In his most recent article for The Athletic, Dan Robson shares the incredible story of the BCHL’s Penticton Vees and their NHL pedigree. Anyone who knows junior hockey out West has heard of the Vees throughout the years. After all, their alumni list includes some of the game’s biggest stars like:
Not bad… not bad at all.
But a new cast of characters, with familiar NHL names, are writing a new chapter in Vees history together. That’s because the sons of former NHLers Scott Niedermayer, Doug Weight, Tony Amonte, Mike Sillinger and Stu Barnes all suited up for the Vees this season. In fact, two of Niedermayer’s sons played for the Vees, bringing the grand total of NHL prodigy on the Vees’ roster to six. Incredible.
Jackson Niedermayer, Danny Weight, Lukas Sillinger, Tristan Amonte and Jack Barnes all played prominent roles with the team this past season while 16 year old Joshua Niedermayer managed to work his way into a few games, as well.
Niedermayer, who was quietly enjoying retirement in Southern California, has relocated his family to Penticton, BC so that his boys can follow their hockey dreams.
“I thought I’d retired from hockey,” he says. “But apparently not.”
“It’s a totally different perspective,” he says. “You want him to do well, obviously. And as a hockey dad, you’re trying to balance it all. … I try to give them, hopefully good, advice. But at the same time, you try not to be too overbearing. They’re going to have to try to figure some things out on their own and go through it at their own pace.”
So, how tough is it for these kids? I could imagine that they have a pretty big target on their backs.
“Everyone is always chirping, ‘Oh, your dad played in the NHL and you’ll never be as good,’ or whatever,” says Tristan Amonte. “I mean,*obviously*.”
“We’ve heard everything,” he says. “I don’t really get rattled. I just give them a smile and try to do something on the ice. … It gives you more motivation.”
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