If you have spent any time in Rhode Island hockey rinks over the past 90 years, there is a really good chance that you’ve watched a member of the Gaffney family either playing or behind the bench coaching.

The Gaffney hockey players have spanned four generations of Rhode Island high school hockey, starting with Charlie “Swede” Gaffney excelling for La Salle Academy in the early 1930s all the way to his great grandsons, Cam and Charlie Gaffney, who most recently played in the Rl State Championship for East Greenwich High School in the 2021-22 season. And there are still more Gaffney hockey players on the way who are currently playing hockey across New England.

While the family’s hockey resume is lengthy, it is the high level of skill and leadership that they have consistently exhibited over the decades that makes them one of Rl’s most respected hockey families. They have captained high school and college hockey teams over many decades, including the likes of La Salle Academy, Toll Gate High School, Deerfield Academy, the University of Rhode Island, East Greenwich High School, Providence College, and Bowdoin College. Equally remarkable is the fact that the family has placed 9 individual family members on the Journal-Bulletin All-State Hockey Teams dating all the way back to 1933.

The Gaffneys lay claim to four generations of Providence Journal All State hockey players! However, the family legacy is much more than just awards and statistics! It is rooted in a family mantra handed down from generation to generation by family patriarch, Charlie “Swede” Gaffney, that instilled the values of modesty, hard work, service, and family first. These family values are palpable and still the foundation of the family’s hockey legacy.


Swede Gaffney

In the 1930’s Charlie Gaffney was a 3-sport star at La Salle playing football, hockey, and baseball. He was a captain in both hockey and baseball along with being named All- State in both sports. In addition to his athletic prowess, he was always revered by members of the La Salle community as an honor roll student, model citizen, and school leader.

The Providence Journal described him as “one of the finest, cleanest cut athletes that ever wore the maroon and white colors.” Swede started a long-standing family tradition of attending La Salle Academy and moving right up Smith Street to Providence College. Unfortunately, Providence College had no collegiate ice hockey when Charlie attended school there. After briefly starting a program in 1926, the team was forced to fold due to lack of funds and ice availability until 1952 when the program resumed thanks to the efforts of the Rev. Herman Schneider.

When World War II erupted, Charlie served in the US Army Air Force, the direct predecessor to the US Air Force. He was an airplane maintenance mechanic and worked on planes both at home and in the European theater during the war.

In late 1943 through 1944, the Germans began using their VI and V2 missiles to terrorize Great Britain. Hundreds of these missiles were launched daily, flying without a pilot, until it ran out of fuel, crashed, and blew up. These weapons had no other purpose than to kill or maim and to ultimately destroy English morale. Unfortunately for Swede, while being stationed at an airfield outside of London, he experienced firsthand the impact of the heinous weapon of war.

One day as air raid alarms sounded, servicemen, including Charlie, were forced to scatter for cover. He suffered a serious back injury jumping into a foxhole for protection. The injury left Swede to deal with a serious life-long back issue, yet he continued to work tirelessly as a lineman for NE Telephone his entire adult life. His oldest son, Chuck, remembers his dad always working hard and believing that no one deserved a free lunch. Swede was proud to be a blue-collar worker whose primary goal was to simply provide a better life for his family.

After the war, Swede returned home to his wife, Josephine, in North Providence and took to providing for his family, which included 5 boys – Chuck, Paul, Mike, Kevin, and David.

In an article by former Providence Journal Writer, John Gillooly, about the Gaffney family, Swede was quoted, “My father taught me how to skate and then I introduced my sons to hockey. I have been very lucky.” His hockey tutelage paid off with Chuck, Paul, Mike, and Kevin all following a family tradition of attending, playing, and graduating from dad’s alma mater, La Salle Academy. Kevin, however, broke with tradition and graduated from Deerfield Academy after attending La Salle his freshmen year.

Chuck, Mike and Kevin continued their hockey careers at PC with Kevin captaining the Friar squad in 1976. Both Chuck and Mike remember fondly how his dad rarely missed a high school or college game for any of them. It did not matter whether it was going to Potsdam, NY to watch the Friars play Clarkson or driving south to the University of Pennsylvania for a game against the Quakers. Swede was always there to support his sons. It was a prime example of how important family was to Charlie Gaffney and how proud he was of his boys on and off the ice.


