From your local rink to the NHL, Clare Drake‘s impact lives on.
The legendary former University of Alberta Golden Bears head coach will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Monday.
“He was a cut above on the teaching side of things,” Dallas Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock said on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer this summer.
“He changed every aspect of hockey in Canada. People don’t realize this. He brought full-court pressure into hockey rather than passive counter-attack. He brought full pressure into penalty-killing.”
Watch below: Dallas Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock shares why he’s so happy to see Drake inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Drake, 89, coached the Golden Bears for 28 seasons, winning six national championships and 17 conference titles. He won a lot, but he’s best remembered for mentoring other coaches along the way.
“I just always remember being with him after hours at those coach’s seminars and what a wealth of knowledge he was,” Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said on 630 CHED this summer.
“He constantly wanted to learn. It opened our eyes to what it was like to be a teacher,” Hitchcock said.
On Saturday night, Drake will be honoured before the Golden Bears game against Lethbridge. Several former players and coaches will attend. Bill Moores, who was hired as an assistant by Drake in 1976, said Drake was never concerned about sharing innovations and tactics, even with opponents.
“He was very willing to share with other coaches,” Moores said. “We always talk about the art and science of coaching. The science is the Xs and Os. The art is getting your players to execute that. He knew that’s a difficult thing to do. That’s why he felt very comfortable sharing things.”
Drake will attend Saturday’s ceremony. A new banner will be raised in Clare Drake Arena, highlighting all of his career accomplishments, including his Hockey Hall of Fame induction.