and I am sure he will bring you tons of value and advice as well.

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David Michaud

David Michaud

Owner of Port Alberni Bulldogs

David Michaud is the President and Part Owner of the Port Alberni Bulldogs.

He had a very interesting Journey through the hockey world and makes for an incredible perspective on different avenues through the hockey ranks.

Dave Michaud

President of the Port Alberni Bulldogs - B.C.H.L

Season 1, Episode 11

David began as the color commentator for the Kelowna Rockets, worked in one of the largest agencies in the sports world, and then made his way to the Junior ranks where he began with the Penticton Vees and ended where he is today, with the Port Alberni Bulldogs.

Enjoy the interview as David provides an incredible perspective on the game of hockey.

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Wade Redden

Wade Redden

1000+ NHL games played

Wade Redden was one of the top Defenseman in the best league on earth for the better part of the 2000’s.

He was drafted 2nd overall to the New York Islanders before getting traded to the Ottawa Senators where he spent the majority of his career.

Wade Redden

Ex - NHL All-Star

Season 1, Episode 13

Wade was the assistant captain on a team that made it to the Stanley Cup finals and had one of the most decorated careers out of anyone over the span of a decade.

Wade was 2 time NHL All-Star, 2 time World Junior Championship gold medalist, 1 time World Cup gold medalist, 1 time World Championship silver medalist, 1 time Western Hockey League champion and a former Team Canada Olympian.

However, this interview gets very interesting as Wade opens up about what happened towards the end of his career and how he found his way to the minor leagues, even after such a successful 10 years in the National Hockey League.

This goes to show that no matter who you were in the past, no spot is guaranteed..