Nostalgia is for those who saw Dale Hawerchuk and Dale Hunter play — not for the OHL final's opposing coaches.
The man holding the Barrie Colts' reins scored 1,409 points during a Hall of Fame career. The bench boss for the London Knights played 1,407 NHL games as a hard-nosed two-way winger. While prominent former NHLers coaching in major junior is hardly novel, the Dale vs. Dale coaching matchup includes two who are each in the NHL's 1,000-game played club. Neither, though, will cop pulling out the 'when I played' card while working with their teenaged players.
"You don't want to go there because when you watch the old film of when we played, we're a lot slower — no lie," Hunter, 52, joked on Wednesday. "It's a new game out here. It's a lot faster. It's a pleasure watching these kids play at these high speeds."
"I played in the West quite a bit, it's a lot faster," Hawerchuk, who turned 50 last month, interjected. "Obviously, we draw on some of our experiences. Maybe in Game 7 [such as in the Colts' semifinal series vs. Belleville] you talk about how there's a mindset to have. Like Dale said, this game's changed a lot and keeps on changing. You got to change with it."
It is worth touching upon, especially since Hawerchuk's "you got to change with it" principle seems to have applications b beyond analyzing hockey. The two coaches' playing careers are still a first reference point for many fans, plus it's another storyline ahead of Game 1 on Friday at London's Budweiser Gardens.Read More »from OHL final coaches Dale Hawerchuk, Dale Hunter steer clear of memory lane