Monday, October 13, 2014

THE CUP IS THE REAL STAR

For events where Lord Stanley’s Cup is the main attraction, even among famous people, Mekkar says that he has no desire to be near the Cup. People around Mekkar notice that he avoids the Cup like the plague. Even when other people go right up to it to take photographs alongside or kiss the Cup like players do. He has mentioned in the past that because he competed for the Stanley Cup as a player, not a coach, he is unable to ever touch it or be photographed with it since he didn’t win it himself.

During the time of Mekkar’s playing career, there were minimum standards such as number or percentage of games played during the regular season and playoffs. Those were factors determined, along with being part of the Championship squad, which individual names were etched on the Cup. He is not sure if those standards still apply.

Mekkar was also a coach for one year, but that team was not in a league to compete for the Stanley Cup, far below it. The native from the Arctic for the most part didn’t like coaching because execution of the plan doesn’t always match the game preparation. Plus, his younger players, their parents, and the league administration grew to resent him. Even though the squad won the Championship; all felt that Mekkar was too intense for coaching and he employed a very hard-driven style. He never returned to coaching after that one season. This especially showed in the training regimen he oversaw regarding his players. Mekkar’s ideas were seen as too strict and tough.

The Arctic Warrior considered what he put his players though was a watered-down version of what he endured as a player. Years later, Mekkar commented that there was a reason why one of his star players rarely seemed to get tired in the third period. It was the case even as that player was later involved at the highest levels of the sport. The former coach credited it to his previous installed work ethics and team training methods. The player was not so sure. Still, almost all on that particular team refuses to speak to coach Mekkar to this day.