NHL Coach of 14 Seasons
Bruce Boudreau is a lot of things: a Memorial Cup Champion, an NHL second rounder, an AHL scoring champion, and a former Toronto Maple Leaf. He is also a Jack Adams Award winner (voted best coach in the NHL), with 14 seasons as an NHL head coach under his belt, and one of the highest winning percentages in NHL history. Bruce is also a great guy.
Episode 36. Season 1. October.04 , 2020
When The Coaches Site reached out to me and asked if I would be a part of their Virtual Coaches Summit this year I was excited and honored. They wanted me to interview an NHL head boss, and I knew exactly who I wanted to reach out to. I played for Bruce with the Lowell Lock Monsters, way back in the 1999-2000 season. He was a rookie coach in the AHL, and I was his leading scorer that year and I thought it would be great to catch up with him. And in typical Bruce Boudreau fashion, he agreed to make the time to talk with me.
That’s Bruce – he has time for people. He has time for his players. He cares about the people around him. And in my opinion, that is what makes him a great coach.
We cover a lot in this conversation. From his playing days and the lessons he learned as a player, to his start in coaching and his journey to the NHL.
The Coaches Site called this interview, “Lessons Learned During a Lifetime of Hockey”, and it is a perfectly accurate title. But I chose to call it, “The Coach You Wished You Played For”, because from a player’s perspective, that’s exactly who he was. He was honest, and straight forward. He was passionate, and he cared. He wasn’t perfect and he was the first to admit it. He was a real person doing the best he could, and that made him respectable and likeable and he earned our trust.
Bruce still coaches the same way. Like any high performer with longevity, he has evolved and grown and become better at his craft, but he is still Bruce. He is still the man that is friendly, warm and honest, and someone you would want to invite over for dinner. He just also happens to have 567 wins in the NHL.
I hope you enjoy my conversation with Bruce Boudreau.
60 goal scorer in the NHL
Dennis Maruk scored 66 goals in 65 games with the London Knights.
It earned a 21st overall selection in the 1975 NHL Draft by the California Seals.
At 5’8”, 155 pounds, he surprised management and earned a spot on the Seals as a 19-year-old. Not only did he make the team, but he scored 30 goals, finished second in team scoring, and finished third in voting for the Calder Trophy, the NHL’s Rookie of the Year Award.
Episode 35. Season 1. Sept. 28, 2020
The Seals moved to Cleveland and became the Barons in 76-77 season, but that didn’t slow Maruk down, as he scored 78 points in 80 games and led the team in scoring.
Maruk continued to be a very solid producer and ended up getting traded to the Washington Capitals at the beginning of the 1978 season. With the Capitals he ended up having his monster seasons.
He scored 50 goals in 80 games in 80-81 season and then followed that up with 60 goals and 136 points the following year.
Maruk ended that season 4th in the NHL points race. The names in front of him were Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Peter Stastny. The names behind him were Brian Trottier, Denis Savard, and Marcel Dionne.
Maruk is one of 20 players in the history of the NHL to score 60 goals. So why haven’t you heard of him?
We discuss all that and more as we uncover one games forgotten stars.
Sportsnet Broadcaster and Analyst
Todd Warriner was initially best known as an NHL player, but now many recognize him as broadcaster and analyst with Sportsnet.
At the OHL level, Todd was a force. After a fantastic rookie campaign at 16 years old, he netted 41 goals in only 50 games for the Windsor Spitfires in his draft year. His stat line, excellent skating ability and competitive nature earned him the 4th overall selection by the Quebec Nordiques, in the 1992 entry draft. However, many thought (including Todd and his agent) that he going to go 1st. We get into that incredible story on the episode.
Episode 34. Season 1. Sept. 20, 2020
Todd would never play a game for the Nords though as he was a piece of a blockbuster trade in 1994 that sent Mats Sundin to the Leafs in return for Wendal Clark.
But before he got traded to the Leafs, Quebec management suggested he play with the Canadian Men’s Olympic team. It was the 1993-94 season and the Olympics were being held in Lillehamer. Todd made the choice to join the team, and he chronicles that teams rise to an Olymypic silver medal.
Warriner went on to play for 6 NHL teams (Leafs, Ligthning, Coyotes, Canucks, Flyers, Predators) racking up 453 games. Todd also spent time in Europe, experiencing time in Finland, Switzerland and Germany.
We hear some great stories in this episode, including how he got his nickname “One-touch” in his rookie year in the NHL and also some stern advice from coach Pat Burns.
Todd had some tech problems so we had to cut this interview short, so consider it Part 1.
Please enjoy, Todd Warriner.
Ex NHL player and high performance coach
Dave Scatchard would not allow anything to stop him. He was going to play in the NHL, and that was that.
