SSHoF logoDave King

Builder (2019)


Dave KingDave King is schooled to be a teacher. For him, class is always in session at the hockey rink.

Whether he is coaching from the bench or watching from the stands, he has a piece of paper in his left hand. He takes notes.

When he is on the ice at practice, he has an erase board and a Sharpie at rink side. They're tools of the teaching trade.

He has more know-how now than when he first started coaching hockey in the 1960s, when he helped his dad Robert coach the Greystone Heights community team. But Dave still thinks the same way. He studies. He adjusts and adapts.

We watch the puck. He follows the flow. Hockey for him is about playing angles. It's speed. It's positioning. Make space on offence. Take it away on defence. Read and react.

King has coached the Saskatoon Quakers and the Saskatoon Olympics, the Saskatoon Blades and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. In 1982 he was the first head coach of the Canadian junior program when Hockey Canada decide to have a national selects team go to world juniors instead of sending an individual club.

He has been the head coach of the Canadian team in three Olympics, the most for any coach of a Canadian team sport in Olympic history. He was the assistant coach on the Canadian team for a fourth Olympics. He was general manager of Japan's hockey team in the 1998 Games.

He was on Canada's coaching staff for seven world championships. He coached pro teams in Germany and Sweden, He was the first Canadian to coach in the Russian Super League.

He has coached in the NHL with the Flames and the Canadiens, the Blue Jackets and the Coyotes.

He coaches coaches.

Dave King calls hockey a learning experience.

" (After the game) I came out in the hallway and a couple of ushers were drying their eyes. Men and women in the stands were holding Kleenex to their faces, singing O Canada. That game meant a lot to us, but we didn’t realize it meant so much to so many people. " -- Coach Dave King after Canada defeated the Soviet Union for the world junior hockey title in 1982