Swede Gaffney’s Boys

Swede’s oldest son, Chuck, was an All-State hockey player and a New England High School Champion at La Salle Academy in 1961. After great success in high school, he moved on to play college hockey at Providence College, enrolling in their ROTC program.

The PC hockey team during that period consisted of a mix of Rl, MA, and Canadian players. The head coach was the legendary Tom Eccleston. Chuck speaks highly of Coach Eccleston, referring to him as a philosopher, a dignified leader, and wonderful motivator.

Eccleston was known as a defensive specialist telling his players, “I don’t have the ability to teach you how to score, but I can definitely teach you how to stop goals.” Traditionally, the eastern schools at the time played a much tighter, close checking brand of defensive hockey, while Chuck recalled the western colleges playing a more wide open, offensive style, much like we see today in college and the pros.

In 1964, Chuck was one of 7 LaSalle grads and 2 other Rhode Islanders on a Friars team that needed some late season heroics to take the top seed in the ECAC tournament. In the early 60s, the ECAC consisted of 29 teams from all over the Northeast. PC needed to make the arduous trip to upstate New York to beat longtime rivals and perennial powerhouses Clarkson and St. Lawrence in order to finish atop the standings at the end of the regular season.

After an unprecedented sweep of both teams, Providence claimed the #1 seed and beat a tough Colgate squad 3-2 in OT in the quarterfinals of the ECAC playoffs at the Rl Auditorium. Providence then went on to again beat Clarkson (6-5) in the semis and St. Lawrence (3-1) in the finals at the Boston Arena (now Matthews Arena) to capture the ECAC crown and clinch an NCAA championship berth. The team was off to the University of Denver Arena in Colorado Springs for their first trip to the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament. PC was joined in the Final Four by Denver, RPI, and Michigan.

One of the lasting memories of the trip to Denver for Chuck occurred at the team welcome luncheon. All four teams attended the event with each team sitting at four long tables. The first three coaches got up and spoke about their teams, their records, their desire to play well, and to ultimately win a championship. Coach Eccleston was the last of the coaches to speak and had a much different message.

Coach Eccleston, a RI Hockey Hall of Famer, captivated the room as he eloquently spoke about the value of education and how hockey was only a tool to supplement your education and help you to mature into a productive young man. Unfortunately, after leading 2-1 halfway through the 3rd period of the semis, the Friars lost 3-2 to the eventual national champion Michigan Wolverines. It was a bittersweet ending to an amazing run for the Friars.

After graduating from college, Chuck was pressed into military service during the Vietnam War. Upon returning home from the service, he became a high school teacher in North Providence and eventually the head coach of the North Providence High School hockey team. The Cougars played in the RIIL’s Suburban Division, which was always in the shadow of the big Met A and Met B schools.

Chuck’s hockey program faced some early struggles with both lack of ice time and a dearth of seasoned players. In 1973, that all changed. The town of North Providence authorized the construction of a new ice rink – the North Providence Arena. The new arena, combined with the success of the Boston Bruins and Bobby Orr, was a boon to hockey in North Providence and the surrounding communities. The added and almost daily regular ice time allowed the Cougars to develop their skills more soundly and quickly.

All of this culminated in a Suburban A Championship for North Providence in 1975 when they defeated Bishop Hendricken in the Hawks’ first year in RIIL hockey. In five short years the Cougars went from cellar dwellers at 2-19 to raising a championship banner with a record of 16-4-1.

Recently, that 1975 championship squad gathered to celebrate and relive their championship run. Chuck has fond memories of the reunion and was amused by some of the players’ embellished recollections of the actual events during their amazing playoff victory.

It was about this time that Chuck’s younger brother, Mike, began coaching high school hockey. Mike was coming off great hockey careers at La Salle Academy and Providence College.

At La Salle Academy, Mike was a 2-time ProJo All State defensemen with fellow teammate, Tim Regan. As a sophomore, with RI Hockey Hall of Famer, Lou Cimini, at the helm, Mike’s Rams won the 1965 state championship, sweeping the #1 seed Cranston East team led by Rl Hockey Hall of Famer, Joe Cavanagh. Mike also had a great hockey career at Providence College playing under Rl Hockey Hall of Fame coach, Lou Lamoriello.

