SUN Hockey Pool

NHLPA starts program to mentor youth


, Last Updated: 5:22 PM ET

TORONTO - Leafs goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere says it would have helped to have health and hockey tips from his heroes on the ice while he was growing up.

And now thanks to a new mentorship program, kids playing hockey today can have those advantages.

The National Hockey League Players’ Association announced, Monday, the Allstate All-Canadians program — a mentorship website where young players can get information from NHL stars on nutrition, hockey skills, fitness and life and mental skills.

“If I would’ve had the chance to meet some NHL hockey players while growing up in Montreal, on and off the ice, all these little things, I would’ve been impressed enough to listen to them,” said Giguere at the Mastercard Centre where the program was announced.

The website can be accessed at

As part of the mentorship program, retired NHLer Gary Roberts is running a “Next Generation” hockey camp next August at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.

“We will bring on-ice and off-ice instruction elements together to help these players build a strong foundation based on proper training, good nutrition and a love for the game,” Roberts said.

The camp gives 40 of the best bantam-aged played in the country an opportunity to play and be coached by six NHL players who will serve as ambassadors: Jordan Eberle, Eric Staal, Mike Cammalleri, John Tavares, Shea Weber and Giguere.

“I think it’s important and I’m in the position to help a lot of kids,” Giguere said. “Hockey’s given me a lot and if I can give back to the youth, it’s terrific. The most important thing is the kids grow up a good person – maybe not necessarily become the greatest NHL hockey player – just that they have fun.”

Jill Eisenhauer, 14, who plays on the Toronto Leaside Wildcats said the website will help her with tips on what to eat — something she can find confusing without some guidance.

“You can’t perform at your best without energy,” she said. “It’s a good reference and you can see how the NHL players have gotten where they are because of it. It’s good to know what they eat before and after a game.”