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Where Are They Now? ~ Dan Tessier













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20 Minutes with Tessier

By: Melissa Monette















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Dan Tessier

       As I sat in the food court at a local mall, waiting for Dan Tessier to come by, I had many things on my mind.  Has he changed much?  Will he be as nice as everyone remembers him?  Are my questions to direct and blunt? Should I rethink my idea for this feature? 

      My brain became bombarded with silly incantations that maybe, just maybe Dan would not show at all, and that I would be left sitting here, at this table, looking stupid and all alone.  Then after a few minutes, Dan came right over to the table and sat himself down.  "Hey there," he began, "wow, last time I saw you, you where, well... younger, about four years I'm guessing!  How has everything been going?" Instantly, I knew that it was not a silly idea to do this interview.  Dan was the exact same person he had been when he played with the Ottawa 67's, only he was well... four years older.  When asked what he had been up too since his time with Ottawa, Dan had quite a bit to say.  He first told me about his hockey school. 

      The Dan Tessier Hockey School, was created in 2002 and was designed to help give back to the community that Dan has lived in and loved for so long.  His camp is the least expensive of all hockey camps in the Ottawa area and offers children a chance to improve their hockey skills.  His teaching lessons expand from the ice to the classroom where Dan, along with other instructors, teach the members of the camp the basics of hockey.  These include ways in which to improve their game, by understanding plays and techniques any good hockey players needs to know before hitting the ice.  The children also participate in many other types of sports.

      "We make every game that we play team orientated.  It is necessary for kids to understand how very important teamwork is.  If you learn at an early age, then it will allow you then to prosper down the road in their hockey career.  Enjoying yourself and having respect for your teammates are both very important," said Dan. 
















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The Hockey School has numerous training instructors.  With Dan as the school director, he has brought on a hand full of other big names in the world of local hockey.  Corey Walkling, has played in local hockey programs and has 12 years of hockey and skating instruction under his belt.  Matt Ouellette, has played hockey for the Hawkesbury Hawks of the CJHL, the University of Ottawa and has great team tactics.  Derek Roy, is a veteran and captain of the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL, was drafted to the Buffalo Sabers in the second round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, and has won many awards while playing for his current team.  The goaltending instructor is Ben Van Der Klok, and has played hockey for many different teams.

Dan often has old 67's teammates come in and talk to the children about hockey.  Former players such as Zenon Konopka and Jon Zion help make the children's camp experience the best it can be while teaching then the necessary skills to follow their idols footsteps to make it to the NHL.

Aside from the Hockey School, Dan has played hockey in Germany for the past few years.  "Playing in Germany is a great experience," Dan commented.  "It is different from Canadian Hockey, but I like it just as much."  The hockey is different mainly because there is no redline and the style of the game is much different.  There is not as much hitting or fighting and this allows for more skilled players who have a smaller build, such as Dan, a chance to play professional hockey.  Penalties are much more strict and players are called for any hooking or tripping.  All penalties count towards your total in penalty minutes, including ten-minute misconducts.

In Germany, Dan also explained that the fans never sit.  They consistently stand to watch the game.  At the end of the match, all of the players skate around the rink and shake the fans hands.  Win or lose, the players must thank the fans for coming out and supporting them during that game. 





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Dan playing in Germany.

"The fans always stay around for us to shake their hands.  It is a tradition and they expect it.  It is a polite way for the players to tell the fans how much they appreciate all their support."

 The fans are always important to Dan and he knows that his appreciation and respect for not only the fans, but for the game and the people involved with it, did not develop on its own. 

"I know that without being under the guiding wing of Brian Kilrea, I would not be the person that I am today.  He helped make me a better person.  He opened my eyes to what is out there for not only me, but the fans and my teammates," Dan confessed.  Dan knows that Kilrea's push to be a better person has helped him greatly and that when he sees someone smiling and having a good time do to something that he has done, that makes it all worth while.

"I have a profound amount of respect for Brian Kilrea.  He is a great coach and that is the biggest thing to any hockey player.  You need a good coach, and with Killer, you can always count on outstanding coaching."  

"When you see what you can do for everyone else, it really makes you feel good.  It makes you want to give everything you do one hundred percent of your effort.  Killer taught me that, and I will never forget it."   

With his now ever busy life, Dan has made time to try and settle in.  He recently purchased a house in the east end of Ottawa and hopes to live here for a very long time. 

With his Hockey School up and in full swing, his new house and the upcoming hockey season, it occurred to me that Dan had taken time out of an exhaustingly busy schedule to come and fill me in on what has been happening.  In him doing this, it just goes to show that, maybe, just maybe, what he was saying about respecting others was exactly right. 

As I got up to leave, with a smile on my face, I thought about what Dan had said, "If you can make a person smile, not matter how little the task, it makes it all worth while."  With that in mind, I collected my things and headed to school thinking that maybe he was right.  It never passed my mind that I would not be the only person smiling as I sat there, because I am smiling as I write this, and you are smiling as you read just how important fans and life are to Dan.  One minimal task has just made over one hundred people smile.