How to win a Stanley Cup

Fall-Winter 2013
by Mark Reynolds
Kompon-Cup Parade 3

Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Jamie Kompon kisses the Cup at a victory celebration in Chicago (Photo: Chicago Blackhawks)

For most NHL vets, earning one Stanley Cup ring would be a once-in-a-lifetime dream. Jamie Kompon, BEd’89, did it twice in a row – under very different circumstances.

He was an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Kings when they made their surprising run to the Cup in 2012, and again for the juggernaut Chicago Blackhawks earlier this year.

The two teams were polar opposites: the Kings barely scraping into the playoffs, the Hawks starting off their season with a 24-game undefeated streak. So what, other than a particular member of the coaching staff, was the common element? According to Kompon, the road to the two teams’ path to victory was laid atop a foundation similar to what he learned at McGill as an 18-year-old fresh from Thunder Bay: discipline, attention to detail, and faith in one’s abilities.

Kompon credits the Kings’ ability to “keep it chill” during their championship drive, as their successes piled up, and the stakes grew higher.

Chicago kept their poise as well, battling back from the brink of elimination against the Detroit Red Wings. “There was always a confidence that we were going to win – not a cockiness, but an inner, quiet confidence that we would do it.”

The Hawks then squared off against the Kings in the Western Conference Final, and while Kompon still counts many Kings players among his friends, friendship temporarily goes out the window when the Cup is at stake.

“At the end of the day, they were just a team standing in our way.”

 

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