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Stick to your dreams, says Ted Nolan (9 photos)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013   by: Donna Hopper

"Ted is the kind of coach, I think, that can get the most out of young people out of any coach that I've had the pleasure to meet," said last night's master of ceremonies, Bud Wildman, of Ted Nolan.

Nolan, Sault Ste. Marie's Citizen of the Year in 1991, inductee into the Sault Ste. Marie Hockey Hall of Fame, and recipient of the Order of Ontario, was the guest of honour at the United Way fundraising dinner at the Grand Gardens.

The Soo Greyhounds Hockey Club, including head coach Sheldon Keefe, were also in attendance to dine and chat with United Way supporters, and take in the wisdom of the current head coach of Latvia's men's national hockey team.

Explaining his background and describing the experience of growing up without means (his first pair of hockey skates were second-hand and three sizes too big for him), Nolan said: "I really wanted to play [hockey], and I strongly believe, no matter where you're from and no matter what obstacles you have in life, that you really can succeed."

Nolan is living proof of that.

As a young lad without a car, he was unable to travel from Garden River to Sault Ste. Marie to train at a gym, so he developed his own unique conditioning program that utilized his surroundings.

"You have to work with what you have," he told last night's crowd. "I would run along the railroad tracks and hit every tie because hockey players had to have quick feet. I would walk back on the rail because hockey players had to have good balance as well. Then I would grab an axe and run up the hill behind my house because hockey players had to have power. And we also needed to have core strength, so I would chop down a tree."

Because of his perseverance and belief in himself, Nolan went on to play professional hockey with the likes of Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky and Steve Yzerman; was a team member of both the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins; had the opportunity to play in the Montreal Forum, Maple Leaf Gardens, and Madison Square Gardens; went on to coach the Greyhounds to a Memorial Cup championship in 1993; and was head coach for the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Islanders.  

"Whatever dreams and aspirations that you have, stick to it. Things can work out."

The United Way of Sault Ste. Marie and District serves a number of local agencies, including Women in Crisis, the John Howard Society, Sault Ste. Marie YMCA, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Sault Ste. Marie, the Canadian Hearing Society, and the Ontario March of Dimes.

The current United Way campaign runs until the end of March 2013.

To make a contribution, or for more information, please click here

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Comments
12
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
right wing 1/30/2013 7:04:14 PM Report

Reminds me of Rocky Balboa punching the side of beef and running up the stairs with the log on his back.
Using what you have available to your advantage in order to get ahead is a great story and has a great message at a time when positive lessons/teachings are so paramount.
Congrats Ted Nolan.
molder2 1/30/2013 7:50:05 PM Report

You are such an inspiration to your culture! Way to go Ted..
true canadian 1/30/2013 8:10:10 PM Report

Ted is an inspiration to anyone,, all of the sault should be proud, and not just because he is native,, (lets not focus on that subject),,,,
Norm 1/30/2013 9:12:18 PM Report

Wise words from True Canadian.
Lygus 1/30/2013 10:27:48 PM Report

Ted is one of the nicest, generous, unselfish and caring individual I have ever met; not a bad coach either. He worked hard, overcame great challenges and obstacles and yes his dream did come true. Worth mentioning is the fact that there are so many others that work harder, overcome greater challenges, have stronger dreams they pursue with more passion and determination BUT their dream seems to elude them. You may do all and more of the right things that are expected of you but NOT all dream come true. What do you tell that individual? Ted keep up what you are doing and I know that more dreams will come true for more people because of you.
jojoe71 1/30/2013 10:47:23 PM Report

I think that this story should be circulated to all the reserves in Canada. Ted Nolan made it on his own.He should be an inspiration to all FN people.
pony 1/30/2013 11:44:48 PM Report

This has nothing to do with FN, culture, or anything other than Ted Nolan is an amazing person.
moem 1/31/2013 12:01:52 AM Report

We should all be proud of Ted!!

It's strange that so many people have been making rude and often racist comments about FN people such as " they don't pay tax" and " they don't contribute" or " why don't we block the highway on cheque day" " don't these people work" " why aren't there FN doctors lawyers blah blah..... YET when there is a story about a FN man who grew up on the reserve and worked hard to be an inspiration to us all, THEN people want to say " hey let's not focus on the fact that he's FN" or " it's not about culture"???
Well you know what it is about culture, Ted is a successful, respectful and proud Aboriginal man who has helped to put garden river and sault ste Marie "on the map"

Thanks Ted!!!!!!
seen_your 1/31/2013 7:06:46 AM Report

I wish Ted was givin a chance to coach a good NHL team just once.
Cormorant 1/31/2013 8:44:05 AM Report

Just by looking at the faces of the young Greyhound players (photos) as they listen to Ted Nolan speak, you have to realize that here is a respected coach and someone athletes will look up to and listen to. A real leader!
tess123 1/31/2013 8:50:52 AM Report

I HEARD TED NOLANS SPEECH WHEN MY SON PLAYED HOCKEY WHEN TED WAS
ASISTENT
COACH FOR MIKE ZUKE
PLUS TEDDY HAD A HOCKEY SCHOOL WITH FREDDY PERLENI WHEN MY SON WAS 6 YRS OLD MY SON COULD HARDLY SKATE BUT TEDDY WORKED WITH HIM AND MY SON ENDED UP PICKED FOR THE GREY HOUNDS WHEN TEDDY WAS COACH AT 15 YRS OLD BUT AS A MOM CONCERNED FOR MY SONS FEATURE I ASKED TEDDY WHAT WILL HAPPEN NOW TILL MY SON WAS OF AGE TO PLAY ,HE TOLD ME HONESTLY HE WOULD BE PUT UP IN TIMMINS IN THERE HOCKEY FARM AND GET GROOMED
WE HAD TO MAKE A DESION TO LET HIM GO THERE WHERE HE WOULDNT GET PICKED FOR A SCHOOL SCOLARSHIP WE WENT THE SCHOOL WAY
BUT I THANK TEDDY NOLAN FOR HIS HONESTY AND FOR BEING IN MY SONS LIFE TO GO FOR HIS DREAMS AND MY SON DID LIKE TEDDY PUT IN HIS HEAD NOW MY SON LIVES IN ST LIOUS MISSERIE AT A JOB HE LOVES AND MAKING GOOD MONEY
TO THIS DAY WHEN I SEE TEDDY HE ASKS HOW ED IS DOING TEDDY NEVER FORGETS HIS BOYS THAT BECAME MEN
THANK YOU TEDDY FOR BEING PART OF MY FAMILYS LIFE
cjborg 1/31/2013 10:12:51 AM Report

Ted is a true inspiration and a positive force for young, old and in-between... he is most deserving of all his awards and achievements to date...
Comments
12
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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