It’s in the coaching, not the water: Scotty
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | October 12, 2017|
Former NHL referee, referee-in-chief and Hockey Hall of Fame president, Ian ‘Scotty’ Morrison, attributes Haliburton’s freakish hockey talent to coaching.
“A lot of this started with Jim Gregory and Wren Blair, who started the Haliburton Hockey Haven in the 60s. A lot of the top NHL stars used to come up here, including Bobby Orr one summer, who spent a week coaching. That made a big difference,” Morrison said during an interview with The Highlander.
Troy Binnie is now carrying on that hockey tradition, re-establishing Haliburton Hockey Haven in the summer of 2017.
Morrison added that Haliburton County’s NHL alumni “obviously had some good coaching, by people who cared for the game, and taught them at the ages of six, seven and eight and that has made all the difference. I think the number of people who have been coaching teams up here, and the quality of people who have been coaching, says an awful lot for the development of the players.”
As for Scotty, he became a part of the Haliburton hockey tradition when he bought a cottage on Lake Kennisis in 1965. It was the year he was appointed referee-in-chief of the NHL.
“We went for a holiday at the Royal Resort on Balsam Lake. Joan [his wife] was seven months pregnant. I said ‘let’s go for a drive.’ We had an old Volkswagen. At Carnarvon, when they turned the car, Joan suspected it wasn’t just a joy ride. They drove to a vacant lot with a steep uneven decline to the lake. Joan was keen to get back to a comfortable lounger at the resort. But, Scotty and his sons returned the next day for a swim and a picnic. When he left, he handed over $100 to the lot owner and told him he could consider the lot sold.
They built the cabin the following year and he’s “just loved it up here ever since.”
Hosting Hometown Hockey “is a real, big deal for Haliburton,” Morrison says. He notes it will also be the smallest town to ever welcome the event. But he thinks it’s fitting since no other village has “turned out the NHL players like Haliburton has.”
He’ll be front and centre on a panel with hosts Ron MacLean, Tara Slone and Ron Stackhouse during the Sunday night broadcast.
“I got a call from one of the producers, who asked, ‘Scotty, would you like to be on the show?’ I said, ‘that would be nice’. He said, ‘here’s what we have in mind ... I’ll call you and I’ll tell you what to wear’. I said, ‘You’re alright … we’ll see how that goes’ That’s how detailed they are. That’s why the show’s been successful. “
Morrison said he can’t wait for the weekend.
“I think it’s going to be great … the people will get behind it. When you put something on in Haliburton that is really worthwhile, everybody gets behind it. I’m sure Rogers Hometown Hockey is going to be successful.”
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.