Dawson City hockey players will take their tips from a former NHL player this month. John Chabot is visiting the community for a weekend clinic from Nov. 3 to 5.
In nearly a decade in the NHL, Chabot played for the Montreal Canadiens, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings. He then played another decade in Europe before acting as an assistant coach in the NHL during the early 2000s.
These days, he runs hockey clinics across the country.
In fact, says Paul Robitaille, manager of parks and recreation with the City of Dawson, he’s been to Dawson before.
“John’s clinics have always proved to be popular and inspirational,” Robitaille said in an emailed statement from the Dawson City Minor Hockey Association (DCMHA). “By having John and his team come early in the year, we can kick off hockey season with a great weekend of coaching and fun.”
A series of sessions will take place over the three days, says Robitaille. Those sessions are available for youth from ages seven to 18, with additional sessions for adults.
He says there will be a focus this year on dryland training and conditioning as well as on-ice training. That’s something he says the DCMHA was adamant about.
“There’s no question, when you look at guys in the NHL these days, and it’s not about making the NHL, but the off-ice conditioning is as important as the on-ice,” Robitaille says.
He says that message is pushed a lot harder now than it was in the days of Guy LaFleur smoking cigarettes in the dressing room. Now, it’s about being a well-rounded player.
He says that message is maybe even more applicable to the adults coming out to the clinic, because strength training and conditioning can help players avoid injury as they age.
“For a lot of the adult population, especially the closer you get to old-timers age, there’s a lot more bumps and bruises that take longer to heal.”
Finally, Chabot will be offering a 90-minute coaching session to DCMHA coaches, who will then be able to assist throughout the weekend, including at Sunday’s final game.
As of Nov. 2, there were 50 participants registered for the clinic. Registration was open until the clinic began on Nov. 3. It cost $25 for youth and $100 for adults.
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