Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Former NHL Standout Roberts Stops by Brandon

Former NHL All-Star Gary Roberts was on the ice with the Wheat Kings on Monday.

Roberts was hired as a player development consultant with the NHL's Dallas Stars in mid-October, and has been tutoring Wheat Kings' centre Scott Glennie for the past few days.

"He’s been here for the past couple days and he’s a great guy and he knows a lot about his stuff," said Glennie, who was Dallas' first round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, "I was really happy that he came down here to see me. I really appreciate that."

Roberts has trained several young players during the past few off-seasons near his home in Ontario, including the Stars' James Neal and Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos.

"It's all about recovery. It's really about what you do, day-in and day-out, to be the best player you can be," said Roberts on Monday afternoon, "That comes from what you do off the ice in your workouts, what you do in your preparation, how you take care of yourself, are you getting your rest, nutritionally, are you eating properly? All little things and little tips that I believe will help these guys be better players and better athletes."

Roberts, who played more than 1,200 games over 22 seasons in the NHL, also says taking time to develop and maintain on-ice skills is just as important.

"You've got to be working on your craft, as they say, you have to be working on your skills," said Roberts, "I look at Steve Stamkos. Every Wednesday, in the summer, he just goes out and works on his skills. That means shooting the puck, stick-handling. As you're getting stronger, I think it's important to continue to do that."

Roberts actually credits former Wheat King Brad McCrimmon with helping get him started on the road to off-ice training when the two were teammates with the Calgary Flames in the late 1980's.

"For me, Brad McCrimmon taught me how to work. We had some fun, but I can remember many mornings when he'd wake me up and say Roy, we had our fun last night but let's get on the road and get our run in before it gets too hot. He really taught me how to be a good pro," says Roberts, "Part of the reason for me being here and talking to the team today is that I know how much he helped me, and hopefully there's a couple of young Brandon Wheat Kings that'll look back on me being here today and hope that I helped them along in their careers."

Roberts and McCrimmon helped the Flames to their only Stanley Cup Championship in 1989.

Chaff...I'll have my complete interview with Roberts on one of the intermission shows during this weekend's two-game road trip for Brandon...the Wheat Kings had the latest stop in the Minor Hockey Caravan Monday night, with Mark Stone, Liam Liston and Spencer Galbraith hitting the ice in Elkhorn...The Star-Ledger reports Brandon product Bryce Salvador of the NHL's New Jersey Devils rode a stationary bike on Monday. Salvador, who's been sidelined all season with a concussion, also flew with the Devils to Montreal for Pat Burns' funeral, all positive signs in his recovery.

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