Last week, a newspaper feature detailed ex-NHL players who now coach teams their off-spring play for. The list included Wendel Clark, Tie Domi, Claude Lemieux, Tom Fergus, Andrew McBain, Michael Peca, Nick Kypreos, Paul Coffey Wayne Premeau. Not only are their own children receiving top-notch instruction, but the other players are also benefiting.
In the 1947-48 NHL season, it was the current players who were making a contribution in this regard. The coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs was the legendary Hap Day. In an era when there were no co-coaches, associate-coaches, assistant-coaches or goalie-coaches, Day found himself surrounded by coaches - all dressed in Blue & White. Although they were not involved in coaching the Leafs, many Toronto players were out in the community lending their time and skills to minor league hockey.
Of note, Howie Meeker became coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs in April 1956. During the 1956-57, he was behind the bench for 70 games and recorded 21 wins, 34 defeats and 15 ties. However, his greatest contribution towards teaching and instructing young players came in the 1970s. His Howie Meeker Hockey School, instructional books and TV features helped not only youngsters, but their coaches