And he's loved like one, too. When we ask hockey players in the Sault to name their favourite coach of all time – one who really made a difference in their careers – they name Dom.
When we ask who taught them the most, they name Dom. And sometimes, when we ask why they're still playing, they name Dom.
We asked Dom to come in and open his mind about coaching, hockey, and letting kids be creative. The interview is attached in two parts below. In the long lead-up to this interview (it literally took months to get our schedules to line up,) I thought I'd be spending an hour with a real tactician; a scientist. Instead, I found myself talking to an artist.
Listening to Dom, you hear a guy talk about hockey like some guys talk about wine: they're familiar with their subject to the point of intimacy. He's immersed in it. You can't separate the two. But he's also a masterful coach: he can exude authority, but he can also be a whole lot of fun, and he knows when each is appropriate.
Listen for 40 minutes, and you'll see what I mean. In the first installment, Dom talks about his philosophy of coaching and leading, his background, and his value system. It's great stuff. In Part II, Dom gets into the gritty stuff: some stories from the road, some favourite memories of players, and the foundations of his coaching beliefs. It's not to be missed, but a word to the more sensitive listeners: you're going to hear a few bad words. Sure, we could edit them out. But who are we to censor art?