If we're going to change the game it has to start at eight, nine and 10 years old. When we were that age we'd go to the pond or backyard rink and throw a puck on the ice and play five on five, or seven on seven. You get this creativity and this imagination that comes from within, just having fun on the pond. Now kids are so focused on team play, and the coaches are so focused on positioning. You can't change it at the NHL level.
Look at guys like Larry Bird and George Brett and John McEnroe; that's what they did in their careers. They all wanted to be the guy under the microscope late in the game or late in the match. So you just take on that know-how that that's part of your responsibility, and you learn that's what makes it exciting. That's what makes it fun!
My best friend had a hockey scholarship at Ohio State, so I would get a couple of pairs at the beginning of the season and send them down to him. They practised two hours a day. He'd skate in them for three weeks then ship them back.
What you want to do with your best players is, it doesn't matter how many goals and assists they get, but when they get goals and assists. The best players get them at the most important times, and that's when we need those guys to come through.
When I broke into professional hockey at 17 I was told that I was too small and too slow and I wouldn't make the NHL. Now it's kind of flip-flopped and the sense is I can't be a good coach because I was a great athlete.
When I played in a 21-team league, there were six or seven goalies who were just average, and the equipment and pads were smaller. I came in the right era. I played for the right team. It was all speed, and creativity and imagination.
As a player, you have one responsibility, to focus yourself and be ready for the game. As a coach, your responsibility is to get 20 guys ready and have them all on the same page. If you can't get every guy ready every night, you're going to struggle.