Following his dad’s mantra of hard work, service, and family first, he became a high school history teacher and guidance counselor in Warwick. Over his 40 plus-year high school coaching career, Mike coached at all three Warwick high schools – Warwick Vets, Pilgrim, and Toll Gate.

Mike always believed deeply that the public high schools could compete with private schools. He guided Toll Gate to the finals against Mount St. Charles in 1996 and 1997. During his tenure, Toll Gate team won the prestigious Journal Bulletin Invitational Hockey Tournament over the best teams in and around New England. It was a major accomplishment for a public high school in Rhode Island. And come playoff time, no one wanted to play Toll Gate as Gaffney-coached teams were never an easy out.

Mike ended his career as the head coach at La Salle Academy after guiding the Rams to their first state championship in 38 years in 2015. Ted Quigley, the Athletic Director at La Salle Academy, wrote in a press release announcing Mike’s retirement that in typical “Mike Gaffney” fashion, he said nothing about his retirement at the team’s final get- together, the state championship dinner. Instead, he quietly said to Quigley as they were walking out the door, “Now I am officially retired.” Never one to seek the spotlight, he did not want to overshadow the team’s special evening and accomplishments. His modesty and humility were center stage as always!

As a coach, Mike approached hockey much like he approached teaching. He guided and supported his students to learn and improve every day. He pushed all of them to strive for A’s in his classes. Coaching hockey was no different. His players needed to strive for the equivalent of an A on the ice – a win.

Whether teaching or coaching, Mike was always “all business”. When the Zamboni doors closed, players knew they were going to be pushed every second they were on the ice. Coach Gaffney believed in his core that “effort” was a skill – the ultimate skill.

Over the course of his high school coaching career, there were times when he faced teams with more hockey skill. But rarely, if ever, did he face opponents who worked harder than his players or were more disciplined than his teams. It is the trademark of a Gaffney-coached hockey team. Even today, you can still see Coach Gaffney’s fingerprints on the teams that his former players coach. These teams exude grit, confidence, and a blue-collar attitude that make them very, very difficult to play against.

In talking with former players, Mike Gaffney is simply referred to as “Coach” and he would not want it any other way. In his eyes it is the epitome of endearment and respect. John Wooden, former UCLA basketball coach and 10-time NCAA champion, wrote an autobiography entitled They Call Me Coach. The greats are always just “Coach”. When players look back on playing for Coach, the first words they use to describe him are intense, fiery, and intimidating.

Will Parker, a former player and assistant coach, noted, “Many Warwick youth hockey players played for Coach growing up. So you knew what you were getting into when you got to high school at Pilgrim and Toll Gate. Same rules. Same life lessons. Maybe a little less intense but you always needed to be ready to play.”

Parker went on to say that Coach always made everyone on the team believe they could be the best at their specific job or role, always encouraging players by saying, “You are an All-State penalty killer or an All-State shot blocker. He gave them the confidence to be their very best.”

Another Toll Gate High School alum, Dave Tober, was a former player, assistant coach, and opposing head coach. He remembers, “Coach always pushed you out of your comfort zone to get better. Players were always on edge with Coach.” But as a captain, he felt he gained a little deeper insight into Gaffney’s coaching style saying, “Not until senior year, when I had a little more clout, was I able to pull back the curtain a bit and see the method to his madness. Things made more sense.”

Tober’s Toll Gate hockey team played against his former coach when Gaffney was at La Salle. He remembers thinking, “He would get in your head. You never felt like you had an edge with him. I always questioned myself against him.” Both Parker and Tober are still close with Coach and both opine emphatically that he is still one of the most influential men in their lives.

Another member of the Gaffney coaching tree, Bob Jackson, has some unique insights into the Gaffney family having grown up six houses down from them.

Growing up, Bob was best friends with Coach Gaffney’s son, John, and spent a great deal of time at the Gaffney household. Like many Warwick hockey players, Jackson played both youth hockey and high school hockey for Gaffney. He later came back to be an assistant under Gaffney at Toll Gate and La Salle, eventually becoming the head coach at Smithfield High School where he faced off against Gaffney’s Rams many times. He laughs as he clearly remembers being a little afraid of Coach as both a player and assistant coach. Jackson shared that Coach was a mentor to him and that he wanted to be like Coach. So it is no coincidence that Jackson became a high school guidance counselor and hockey coach. He is proud to say, “Coach made me the man that I am!”

