Saturday, 3 August 2013

Harry Neale's Speech

Harry Neale has been in and around the game of hockey for a long time. He has played, coached, and is now a broadcaster. One of the things that not a lot of people realize is that Harry Neale got his first professional coaching job with the WHA's Minnesota Fighting Saints in 1972 when he was hired as an assistant coach. He replaced head coach Glen Somnor in 1973, taking the reins to the Fighting Saints until they eventually folded after the 1975-76 season. It's not often that one finds a camera or recording device in a dressing room for a pre-game speech, but Harry Neale's entire speech was recorded in 1975 before a game against the Winnipeg Jets!

Neale's speech isn't groundbreaking in any way nor is it a rallying cry for his troops. It's simply the gameplan that he wants the Fighting Saints to use against the Jets in Minnesota. While watching the video, watch for the patented clear boards that the Fighting Saints had. And it seems entirely wrong to see fully-dressed hockey players brushing their hair in front of a mirror before the game. I get that helmets were optional, but rarely did one finish the game with his hair looking as it did when he skated out. It was a different era for sure!

Here's the video from Classic Hockey TV. Enjoy!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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