Dick Power reflects on coaching career
The remnants of Dick Power’s storied hockey career are laid out across the bar in the basement of his Harbour Grace home.
Old newspaper clippings, programs and pictures are spread across the dark surface depicting his playing days with the senior CeeBees, Gander Flyers and Corner Brook Royals.
But that’s not all. Perhaps more importantly, the clippings also contain references to Power’s dedication to minor hockey in the region as former stadium manager of the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace and a hockey coach with the local minor hockey system.
“I’m proud of what the system became,” Power told The Compass during a recent interview at his home.
Known as a stalwart hockey tactician, Power was instru- mental in the development of such talent as NHLer Danny Cleary, Corey Crocker, Andrew Drover, Randy Reardon, John Drover and others. Former pupil Nelson Bennett has carved out a respectable coaching career as a result of Power’s teachings.
“This area had an awful lot of talent,” he said. “I mean, the prospects they had. In the early days before Danny and Andrew, there were a lot of good hockey players here.”
Power took over managing the stadium in 1968 from fellow Cee-Bees great George Faulkner and became part of a group that wanted to bring a credible minor hockey system to the area.
Prior to setting things in motion, minor hockey consisted of a group of children getting together whenever there was ice available. When it was up and running, the system had players from all corners of Conception Bay North.
“I was a part of it,” he said. “The volunteers helped and I was involved with them. They’re the ones that make it run.”
He points to people like first association president Ged Blackmore and other exective members like Rex Cotter as integral pieces.
But, Power’s name brought instant credibility to the infant program. He had previously won championships coaching in Gander and he had an innate ability to pass on his knowledge to young minds.
From the time he took over stadium manager duties to 2004, Power was coaching in the minor hockey system. In 2004, he decided it was time to retire from the ranks.
“It was time to move on,” he said.
More than hockey
As a coach, Power was about more than just teaching the game on the ice. He taught players the importance of having respect for others and being a good person.
To that end, Power made sure his players brought him their report card from school when they received it. He wanted to make sure they were performing off the ice as well.
“When you look at the players that went through our system, there weren’t very many of them that got in trouble,” said Power. “The respect they had for the volunteers and what was taught to them went with them through life.”
“(Power) was like a second father,” added former player Andrew Drover. “If you weren’t doing good in math, he asked why you weren’t doing well.” A great coach Andrew had Power as a coach from atom to his first year of midget hockey.
“(Power) was the best coach I ever had,” he said. “He was a great strategist and extremely fair.
“He was just a good coach. I have a lot of respect for him.”
Now a minor hockey coach himself, Andrew uses much of what Power taught him as teaching points with his young charges. Things like staying humble and respecting your opponent, which were staples of the CBN system, are paramount when Drover gets behind the bench.
“If I saw him in the street now, it’d still be Mr. Power,” he said.
Harbour Grace’s Dick Power has fond memories of coaching in the thenConception Bay North minor hockey system.