While Coach is remembered most for his intensity and discipline, former players will never forget his unique sense of humor. They all shared Coach’s favorite sayings or Gaffisms, like “Don’t be a sunshine player”, “Plant corn, get corn”, “A reputation is like fine china…easily broken but seldom well mended”, or “Cream rises to the top”.

Whenever they played Mount, Hendricken, or La Salle, he would tell the team they were like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid when the sheriff says, “Who are those guys?” If you were always the last one out of the locker room, he would quip that you might make first or second team All-State Shower Team. The jokes and one-liners were endless. The players all loved that side of Coach.

It’s important to note that Mike Gaffney’s coaching career could have taken a dramatic turn in 1985 when Steve Stirling left as the head coach of Providence College. Mike served as an assistant coach at his alma mater under Stirling and was pondering applying for the vacated head coaching position. He had just finished his second leave of absence from teaching in Warwick and he faced a life changing decision to remain a teacher or continue on the path to coaching college hockey. It was a very difficult decision, especially as Mike’s family was continuing to grow. In the end, Mike returned to the Warwick Public School system where he had long-term security and stability in being able to provide for his growing family. Mike McShane was named the head coach of Providence College in 1985 and coached the Friars for the next 9 years.

In addition to Chuck and Mike, Kevin Gaffney also made his way to Providence College and suited up for the Friar hockey team starting in the 1972-1973 season. He was a big, physical 6’ defensemen who played over 80 games for PC over his college career. Mike shares a great story about a tussle Kevin got into with another RI Hockey Hall of Famer, Brian Burke, now President of Hockey Operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

As Mike tells it, Brian was looking to make a name for himself as a tough, hard-nosed forward at the start of his freshman year at Providence College. Early in one practice, Burke got into a scrape with one of the forwards. Not satisfied with that opponent, Burke decided to go after someone a little bigger the next shift. At a face-off in the offensive zone, Brian yelled over to Kevin, “I’m coming for you next!” to which Kevin replied, “You won’t have to look very hard!”

The puck was dropped and the two went at it. Brian Burke shares this story in his book, Burke’s Law – A Life in Hockey. He said the fight with Kevin was a draw but when Mike recounts the events he smirks and states, “I think Kevin probably got the best of him!”

Kevin followed in his brother’s footsteps after college becoming a teacher at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School. He also coached hockey and tennis. But after a few years of teaching, he moved on to become a very successful businessman.

Paul and David Gaffney also followed in the family footsteps by attending La Salle Academy. Paul captained LSA’s hockey team in 1964 and David graduated from La Salle in 1977, later graduating from Holy Cross and becoming a Christian Brothers. Not surprisingly, he too became a teacher and guidance counselor at various high schools, including St. Rays and La Salle. After 18 years in the brotherhood, David entered the seminary and became a Roman Catholic priest. He is currently the pastor at St Bernard’s Church in North Kingston.


Coach Gaffney’s Children

The next generation of Gaffney hockey players would do everything in their power to maintain the high standards of the family legacy, both on and off the ice. These hockey players carved their own family traditions, especially when it came to playing high school hockey.

By now, La Salle Academy was no longer the high school destination for the Gaffney hockey players. The pipeline was now through Toll Gate where Mike Gaffney was a teacher and guidance counselor, as well as the head hockey coach. All seven of Mike’s children attended Toll Gate with the boys all playing ice hockey and sister Susan starring in field hockey.

Michael was the oldest of Mike’s children and the first to play for their father at Toll Gate. Later he would be joined by twin brothers, Charlie and Joe – all three playing together for two seasons. Michael was the captain of the Titan’s 1989 team and went on to play college hockey at Connecticut College.

There were some amazing memories for Coach Gaffney and his boys in the 1987-1988 season when they avenged two early regular season losses to a strong East Providence team by beating them in finals to win the Met B championship. The following year the boys teamed up together again to win the prestigious Journal Bulletin Invitational High School Hockey Tournament.

At the time, the ProJo was the preeminent high school hockey tournament in New England and featured most of the region’s best public and private high school hockey teams. The victory put Toll Gate on the map and served notice to all of Rhode Island that a public school could compete with the RI’s big three – Mount St. Charles, Bishop Hendricken, and La Salle.