Time after time Dave’s resolve and commitment was tested. And time after time he answered the bell.
Episode 33. Season 1. Sept. 14, 2020
Like his first season away from home at 16, when he wasn’t being fed, wasn’t being played, and was being bullied by the veteran’s. But he fought the urge to go home and found a way to play in the league.
Or, when he managed to will his way onto the Portland Winterhawks at 17 and overcome a bout with mono mid-season to finally earn a spot on the top line come playoffs along with a second round selection in the 1994 draft.
Or when he had heel surgery in the 1997 off-season, not allowing him to skate until 3 weeks before training camp, but he found a way to make the Canucks as 21-year old.
Dave always showed up and always found a way to go harder than anyone else.
Following the advice of Tim Hunter, Scatchard left no doubt when it came to his work ethic, his conditioning, or his resolve. And it worked.
Scatch earned 659 NHL games with the Canucks, Islanders, Bruins, Coyotes, Predators and Blues and he is rightfully proud of every single one of them. A lot of people never thought he’d play a game.
But play he did, and in 2002-2003 he even outscored Alexei Yashin to lead the Islanders in goals with 27.
Dave, now a personal high performance coach says “confidence is found in taking action.” At one point in the conversation he even grabs a white board to diagram how every time we expand our comfort zone we expand the belief in our capabilities. Scatchard grew his internal belief system to a point where he believed no obstacle was too high, too strong, or too big.
Dave tells such detailed stories that we weren’t able to cover everything in this episode. We didn’t even touch on the greatest adversity he faced and eventually overcame – post-concussion syndrome.
We will save that for Part 2. Until then, be inspired and enjoy part 1 with Dave Scatchard.
Ex NHL player and agitator
Only one team can win a championship. At the Major Junior Level in the CHL, 60 teams currently compete every season for the Memorial Cup. That means 59 organizations aren’t happy at the end of the season , making one of the toughest trophies in sports to win.
Episode 32. Season 1. Sept. 7, 2020
Tyson Nash raised the Memorial Cup 3 times in 4 years with the Kamloops Blazers 1992, 1994, and 1995 – a stretch of dominance never seen prior and probably never seen again.
Winning is hard. Making the NHL is hard. And Tyson Nash was able to accomplish both.
Tyson did not have an easy path to the Show. He was overlooked in his first year of NHL draft eligibility, and he did not get taken until the 11th round his second time through, when the Canucks took him at 247.
Nash already played with a chip on his shoulder and this gave him even more fuel. He set out to prove that these guys were wrong – that he did belong and that he could contribute.
Nash made his dream come true, playing 6 seasons in the NHL from 1999 to 2006 with the St. Louis Blues and the Phoenix Coyotes. Nash’s agitator style earned him a lot of enemies along the way. He was considered one of hockey’s most hated players during his time in the NHL, but he knew what his job was, and he did to the best of his ability.
If you had to pick one word to describe Nash I think “competitor” would be appropriate. He fought for everything he got. The road wasn’t easy. His job wasn’t easy. But he had a dream and he had a commitment to that dream that was so firm, nothing was going to get in his way.
In this episode learn:
- How to turn rejection into fuel
- What Nash believes are the key ingredients to building a championship team
- The sage advice his dad gave him before he arrived in St. Louis
- How to get noticed and make people remember you
Lots of great stories in this episode and lots of good laughs. Please enjoy the ride with Tyson Nash.
Ex NHL player and long term pro
This conversation with Nathan LaFayette was not what I had planned.
We never talked about his experience getting drafted 65th overall in 1991 by St. Louis.
We never discussed the gold medal he won as a member of Canada’s 1993 World Junior Team.
I never asked him what it was like to play with legendary leader Mark Messier in New York.
Episode 31. Season 1. Aug 30, 2020
Nathan had a tumultuous pro hockey career. He was traded 3 times, always bouncing between the minors and the Show, and he battled injuries and concussions, which ultimately ended his pro hockey career.
But the conversation ended up centering on race and diversity and his experience as a BIPOC athlete in a predominately white environment.
This conversation was poignant. Voices like Nathan’s need to be heard and I am grateful he chose to share his experience and perspective. The time for change is upon us and to move forward as a sport and a society we need to acknowledge the past, address the present and collaborate on the best avenues to move forward in the future.
Nathan is currently SVP and Chief Insurance Officer at BCAA and has been in leadership executive positions since he left the game. He understands how high-performance cultures are created and built. He knows what promotes human thriving. Inclusive, diverse, and safe work places – whether those fields of play are office buildings or arenas -provide the highest engagement rates and therefore the greatest potential for team and individual success.
