Dedicated to Sheldon Keefe

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OHL Coach of the year 2014-2015

Gentlemen, There are a lot of people who assume that a long break between series can be a bad thing. I am not one of them. Rather than thinking that a team gets “out of the groove” so to speak…I like to look at it as an opportunity to recuperate, & regroup. I hope you have all used this time to rest, reflect, & connect with your families & loved ones. You all know that I was named Head Coach of the OHL this past week. I am so very honoured, however, a coach is only as good as his team. On that note I want to Thank each and every one of you….” My players”. Our team also includes Joe, AJ, & Rich. Their hard work & dedication played a very big role in winning the Matt Leyden Trophy for Coach of the Year.” We have been blessed with an absolutely amazing general manager MR. Kyle Raftis. He has worked so hard, pushing himself to his limits and beyond to achieve our success. Keep in mind the long list of Business Operators, Directors, Executives, & Owners, without them we would cease to exist. There are more than 100 employees that make the Greyhounds world keep on turning, & no job is to little. With all of that said, the highest gratitude is directed at The Fans of this hockey club. For they are the heart. They pump the blood through the veins that are “The Soo Greyhounds”.

The last few weeks have been awesome. Out the gate with eight straight! I gotta admit it feels pretty good to be on top & you boys have been at your best on the Ice. It feels like it has been a long time since we kicked this Western Conference off against Saginaw in a four game sweep. Guelph Storm came at us with all they had, but we stayed focused & it lead us to victory. Communication, Body language, & Puck handling have improved dramatically. I like what I am seeing out there, less penalties & more strategies. Our climb has been tremendous, but we have not yet reached our destination.

The Erie Otters are hitting the ice with eight straight wins just like us. We have come up against them twice this season, both teams took a win. For the first time in the play-offs, we are taking on an opponent with comparable statistics. Be prepared, because this competition is about to get serious. We have a substantial advantage, our rivals are shorthanded due to Unsportsmanlike behavior. Going in, we must keep our eyes wide open, and look out for fellow players. We must use every opportunity available, whether it be a Power Play, a Distraction Tactic, or simply what we are known for, SPEED! There will be precise and talented players on that ice, on both sides of that blue line.

Raw talent alone does not ensure victory. Effort, Sacrifice, & Loyalty outweigh Brute Force. We must give no less than 100% at all times. Often the greatest opponent is an inflated ego. When taking the Ice, be the same person you were when you started to play hockey. The improvement of physical skills, & awards accumulated are irrelevant in the here & now. Your destiny, the direction your career will take, & the contracts you have signed, signify the future. There is no guarantee in tomorrow, nobody can say for sure what may come. The only “Sure Thing” in Hockey is, unrelenting passion, & Love of the game.

Great moments are born from hard work & discipline. That’s what you have here Thursday night boys. You have earned it. You were born to be hockey players. You were meant to be on this team.
The Essar Centre will be wall to wall red, with 5000 fans rooting for us
This is Our time, on Our Ice in Our City.
We are representing Our Country, Our Flag & Our National Sport
We are the Greyhounds! We travel in a pack! We close in on our opponents from all sides with several members. We wait to Feast & Celebrate together as a Family only after our task is complete.
Now go out there and make me proud.

Written by, Tammy Semande Haman

Inspired by, Sheldon Keefe