Hockey has been very kind to Echo Bay product Tanner Burton.
Burton turned four years of junior hockey, three of which were played as a member of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Blind River Beavers, into a four-year college career and three seasons of pro hockey.
Burton spent the 2016-17 season playing pro hockey in Italy.
The 28-year-old has returned to North America and is now serving as an assistant coach with Concordia University, an American college hockey program in Wisconsin.
While on a recent recruiting trip, Burton took the time to discuss various subject in our latest Q&A.
Q: What is your first sports memory?
A: My first sports memory is skating and playing hockey on an outdoor rink that my dad built for our neighbourhood in our backyard in Brandon, Man. He also built this cool igloo beside the rink with a fire pit in the middle for us to go into to warm up and to put our skates on. As kids we thought it was the coolest setup. Looking back at it now I still think it was pretty cool.
Q: What other sports are you interested in that people wouldn’t expect?
A: I'm pretty big into football now. My first year living in the States, the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl and I was going to school in Wisconsin. The entire state shut down for a month. Needless to say, it was a pretty fun month. I am a Packers fan! I also enjoy watching golf, baseball, and box lacrosse.
Q: Who are three people, dead or alive, that you would like to have dinner with and why?
A: Mats Sundin, because he's my favorite hockey player. Paul Henderson, because he scored the greatest Canadian hockey goal of all time in the 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series and I'd love to ask him about his story and playing in basically a Cold War between Canada and Russia. My girlfriend Sierra Guindon, because asking her how her day went is much better over a nice dinner and a glass of wine.
Q: What non-sports career are you interested in and why?
A: I have always been interested in the accounting world and business. I find analyzing numbers and statistics fascinating along with coming to a deeper understanding of what the numbers mean in a business setting.
Q: What person, living or dead, do you admire most and why?
A: I admire both my parents Tim and Cathy the most. As I got older, I started to realize the amount of time, money, and commitment they put forth to allow my brother, sister, and I to do all the extracurricular activities we wanted to do. The three of us are very fortunate and blessed to have a set of wonderful parents.
Q: If you could be the commissioner for a day, what changes would you make to the sport?
A: If I were the commissioner of hockey, first that is a tough position to be in these days. But I would bring back the outdoor rink hockey leagues. Playgrounds versus playgrounds. This way we could cut overhead costs and allow those kids who can't afford organized hockey a chance to play. The league would be ran by volunteers who have a passion for the game and a desire to give back to their community and the game of hockey.
Q: What’s the most important life lesson you’ve learned?
A: The most important life lesson I've learned is to surround yourself with good people. People who support you, people who don't judge you, and people who want to see you succeed. Take what those that doubted you say and turn it into a positive energy to prove them wrong. Don't give up, and stick with it because everyone's path is different.
Q: What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
A: I've been cut from every AAA/rep hockey team that I tried out for.
Q: If you could have any super power, what would it be?
A: The ability to fly.
Q: If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you bring with you?
A: Water, peanut butter, and a deck of cards.