Category Archives: Featured Blogs

Paul Coffey: Life in the NHL & After

Edmonton OilersThroughout his career, Paul Coffey exemplified everything an offensive defenseman can be. He was a smooth and incredibly fast skater, had a booming shot from the blue line that terrified opposing goaltenders, and was able to use his excellent hockey sense and playmaking skills to confuse the opposition and set up teammates.  Paul Coffey was born in Weston, now a part of Toronto.  At the age of 16, Paul Coffey would play for Tier II Jr. A North York Rangers, netting 47 points in 50 games.  Paul Coffey would also make his OHL debut this season, appearing in 8 games with the Kingston Canadians.  The following year, Paul Coffey would jump to the Major Junior ranks full time, skating with the Sault Ste.Marie Greyhounds.As a 17 year old rookie, Coffey would net 17 goals and 72 assists for 89 points in 68 games.  The following season, after netting 31 points in his first 23 games with the Greyhounds, Paul Coffey was dealt to the Kitchener Rangers.  Coffey would finish the season appearing in 52 games for Kitchener, scoring 19 goals and 52 assists for 71 points.  Coffey’s combined total of 102 points in 75 games between the Greyhounds and Rangers made him 1 of the most sought after defensemen heading into the 1980 NHL Draft.  The Edmonton Oilers would draft Paul Coffey with their 1st round pick, 6th overall.  Continue reading

Frank O’Dea: His Life and Journey to Success and Happiness

odea-hires-publicityAlmost all successful entrepreneurs experience challenges. Some may experience trouble finding their career path before ultimately deciding to become an entrepreneur, while others may fail at many ventures time after time before finally finding success.  While most successful businessmen may experience challenges in one way or another, it would be hard to find one who has faced and risen above those challenges like Frank O’Dea. Frank O’Dea was born in 1945 in Montreal.  Growing up in Montreal West, Frank O’Dea first discovered alcohol at the tender age of 13.  Reflecting on his early days drinking, O’Dea says to InsideToronto in a 2010 interview, “I didn’t know I was going to be an alcoholic of course, but I loved the taste and the feeling of alcohol and I drank it at every opportunity.”

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Darcy Tucker: Long-time Toronto Maple Leafs Fan Favourite

If you’re a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs or hockey in general, chances are you’ve heard of Darcy Tucker. Despite standing at a modest 5’10 and weighing 183 pounds during his playing days, Darcy Tucker played a big man’s game.  Throughout his 14 seasons in the NHL, Darcy played with a mean streak. He loved to play physical and wasn’t afraid to give his opponents an extra shot or two. As well as his physicality, Darcy Tucker was also a very skilled player, attributing 5 seasons throughout his NHL career where he scored 20 or more goals. Darcy Tucker was born on March 15th, 1975 in Castor, Alberta, and was raised 50 kilometers away in Endiang, Alberta.  A minor hockey star growing up, Tucker was passed over in the WHL Draft despite scoring 70 goals and 160 points in only 47 games with the Midget AAA Red Deer Chiefs.  Despite being passed over in the WHL Draft, Tucker would still make the Kamloops Blazers as a 16 year old, during which he played in 26 games, scoring 3 goals and 13 points.  Tucker would also appear in 9 playoff games during the Blazers playoff run which ultimately saw them win the 1992 Memorial Cup in Seattle.  In the 1992/93 season, Darcy Tucker’s 2nd with Kamloops, he’d score 31 goals, 89 points while racking up 155 penalty minutes in 67 games.Tucker would also add 13 points in 13 playoffs game while picking up an additional 34 penalty minutes.  Continue reading

Kirk Muller: From NHL Player to NHL Coach

Born on February 8th 1966, Kirk Muller was born and raised in the hockey hotbed of Kingston, Ontario, a city in Eastern Ontario located halfway between Toronto and Montreal. In addition to Kirk Muller, several other hockey stars, including Kirk Muller’s future NHL teammate Doug Gilmour, Bernie Nicholls and legendary NHL coach and commentator Don Cherry also have ties to Kingston. Kirk Muller rapidly rose through Kingston’s minor hockey ranks. For the 1980-81 season, Kirk Muller made the jump to the junior ranks, joining the Kingston Voyagers Jr. B team at just 14 years old. Playing that season with players as much as 6 years older then him, Kirk Muller netted 17 goals, 37 assists for 54 points in just 42 Jr. B games for the Voyagers. During this season, Kirk Muller also made his OHL debut, appearing in 2 games with his hometown Kingston Canadians (now the Kingston Frontenacs). Despite still being an underage player, Kirk Muller would join the Canadians on a fulltime basis for the 1981-82 season, during which he accumulated 51 points in 67 games as a 15 year old.

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Jim Treliving: Successful Entrepreneur

No matter what city or province you are in Canada, you are bound to find a Boston Pizza restaurant nearby. Boston Pizza is one of the most well known franchises in Canada, with more than 365 restaurants scattered across Canada.  There are additional Boston Pizza franchises in the United States as well.  The original Boston Pizza, which was named Boston Pizza and Spaghetti House, opened in Edmonton in 1964, and operated as a single little known restaurant.  One of the original Boston Pizza’s most loyal customer’s was Jim Treliving.  At the time, Jim Treliving was a young RCMP police officer from Virden, Manitoba.  Having joined the RCMP in 1960, Jim Treliving had a number of assignments throughout his career as a RCMP policeman, including a stint as an undercover detective in the drug trade.  With Boston Pizza now franchising, Jim Treliving, who had fallen in love with and been a frequent customer of that single Edmonton based Boston Pizza, left his career as a RCMP officer to open his own Boston Pizza Franchise in 1968.

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Lanny McDonald: From Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee to Hockey Hall of Fame Chairman

To most hockey fans, Lanny McDonald is best known for his time in the NHL as a star for 2 prominent Canadian NHL teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Calgary Flames. Aside from his bushy red moustache, Lanny McDonald was also known for his great character.  A right-winger, Lanny McDonald played with a combination of skill, determination and enthusiasm throughout his 16 year NHL career.  Born in 1953 in Hanna, Alberta, Lanny McDonald was raised on a farm in the hamlet of Craigmyle, located 35 kilometres outside of Hanna.  The youngest child of Lorne and Phyllis, Lanny McDonald had 3 siblings, a brother Lynn and sisters Donna and Dixie.  As a child, Lanny McDonald helped his father around the family farm and credits his father for teaching him the value of honesty and hard work. Lorne McDonald was a good hockey player himself, having played Senior Hockey.  A young Lanny McDonald first got into hockey by serving as the stick boy for his father’s team and listening to broadcasting legend, Foster Hewitt, do the play by play on Hockey Night in Canada on the radio. Lanny McDonald first started skating at age 5 and was in organized hockey at 7 years old.  At age 16, Lanny McDonald made the jump to the junior ranks, suiting up for the Lethbridge Sugar Kings of the AJHL.

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Getting to know Gregg Zaun, from the plate to the left field

One of the most popular baseball figures amongst Canadian baseball fans, Gregg Zaun is 1 of the most popular Toronto Blue Jays to ever suit up for the franchise. A catcher known for his hitting prowess, Gregg Zaun played 5 seasons for the Toronto Blue Jays, spending the majority of the time as the Jays starting catcher and 1 of the top hitters.  In a mere 5 years playing in the Ontario capital, Gregg Zaun has made a life long impact on Canadian baseball fans across the country.  Aside from his baseball abilities, Gregg Zaun is also known for his persona both during his playing career, and in his current role as a baseball analyst with Rogers Sportsnet. He has established himself as 1 of the most well known, and favourite, sports analysts on Canadian TV.

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