ALLEN, TX – When the Dallas Stars have their annual dad’s road trip one of the questions that always gets asked is what advice the players got from their dads when they were young that they still remember today. Something their father would yell from the stands or talk about on the many trips to and from the rink. It made me think it would be interesting to ask that question to those in the Allen Americans organization.
It would be cruel and unusual punishment to replicate the “take dad on the road” for the Allen Americans as it would mean taking the dads on “Big Red” in a 1995 bus (with over 2,000,000 miles) for hours at a time when you can be fined $50 for going to the bathroom.
It was easy to get the answer about the fatherly advice. For some players the response was immediate, for some it made them think and reflect, for some it was a very short answer and for others, it was a long conversation.
In their own words here is the Allen Americans version of “The Wisdom of Our Fathers.”
Dyson Stevenson – My dad would always tell me to have fun and work hard. Another thing he would say to me and my little sister was if you don’t win you might as well not come home. He was mostly joking when he would say that but he was also kind of serious.
Bryan Moore – My dad would always tell me to give 110% and if I wasn’t going to do that stay off the ice. I have always tried to push myself and it has paid off.
Derek Mathers – My dad just wanted me to have fun. He would watch my games but I used to say I could score three goals in my own net and he would just laugh all the way home. Some dads are tough on their kids if they play bad, I never had that.
Joel Chouinard – My dad was a psychologist so it wasn’t about the hockey but the psychological aspects of the game. If I had a bad game he would always tell me not to be so hard on myself. He would tell me you will hold onto your stick tighter if you put too much pressure on yourself and stuff like that. He would basically say have fun and stay loose on the ice.
Eric Roy – The most important thing my dad said to me growing up was hockey is just a game and just have fun. If times get tough you need to just push through it and have fun.
Spencer Asuchak – I always remember my dad telling me it is fun to work hard.
Randy Cure – My dad would always tell me to keep my feet moving and he still tells me that to this day.
David Makowski – My dad used to say, work hard, have fun and listen to your mother. My mom always thought she knew the ins and outs of the game of hockey more than my dad.
Harrison Ruopp – My dad didn’t say much but he used to say “Wherever you are, you are there.”
Miles Liberati – It is not my dad’s quote but he used to tell me before every game hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
Jamie Murray – My dad was always on me about competing. It wasn’t about if a played well or played poorly. He wanted me to have fun but always emphasized competing. I have carried that advice throughout my career.
Kale Kerbashian – My dad was always the quietest guy in the rink. He still calls it the power kill so he was never really into the game but just supported me. He was always positive and encouraged me to have fun. He built me a really awesome outdoor rink when I was a kid. My dad is quieter than I am.
Tanner Eberle – My dad didn’t play hockey so he didn’t know the game when I was little. He has learned the game a lot more from watching me play all these years. My dad always emphasized to have fun. A big thing with my dad was not to pout on the ice. I used to complain to the referee a lot when I was younger and my dad would always give me grief about that. He used to tell me not to slam the gate or show you are mad on the bench because it is not good for your team. Keep your cool and don’t get too frustrated with yourself or others and you will be a good teammate.
Josh Brittain – My dad was always telling me to have fun and enjoy the game but he also told me to play with toughness. If I was injured he told me to never stay down but try and get up and get back to the bench. I have always taken that advice to heart and it has carried with me throughout my hockey career. I take pride in being tough and playing tough.
Aaron Gens – My dad used to always say “It’s showtime Gensy” and he used that for all of us. It was a family thing.
Riley Gill – My dad always told me to have a short memory and just forget about the bad things that happen to me during a game. He would always say, “Don’t let the little things get you down.”
Gary Steffes – I got into hockey because of my dad who played in a men’s league when I was a kid. I was a wild kid and super competitive so my dad thought hockey was a way I could release some energy and have some fun. My dad would travel about an hour to Detroit to work and then drive back home after work and pick me up and then drive an hour back to Detroit to take me to practice. He would often try and teach me by telling me to watch other players that were good at some aspect of the game. My dad was always there for me, he was always supportive and he was always pushing me to get better. I would not be playing professional hockey if it wasn’t for my dad.
Chad Costello – My dad never yelled when I was playing as he is a pretty laid back. He used to always say to me it is not how good you are right now, it is how good you can become. He would always emphasize the process of getting better and learning from success and failure.
Greger Hanson – I remember my dad (and mom) being strict about school as they would say if you don’t do your homework you can’t go to practice. My dad would also always tell me if you are not having fun then don’t go to practice. He was very good at letting me decide and not pushing me at all. My dad played hockey but never coached me. He was my coach in soccer.
Steve Martinson – My dad didn’t play hockey but played three sports all the way through college. He always stressed hard work, compete and have fun.
It was fascinating talking to all of the players (and coach) about their dads and in many cases, you can see how the advice from their fathers as youngsters has shaped the type of hockey players and young men they have become.
DID YOU KNOW: If you ask Wayne Gretzky the advice his dad gave him as a kid that stuck with him throughout his career he would say my dad always told me to, “skate to where the puck is going, not to where it has been.” Gretzky used his dad’s advice to score 378 goals as a 10-year-old.