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12-03-2012, 12:56 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I guess Walter Gretzky specifically making his backyard a rink for Wayne has no bearing on how he turned out? Honestly, Wayne spent hours upon hours out there having fun, going around pylons, shooting on the net, skating in circles. It made him what he ended up being in the NHL. When you can practice in the comfort of your own property anytime you want that is a huge plus. Someone else mentioned the Staals as an example. You think winters aren't cold in Thunder Bay? It goes further than that too. I've heard Frank Mahovlich talk about how his parents gave him blue and red ribbons that they melted onto the pond to form the lines that emulated hockey. Any all-time great - especially in Canada - would tell you the amount of time they played on the ponds in their free time. Lindros had a pond in his backyard too. Lafleur used to sleep in his hockey equipment just so he could get on the ice quicker. Dave Keon used to play with bigger boys on the pond and if he got checked then that was just part of growing up and getting better. I don't think you can ever underestimate a free pond at your disposal.
I think the point they're making is that you no longer need outdoor rinks / ponds to go pro. Back in the day, it was always a huge benefit. Extra practice and such. Now, there are way more rinks and ice time year round is much easier, which is why we're seeing more players from non traditional areas. And sure Gretzky had the backyard rink, but that's not to say tons of grinders didn't spend just as much time in the backyard / on a pond.

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