That victory was even sweeter with patriarch Swede in the stands watching his son and grandsons win, affording three generations of Gaffney hockey players the opportunity to celebrate that championship together. It was a very special moment for the entire family and clearly put Toll Gate hockey right in the conversation with the Rl hockey powerhouses and out-of-state juggernauts like Catholic Memorial, Fairfield Prep, and St. John’s Prep.

Charlie and Joe were instrumental in Toll Gate’s ascension into the upper echelon of Rl high school hockey. The twins had been playing hockey together since the day they first laced up skates with their mom, Debbie, and their combined success on the ice is unrivaled.

Charlie was a playmaking center who was given some creative latitude on the ice whereas Joe always excelled in the dirty places, winning puck battles along the boards and in the corners. Dave Tober played on a line with Charlie and Joe noting, “If they lost the puck they would hunt the guy down and get it right back. Tireless. I would start backchecking and before I knew it we would be transitioning back to offense.”

The twins thrived under the intensity of playing for their dad but it was not always easy. Tober recounts the day Charlie committed to Bowdoin. He had the puck taken from him at the blueline during a power play drill. Coach Gaffney was sure to let everyone on the ice and in the rink know that a future All-American at Bowdoin just lost the puck playing with it on the blueline.

No doubt the culture was very serious but the roadmap to success was simple – always compete, be accountable, prepare, and, most of all, leave it all on the ice. The sustained success and competitiveness of Toll Gate hockey under Coach Gaffney made the strict and demanding culture easier to accept. That and the simple fact that if you went to Toll Gate to play hockey, Coach Gaffney would find a way to get the absolute best out of you.

Coach validated every player’s role on the team by pushing players out of their comfort zone. He would inspire players with encouragement like “blocking a shot is like scoring a goal.” And his teams always responded to his coaching style by being the toughest draw in the state playoffs. Nobody ever wanted to play Toll Gate in a playoff series.

The brothers were co-captains their senior year at Toll Gate and both earned All-State honors in 1990 & 1991. After high school, they took their talents to Brunswick, ME to play hockey for the Polar Bears of Bowdoin College. There they would play for Coach Terry Meagher. It was the perfect match for the twins. Their dad had laid the foundation and Coach Meagher unleashed the twins’ creativity, giving them more freedom and removing the pressure of worrying about making mistakes. The combination of these two mindsets made the Gaffney boys unstoppable in their four years at Bowdoin.

Freshman year, Charlie recalls Coach Meagher putting a big, lanky guy on the wing with him and Joe. He was not impressed with this kid and was not even sure he would make the team. But Charlie was wrong, as the chemistry between the three players was immediate. Charlie, Joe, and Marcello Gentile stayed together as a line for all four years and all three players benefited immensely from always playing with each other.

Charlie remembered how much fun they had playing together and how competitive the team was during their college career. Bowdoin made the ECAC playoffs all four years, played in the finals for three of them and winning it all in 1993. All three linemates are at the top of Bowdoin’s all-time points list with Charlie’s 228 points leading the way, followed by Joe’s 183. Marcello is fourth with 172 points and first in career goals with 101. Interestingly, the top three career points leaders in Bowdoin history are all Rhode Islanders with John McGeough (Bishop Hendricken ’82) third on the all-time career points list.

Charlie and Joe’s names are all over the Bowdoin College hockey record books. Both are inductees in the Bowdoin Athletic Hall of Honor. Charlie was also a 3-time All American at Bowdoin and the Polar Pears’ only ever ECAC Player of the Year. But the boys were not the only family members excelling in athletics at Bowdoin. Not to be outdone, sister Susan was the captain of the Polar Bear field hockey team and garnered back-to-back All-American Honors in 1995 and 1996.

While Charlie and Joe were excelling at Bowdoin, the Toll Gate Titans were still battling in the Rl Interscholastic League. Coach Gaffney’s squads were still chasing a spot in the finals and a chance at that elusive state championship. John Gaffney was now playing for his dad and the Titans appeared in back-to-back state championship series.

In 1996, versus Mount St. Charles, they lost in OT in game 1 of their best-of-three finals series. They bounced back the next night handing Mount their first loss of the season with a 3-0 shutout behind the netminding of Sarah DeCosta, Rl Hockey Hall of Fame enshrinee and future US Women’s OIympian. However, the Mounties prevailed in game 3 for their 19th consecutive state crown. With John captaining the team the following season, the Titans again made it to the finals only to fall again to the Mount.

