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Hockey | Life After the Game Series: Guelph S . . .
Life After the Game Series: Guelph Storm Coach Scott Walker
Scott Walker was a hard working hockey
player who played for a number of teams during a 15 year career that included
Vancouver, Nashville, Carolina and Washington. The Cambridge, Ont. native played
829 games totaling 397 points. Walker was the consummate team player and also
served as Captain for the Nashville Predators.
This past year, Walker returned to
his old stomping grounds near Cambridge to take on the head coaching position
for the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League.
"All through my career, I've had to
work hard and play smart," Walker shares. "I always liked to analyze the game
and different systems, so I thought it was possible that I could coach one
Walker had been mentoring some of
the Storm players and was eventually offered the Head Coaching position in
December of 2010. "The first week was extremely tough," Walker recalls. "As a
coach, you worry about everything. It can be 2AM and you're still thinking about
To continue in his development,
Walker talks to a lot of hockey people to discuss systems and different coaching
philosophies."I played for Mike Keenan, Paul Maurice and Peter Lavallette. You
try to take a little something from each of the coaches that you played for,"
Knowing that he's developing young
men in the game, Walker spoke about the importance of dealing with them not just
as players, but also as people. "Some of these kids are 16 yrs old and maybe
living more than 10 hours away from home. There could be homesickness or
problems with girlfriends and you need to understand the issues that happen
outside the rink."
Walker was no stranger to adversity
during his career. As a member of the Carolina Hurricanes, playing against the
Boston Bruins in the 2nd round of the 2008 playoffs, Walker's wife was diagnosed
with cervical cancer before game 6. He went on to score the game winning goal in
Game 7 in Boston to win the Series. "It was just such a tough time and I really
don't remember scoring the goal. After the game, Coach Mo gave me a hug and I
did and interview with commentator Tripp Tracy and then it kind of hit me,"
While the public wasn't aware of
his wife's situation till after the Series, Walker recalls how supportive his
team was during that period. "Those are things you never forget". Walker's wife
has since made a full recovery.
Walker will miss competing and the
adversity that is part of the game. "While it's always great to have a winning
streak, I'll also miss the losing streaks. That's when you find out a lot about
yourself and the other guys in the room."