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NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the ice

Wayne Gretzky, Roberto Luongo, Ryan Getzlaf... NHL hockey dads love talking about their kids. See what they say about their parenting journey.

NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the ice

Photo: Getty Images

Hockey dads

Wayne Gretzky

Canadian hockey legend and new grandfather Wayne Gretzky has five kids with wife Janet Gretzky, née Jones. We love what he's taught them about passion.

“I always tell my kids, ‘You know what? The biggest thing you can have in life is passion,'” he has said. “If you have a passion for going to school and becoming a doctor or if you have a passion for being a good hockey player, or a good baseball player. What happens with passion is that you take that extra step, you put in that extra work, you put in the extra time because you have a dedication and a love for it. People come up to me and say, ‘Could you tell my son how many hours you used to practise?' I say, ‘No, I can't tell them because I didn't think I was practising.'"

Read on for more great parenting quotes from hockey greats>>>>>

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NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the icePhoto: Getty Images

Roberto Luongo

Florida Panthers goalie, Roberto Luongo, says his two kids help him forget when he doesn't do so well on the ice. "[Becoming] changes your views on most everything you look at in life, and the great thing about it is no matter what kind of day I have, she’s always there waiting for me when I get home,” he said shortly after his first child was born. “She makes me forget about rough times on the ice. She loves me no matter what.” 

Read more: Concussions: Tackling the problem head-on>

NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the icePhoto: Getty Images

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Ryan Getzlaf

Anaheim Ducks captain, Ryan Getzlaf, has learned to find balance among work and his three kids with wife Paige. "It's hard to describe," he says. "My wife and I had to reach an understanding, a balance. . . . When I'm here [at], I have to be here and able to focus on what I need to do at the rink. When I'm home, I have to focus on the family."

Read more: Kid talk: What do you know about hockey?>

NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the icePhoto: Getty Images

Manny Malhotra

Montreal Canadiens centre and dad of three Manny Malhotra reflects on the longevity of parenthood—versus life on the ice. "I'm a realist and I understand that someday I'm not going to be a hockey player," he says. "That's part of the game. But I'm always going to be 'Dad,' so I take this role very seriously. I'm always trying to set as good an example as I can for my guys. I think that carries over into hockey: wanting to set a good example for your teammates, trying to lead by example, and doing the right thing as much as possible. That's the comparison you can draw." 

Read more: Confessions of a reluctant hockey mom>

NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the icePhoto: CanesVision documentary

Daniel Sedin

"I'm happy they're all healthy," says Vancouver Canucks winger Daniel Sedin of his three kids. "But [fatherhood] a time when you start to think about all the things your dad did when he was raising you. Why he did certain things and told you certain things. You start to remember things about your own dad."

NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the icePhoto: Getty Images

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Jonathan Bernier

[Fatherhood] definitely changes the way you approach life,” says Toronto Maple Leafs goalie and new dad Jonathan Bernier. “As much as I love hockey, you realize that you’ve got bigger responsibilities than just playing the game. Now you have someone you’ve got to take care of.”

NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the icePhoto: Getty Images

Patrick Sharp

"Every day, it's something new and it's something special," said Chicago Blackhawks and dad of two Patrick Sharp (who happens to be Canadian) shortly after the birth of his first child. "Even just sitting on the couch, the three of us, it's a lot of fun. Everything she does is exciting for us, whether it's a smile or a laugh or whatever."

NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the icePhoto: Getty Images

Marian Hossa

"When you’re talking about hockey, the top I can get in my career is getting the Cup,” says Chicago Blackhawks winger and dad of two Marian Hossa. “Away from hockey in real life, it’s another great win to have a healthy baby and raise her.”   

“The priorities change,” he adds. “I feel now even if I have a great game or a bad game, I come home and I look at the baby and I forget about everything. That’s my world right now. It helps me to take the pressure off my mind and I can enjoy it.”

NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the icePhoto: Getty Images

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Zdeno Chara

Captain of Boston Bruins, Zdeno Chara, is a proud dad of one. “It’s so overwhelming," he said of the birth of his daughter, in 2009. "It’s such an exciting thing in our lives, and we’re looking forward to watching her grow. . . . You can’t really describe, but it’s just  amazing. It’s beautiful, probably the best day of my life.”

NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the icePhoto: Getty Images

Andrew Ference

For Edmonton Oilers captain and dad of two, Andrew Ference, his kids help keep it real. “Having a child and coming home to your kid puts everything in perspective," he has said. "You won’t get too high after a win or too low from a loss, but it’s a good relief either way from the daily grind of the game. When you come home to your child, nothing else really matters. It’s good. Makes you grow up.”

NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the icePhoto: Getty Images

Andrew Ladd

"It was an amazing moment," said dad of one and Captain of the Winnipeg Jets, Andrew Ladd, of the birth of his son, Locklan, last year. "Anyone who's had the chance to witness their child being born — it's unlike anything else. I can't even put it into words."

NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the icePhoto: Getty Images

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Patrick Marleau

San Jose Sharks forward and dad of three Patrick Marleau likens parenting to "zone defense." 

"My wife is with the little one most of the time, and I’m with two older ones,” Marleau has said. “It’s kind of a zone defense. . . . You get to see them grow and I think they enjoy having me around. My middle one loves cars and the oldest still loves hockey. He’s four-and-a-half and we had him out skating a couple of weeks ago. He always plays [road] hockey. They’re swimming now and I’m in the pool every day with them."

NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the icePhoto: Getty Images

Zach Parise

For the Minnesota Wild's alternate captain and new dad of twins Zach Parise fatherhood has exceeded his expectations. “It’s been the greatest thing ever," he says. "I couldn’t be happier. It’s 10 times better than the way people describe it. Everyone says it’s the greatest thing in the world. You hear them, but you don’t really hear them until you go through it and see it and have them at home, it’s incredible.”

Read more: Celebrity parents of multiples>

NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the icePhoto: Fameflynet.com

Jason Spezza

Centre with Dallas Stars and dad of two, Jason Spezza, says being a dad took some getting used to. "Fatherhood is great," he has said. "It slows the pace down a little bit. It's a big adjustment as anybody who has kids knows, but we're in a good routine."

NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the icePhoto: Getty Images

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Ryan Kesler

Centre for Anaheim Ducks and dad of three, Ryan Kesler, leaves it all on the ice so he can be better at home. “I used to be a little pesty at home with my wife and get under her skin a little bit,” he has said. “Now I might be a little more pesty on the ice and take out some of my frustrations if [my] won’t stop crying in the middle of the night.”

NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the icePhoto: Getty Images

More Celebrity Candy fun

Older dads: Celebrities we love>
In light of the study du jour, which suggests it may be risky for older men to start families, here are some of our favourite 40 and over celebrity dads and their adorable kids.

 

NHL hockey dads: Parenting lessons from the icePhoto: Teach/FameFlynet

This article was originally published on Jan 21, 2014

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