John recalls how effective the “us against the world” mentality that his dad imparted on the team worked to motivate them against the private schools. Coach Gaffney always played the “public vs private” card with his players and it resonated with his teams.

He would come to use it, as well.

After being named All-State his senior year, John went on to play at the University of Connecticut. When his college playing days were over, he knew he had a lot more left to give to hockey and turned to coaching.

He began his coaching career at E.O. Smith High School in Storrs, CT and then took a grad assistant position at American International College. Over that time was also following in his father’s and uncle Chuck’s footsteps, teaching at the Prout School, a small private, Catholic school in Wakefield, Rl. He soon became the Crusader’s head hockey coach, finding himself facing challenges similar to his dad’s when playing against the big private schools. It was very much David vs Goliath all over again while successfully guiding the team from Division III to Division I.

When discussing his approach to coaching, John sounds very much like his father. He creates a culture of accountability, intensity, and preparation. But he is quick to note that things are a bit different now and there is a big focus on relationships and the mental and emotional aspects of being a student-athlete. He joked, “There are more hugs!” It’s no surprise that John values the relationships that he has with his players. He clearly learned that from his dad who always cultivated strong, lasting bonds with his players.

John fondly recalls summer skates in the Warburton rink at Thayer Arena where former Toll Gate players back from college would compete with current Toll Gate High School players. The scrimmages were super high intense and Coach Gaffney would not hesitate to get on former players who were not working to his standards.

John remembers his dad yelling at former Titan and current NHL coach, John Hynes, during one of the skates saying, “Hynsey, you gotta backcheck harder than that!” The on-ice expectations for Toll Gate players never changed in the eyes of Coach Gaffney even when they graduated, but the off-ice relationships always evolved and grew into mutual admiration and deep, deep respect.

The last of Mike Gaffney’s boys, twins James and Stephen, came to Toll Gate in the early 2000’s to play for their dad. They continued to battle the best hockey teams in Rl. Unfortunately, they could not get by the semi-finals during their high school years. The boys were co-captains their senior year along with being named Projo All-Staters.

After graduation, the twins took their academic and athletic talents to the University of Rhode Island. In 2006, under the tutelage of Joe Augustine, the Rams went undefeated in league play and captured their third consecutive ECHA regular season league championship. The team would garner URI’s first-ever regular season #1 ranking, culminating in being crowned ACHA Division I National Champions, their first ever, with a 36-2-3 final record. James and Stephen would go on to serve as team captains their senior year and eventually find careers in law enforcement working as Rl State Police Troopers.

Mike Gaffney stepped down as the head coach of Toll Gate hockey in 2003 when Stephen and James graduated from high school. In 2004, the Toll Gate Titans broke through to win back-to-back state titles under longtime assistant-turned head coach, Will Parker, by beating Mount St. Charles and sweeping Bishop Hendricken. In doing so, they snapped Mount’s consecutive state championship run at 26 titles in a row and becoming the first public school to win a state hockey championship since East Providence did it in 1975.

The entire Gaffney family left an indelible mark, expending a lot of blood, sweat, and tears over the years, that led to that first state championship win for Toll Gate. In fact, every player and team that came before 2003 had a hand in that momentous victory, fostering the belief that, yes, a public school hockey team can compete and win versus the Big Three.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best, “It’s not the destination. It’s about the journey.” And what an amazing hockey journey that was for the Titans to get all the way to the top!

As the Gaffney family legacy closes in on almost 100 years of Rl hockey success, it is hard to imagine another family having such a sustained and profound impact on our local hockey community.

As players and coaches, the family has certainly cemented itself as Rl hockey royalty. And what makes this story so amazing is that it is still being written. Most recently, Cam Gaffney incredibly became a fourth generation family member named to the Providence Journal All-State hockey team while playing for East Greenwich High School.

Regardless of future championships and awards, it is likely there will always be a trait traceable to the Gaffneys and their patriarch that will be emblematic of the teams they play on or coach. You will find leadership. You will find humility. You will find service to others. And family will always come first. And, oh yeah, you will most definitely find gritty, intense, and immensely talented hockey players and coaches!

By Sean McNamara