Marginalizing people because of their skin color, sexual orientation, place of birth, or religious affiliation is not something we can tolerate on an individual or a collective level anymore.
It starts with conversations like this one. We can’t all be at the NHL round table with the likes of Evander Kane, Gary Bettman, Matt Dumba and Nathan LaFayette, but we can do our part to engage in open discussion, to be empathetic, and to support change that is long overdue.
Enjoy this episode. I hope it inspires you to share it and to spark discussions in your own inner circle.
3 time stanley cup winning goaltender
This week our guest on the Up My Hockey Podcast is legendary NHL goaltender Chris Osgood. Osgood played 744 regular season games, winning 401 of them, which places him as the 13th winningest goalie all-time in the NHL. He is also 8th in all-time play-off wins.
Episode 30. Season 1. Aug 23, 2020
Osgood won 3 Stanley Cups in total, including 2 as a starter in 1998 and 2008. He almost won his fourth Cup during a fantastic run in 2009, but his Red Wings lost game 6 & 7 to the Pittsburgh Penguins to fall 1 goal short.
We discuss a ton of interesting stuff in this 90 minutes like:
– What’s it like to get pulled in your first NHL start
– How to bounce back after making a huge mistake
– The most important aspects of preparation for a goaltender and why they are critical to your confidence
– What it was like to fight is idol Patrick Roy at center ice in the 98 play-offs
– And what player has the best backhand in hockey
– Why mistakes can teach you or they can break you
– And the benefit of being able to consciously choose your response to events
Ozzy was an awesome guest and I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did.
The power of possibility
Aaron Volpatti wasn’t dreaming of the NHL at 17, he was trying to make the Revelstoke Grizzlies, his local Junior B hockey team. In his NHL draft year, Aaron was living at home, graduating from high school, and hanging with his buddies. He had his sights set on hopefully making the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL as an 18-year-old.
Episode 29. Season 1. Aug 16, 2020
Volpatti ended up wearing the jersey of the Vancouver Canucks and Washington Capitals, but after seeing Aaron score 7 goals in first 112 games in the BCHL you probably wouldn’t have made that bet and neither would have Aaron.
But as we have heard before on this podcast, Aaron’s greatest adversity turned out to be his life’s greatest gift. At the conclusion of his second season with the Vernon Vipers that adversity struck. Aaron was involved in an awful accident at a team bush party that left him with 2nd and 3rd degree burns to over 40% of his body.
He was told he would never play hockey again.
But after one phone call (and we discuss why this phone call was so impactful for Aaron) Aaron made other plans – he was going to be in the line-up for the season opener come September.
And after 6 weeks in hospital, 4 weeks in a wheelchair, another month unable to walk and two more major setbacks called kidney stones and an appendicitis, Aaron was dressed to play on opening night. He WILLED it to happen.
During that process he proved to himself that he could accomplish anything. He grew his resilience, his confidence, and his mindset.
In this interview we discuss
- The possibilities that arise when we assume we generally only operate at 40% of our capabilities
- The perspective shift Aaron made that changed the meaning of the physical pain he was feeling, which gave him mental strength and the ability to recover faster
- How having big dreams requires us to explore and change the personal standards we set for ourselves
- How Aaron used visualization to prepare him for playing in the NHL, at a time when we he never even had a pro contract
- How Aaron used DELIBERATE PRACTICE at 24 years old, to become a player that scored more goals and points in his senior year at Brown than he did in his previous 3 seasons combined
Aaron Volpatti earned his way into the greatest league in the world. He used adversity as opportunities to grow and compete and to overcome. He had clear visions for what he wanted to accomplish and had a plan for how he was going to make that happen. Aaron was prepared to do things that others weren’t willing to do.
Aaron’s story is one of possibility – one of evolution and one you will find very inspiring.
How to look small but play big earning your way to a successful career.
Standing at 5’9, Steve Passmore always found a way to dominate the crease. He was always a true competitor and ended up playing over 12 seasons of professional hockey, 92 of those in the National Hockey League.
Episode 28. Season 1. Aug 09, 2020
Steve played hockey across the entire globe. He is a true professional and someone that I always remember to be one of the fiercest competitors I ever had the pleasure of playing with.
Over the span of the interview, you really get a feel for who Steve was as a teammate and who he is as a person.
He was always laughing and having a good time, but when it came to game time, he would completely shift gears. This is such an important part of the game. No when it is time to have fun, and when it is time to focus and dial in.
Throughout this podcast we discuss what it was like being a back up goaltender in the NHL.
How to be ready when you get the call to start or if the starter goes down with an injury.
And how to stay positive if you are not necessarily in the position that you want to be.
This is such an incredible interview and I hope everyone can take something valuable and tangible, and apply it to their lives and careers.