Deeside Dragons’ promotion play-off against Coventry Blaze is the club’s biggest game in recent times. You have to go back to 2006/07 for the last time they reached an end of season shoot-out, with a 4th place finish securing an ENL1 North play-off slot. The catalyst for that run was forward Dan Nadeau. The speedy Canadian burst onto the scene midway through the season, firing 24 goals with 13 assists in just 16 games. Nadeau is now Head Coach with North Winnipeg Satelites in the KJHL and took time out from his busy schedule to speak with C2C.
C2C – What do you remember about your time with Freeze?
DN – The season in Flintshire was a memorable one. I came there late as I was playing in Germany and had trouble getting the money owed to me from the owner. I called around England on my own accord and Gary Shaw at Flintshire seemed to be the most helpful in getting me over so I ended up there. The personal high was qualifying for the play-offs and some of the awesome rivalry match-ups against Blackburn. There was one time against the Hawks where I had two penalty shots in the same game and we edged them out of the play-offs. The low point would have to be not bringing home some silverware with the team. The fans there were great and everyone treated me amazingly. Not winning a title for them is what I regret the most in my hockey career.
C2C – Do you still follow Deeside?
DN – I follow the Dragons very closely and am excited when I see them have success. I’m still very close with a lot of the guys playing there. I think their season has been a remarkable first year under the new name and Fellows & Hughes did a lot of good things to steady the ship. It seems their following is growing, which has to excite the folks at Deeside Leisure Centre and it’s great for everyone involved with the club to see the hard work paying off.
C2C – Have you stayed in touch with any former team-mates?
DN – I try to as much as possible through Facebook and Twitter. The majority of the gents I played with and even some of the juniors I worked with I have on Facebook and watch their progress closely. If some former team-mates or even guys I played against read this please look me up on Facebook. It would be great to see what they are up to.
C2C – How does amateur hockey here compare to Canada?
DN – Amateur hockey here competes for a national title known as the Allan Cup. It’s the oldest hockey trophy in the country and the Amateur league here called Senior “AAA” has different regions. If you win your region you go to the Allan Cup tournament. The players in the leagues are usually ex-NHL, AHL, NCAA and WHL guys or others who’ve played in Europe like myself. I used to play in the league but have since stopped.
C2C – You’re now a Head Coach back home. What can you tell us about that?
DN – I coach here what is called Junior B – over there it would be like U21. It has its moments where it can be tough, as when you’re a coach the only control you have is telling the boys what to do and hope they can go out and execute. I love being at the rink and giving back to the game that gave me so much.
C2C – Tell us a little of your home and work life?
DN – I work in sales over here selling forklifts and other material handling goods. I was married for a bit but that didn’t work out, so now I live with my lovely girlfriend and go and see my son from my previous marriage as much as possible.
C2C – Do you have a message for Deeside ahead of their promotion play-off?
DN – I want to tell them they deserve to be there. Play like champions every shift and be sure to know that at the end of the two games you have no regrets. I’ll be cheering you on from Canada and hopefully that can allow for a few bounces into the back of the Coventry net for you lads. It’s awesome to keep in touch with ice hockey in the UK and I look forward to being able to get back over to Deeside for a legends game one of these years.