SUN Hockey Pool

'Charlie' puts family before hockey

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:50 PM ET

He was one of the scariest SOB’s in hockey, spending some 45 hours in penalty boxes around the NHL.

These days, retired defenceman Dave Manson drags his knuckles to his kids’ soccer games in his home town of Prince Albert, Sask., while dabbling in coaching at the AAA midget level.

“I backed off because my kids were too busy,” Manson, 43, said of his decision to leave the Western Hockey League coaching ranks three years ago. “I wanted to be there for them.”

After retiring from the NHL following the 2001-02 season, Manson spent six years as an assistant coach with the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders.

As a player, Manson spent 17 years in the NHL, including parts of three seasons with the Winnipeg Jets (1993-96) and stops in Chicago, Edmonton, Phoenix, Montreal, Dallas and Toronto.

Five times he stayed out of the sin bin long enough to post at least 30 points, even playing in two all-star games.

Not bad for a guy with a nickname (Charlie) inspired by a serial killer.

“I have no complaints,” Manson said. “I was very lucky to play.”

The highlight of his time in Winnipeg was the memorable playoff series against Detroit in the team’s final season.

“I feel very blessed that I was part of a team that was able to do that for the fans of Winnipeg,” he said. “I met some great people. I spent just about as much time there in the summer. I used to water-ski down on the river, some barefoot skiing. It was always nice to get out in the community because people wanted to talk about the Jets.”

paul.friesen@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos