Norm Dann's Life in Hockey
|Wednesday, September 20, 2017|
Norm Dann has an extensive history in hockey that has taken him all across North America, playing at many different levels and experiencing the best of what the game has to offer. He has the same arc we so often hear about, where people have to temporarily step away from the game, but are soon back on the ice for good because they realize how big of a hole it leaves behind.
"I was born and raised in Port Dalhousie, just outside St. Catharines, so, I’m a “Port Boy” with all the notoriety that brings. I started skating on the rink in the backyard at about of two years of age on “Bob” skates and began hockey around five.
I played hockey and box lacrosse up through juvenile, playing defense for the first five years until our goalie got hurt during a game on the road and our coach “volunteered” me to hop into the cage. I've been a goalie ever since!
I rowed high school and club crews, winning a gold medal in the Royal Canadian Henley. This led to me giving my hockey gear away and moving to Florida in 1956 to row for the University of Tampa. After being in Florida two weeks, I was surprised to find out that they had hockey at the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg and I got back into the swing of things using baseball gear until I could get hockey equipment from Canada.
I played in the first COHA World Cup in St. Petersburg in 1978 where I had to wear a mask for the first time. It scared the hell out of me. First time I was ever scared in the net. Thought my heart was going to stop but we ended up winning our 50+ division.
We’ve organized and taken one or two teams to all of the CARHA Hockey World Cups, except two – one due to injury and one because of finances.
I skated with the Tampa Bay Lightning for three years in their month-long conditioning camps. The last year to skate with the lads was Vinny Lacavalier’s rookie year.
I played in several NHL alumni, NHLPA and Fantasy camp games. Went on to initiate the USA Hockey Adult National program in 2004 and was named Ironman of the Year in 2006.
Two years later, introduced the Women’s 50+ Nationals program. Helped run the Nationals program until 2015.
I recently played with the 70+ Minnesota Old Timers’ Hockey Club for three years where we held a record of 41-1, one of the greatest teams I ever played on.
I regularly take teams of 50+, 60+, 65+ and 70+ to Nashville, Greensboro, Vancouver, Parksville, British Columbia, Las Vegas, Ft. Meyers and other venues.
We’re looking forward to taking teams in the 60+, 65+, 70+ and, possibly 75+, age divisions to the 2020 World Cup in Richmond, if we can assemble four teams of we old farts."