Dallas Stars & Local Hockey Clip from The Face-Off Spot Podcast: Ep. 58

 

SuperDeker Advanced Hockey Stickhandling Training Device featured on the Face-off Spot Podcast with Andy Healey and Adam Larson!

This week, Andy Healey from SuperDeker joins Adam Larson on the Face-off Spot Podcast! We talk about's one of the coolest training aids around: the SuperDeker! And we hear about the local hockey scene in one of the country’s hottest states: Texas!

 

Transcript

Adam: 

But, I feel like the Stars are well-established now. I think we’ve got some things working for us.

 

Andy:

 You guys have a good program down there.

 

Adam: 

One of the good things about our program is that it’s accessible to so many people in the Dallas, Fort Worth area. And I try to explain this to people sometimes, because I’ve worked at other rinks, this is not the first rink I’ve worked at - but rinks are expensive. And if you look at Mansfield on a map, it’s not the largest area in the world, but there’s a reason why this rink was able to get built in the first place, and to have a management group like the Stars, that isn’t as accessible elsewhere in the country. And the amount of people that play down here is insane. And it’s part of the reason why I started this podcast, because there’s no other hockey community like the Dallas Fort Worth community, because it’s so large, and… Everybody that listens is gonna be like: “You talk about this all the time”, but it’s like a spider web. So, if you think about it - Mansfield, if we’re talking about Stars centers for the south, but then we might drive an hour north to Frisco. But then, you have probably six rinks in between, and you have people playing in between all of those rinks. So, if you think about it, even if you only play at one rink, you know somebody that plays at two rinks, and those people- everybody knows everybody, but we’re all spread out through possibly hundreds of miles.

 

Andy:

What’s very cool is- some of it is born out necessity, but some of it ends up working to your advantage. When Stars came into Dallas 25-30 years ago, there wasn’t a hockey network. So, if you want to build a fan base, you also wanna build a community of hockey players, same way that youth soccer has taken a long time to develop, and now they have their model for small arenas, stadiums that are soccer-centric. What Dallas has done is completely different than what we have in Detroit. And some of it I’m a little bit envious of, because in Dallas, when you see- and I’m sure the other sunbelts in Nashville, Vegas, and I’m sure it’s the same in Carolina – you get to create your own youth network, and you get to tie it in and connect it to the pro team in a much more uniform way. And Detroit, for better or worse, we’re an Original 6, we’ve had hockey forever - all of the house high school leagues are so independent. When I was coaching my kid, you end up working your way up and keep getting asked to do more and more jobs…

 

Adam:

 That’s how it works. You know it.

 

Andy: 

You get double the pay, and you get zero for doing [inaudible]. One of the things that the board did in our community is trying to make sure that the youth hockey program, the travel program and the high school program were all connected, because we’re all skating out of the same rink. The high school program was completely independent. A lot of times, a rink was sitting here staying: “We’re gonna fund the figure skaters. We don’t have time for you.” It took probably 8 or 10 years of talking with the community, the Youth Hockey Association, the travel directors, the dads and coaches that are running travel teams that have their own agenda, and the high schools. So, once you get that all in sync, not that it’s a feeder program, but it is connected.  An intermission to a JV high school hockey game, skate around the ice. And there’s a lot of great stuff. But, I see things in Dallas where there is a connection. You own the rinks, you guys are running the youth programs, you guys get to do trainings and camps, and it can tie directly into the Stars. It’s awesome.

 

Adam: 

Yeah. And the other thing is, I think a lot of people don’t see this, but the amount of communication that it takes between all the rinks to make sure that things are going according to plan... When there’s a plan, it’s one of those things that everybody then has to go and make sure that that plan is being initiated or being done the right way. It’s easy to do that if you’ve got one rink, and that mission statement is coming from the top at that rink. But, when you’re trying to make sure that there’s- and like I said, there’s nothing like it, but when you’re looking at 8 different rinks, and making sure everybody is sticking to the plan, it’s… I’ve never seen anything like this, but it’s gonna be one of those things that I’ve learned so much about, just how to make sure that people are being communicated with. Commutation is key down here, as I’m sure it is up there. It’s an interesting thing. And when you do come down here – because we always like to have these secondary episodes – if you ever come down, I think it would be fun to just chat. And we can also maybe grab a skate or something, Andy.

 

Andy:

That’ll be great. I’d bring my gear. Two carry ons. I’ll bring golf clubs and the hockey bag.

 

Adam:

 No, bring it all. We’ll treat you down here.

 

Andy:

I definitely have reasons to go down there. On the product side, with the SuperDeker, clearly we don’t go ahead and buy that from the original owners if we’re just gonna sell more of them. We talked to coaches and some of the guys that run the camps for the Stars, other people in the NHL, alumni for the NHL, and just local coaches and kids. So, I have reasons to get down there. So, I’ll make sure that we let you know.  The other thing is, on hockey, we missed a lot of it. Last year with COVID, all of the shut-downs. Our kid got his high school season in on a short season, but just playing beer league and pick-up. It was so hard. I’m dying to go back out on the ice.