Dick Power re­flects on coach­ing ca­reer

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

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.

PHOTO BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER/THE COMPASS

Har­bour Grace’s Dick Power has fond mem­o­ries of coach­ing in the thenCon­cep­tion Bay North mi­nor hockey sys­tem.

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