Edmonton Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock had a special relationship with the late Clare Drake, a former Alberta Golden Bears coach.
When Hitchcock was coaching midget hockey in Sherwood Park, he attended hundreds of Drake’s Golden Bears practices. Hitchcock says he soaked up as much hockey knowledge from Drake as he could, and did so until Drake passed away last May.
Hitchcock says he thinks the former Golden Bears coach would be pleased to know he was now coaching his hometown Oilers.
“He was very proud that I got into the National (Hockey) League, and then being with us in 1999-2000 (with the Dallas Stars), he was really proud of doing that,” Hitchcock says. “I think he would feel a sense of pride.
“I am a protégé of Clare.”
Watch below: Some videos from Global News stories involving Ken Hitchcock.
One of Drake’s biggest attributes was his willingness to share his hockey philosophies with others. He strived to make other coaches better.
Drake conducted countless coaching clinics and Hitchcock was there for just about all of them.
“I never missed a clinic in Western Canada for almost 15 years that he was at,” Hitchcock says. “We developed a bond and a friendship — the three of us, Billy (Moores), Clare and myself — and that’s gonna last forever.”
Watch below: Some videos from Global News stories involving Clare Drake.