Mike Fleming thinks the training of minor hockey players should get back to the basics.
Fleming, his wife Kathryn, and fellow former junior and pro players Ryan Gavigan and Derek McKinlay have formed Bluewater Hockey Academy as a developmental program for the Sarnia area.
“When was the last time someone from Sarnia made it and stuck in the NHL?” asked Fleming, who answered his own questions by noting Dino Ciccarelli and the late Shawn Burr were the most recent.
Ciccarelli retired in 1999 and Burr called it quits a year later.
“And, it’s because of the way we’re developing our players,” Fleming said.
He invited parents dissatisfied with the development their kids are getting in traditional hockey programs to give the academy a try. It will focus on personalized attention, power skating and other hockey essentials.
“Our philosophy is one instructor for every six kids,” he said.
The academy is starting an instructional camp for tyke-aged players Oct. 3 at the Point Edward Arena.
It’ll run Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. over 23 weeks.
Contact information is available on the academy’s Facebook page.
“We don’t just want to collect money,” said Fleming. “We want to make a difference in a child’s life.”
Bluewater Hockey Academy also plans to run three hockey camps next March break, and is working on hosting future prospect games for players interested in playing junior hockey or moving on to college hockey.
“We just want kids in this area to get further (in their hockey careers) than what we did,” he said. “And that’s not happening right now.”