Steelers enlist former hockey pro to coach
15-year veteran of European hockey league taking his experience to minors
Tuesday, Oct 24, 2017 06:00 am
Allan Measures says coaching kids is different than coaching adults.
The 15-year veteran of Finland’s SM-Liiga league and current Barrhead Steelers coach, Measures, who took over from Trevor Whiting, said his coaching style focuses on recognizing effort. The SM-Liiga is an European Elite professional hockey league which Measures participated in, from 1987 to 2001, before a neck injury forced him to retire as an active player.
“I helped coach the Steelers for the first few years after I returned from Europe and doing this [coaching], it’s like being back to my old, familiar stomping grounds,” Measures said, adding coaching teenagers is different than coaching adults.
“I have to keep in mind all the time that they are kids. The biggest reward I get, as a coach, is to watch them go out and work hard and when they try something you tell them, whether as a team or an individual, and they get positive results from it, to be honest, it makes you feel real good as a coach,” Measures said.
“They have family that’s important to them, school and other things that take place outside the arena and they aren’t all like I was, where hockey as a number one priority in life and you can’t expect that.”
Measures said his job is to make sure the team wants to be on the ice.
“That’s the most important thing, that they want to be there. That’s my job, to make sure they keep wanting to come back to the rink,” he said, adding he can see the efforts his players are making.
“Winning isn’t just about the numbers on the clock. It’s contributing to the team and being rewarded for it. Everybody likes to score but nobody likes to play defence but my system ensures everyone plays every position,” Measures said.
Right now, Measures said, the team is good hockey to watch.
“They’re a bunch of good boys. I’m really fortunate that Barrhead Minor Hockey has given me the opportunity to coach these kids. I love it. Every time I’m there, I look forward to it.”
Measures said hockey is an important part of his life.
“Besides my kids, it is probably the most important thing in it,” he said, adding the sport is much different than when he played.
“At least the NHL is anyhow. I was really fortunate to have the opportunity to go to Europe and land in the right country where I was treated the right way as long as I played hard. That’s the way it is supposed to be. Effort and team-play goes a long way and it’s the direction I’ve taken with the [Steelers].”