A young hockey participant, dryland training previous to on-ice practice, stops at Hannigan’s Sports in the McIntyre Arena. Like hundreds of gamers earlier than him, he asks to get his skates sharpened.
“How might you want them done?” requested Dan “Trixie” Hannigan.
“Three quarters,” is the response.
“Ah, you need to be a goalie,” Hannigan said, with a large smile.
Hannigan has been a fixture at the rink for extra than 20 years. It was 1979 when the person nearby hockey gamers recognize as Trixie began polishing skates.
“It become only a part-time activity when I commenced because I used to get laid off in construction,” he said. “Then I took this up for the iciness and it grew right into a complete-time business.”
It became out to be the best job for a person who loves hockey.
“I played a touch bit,” Hannigan stated. “Everybody played hockey within the vintage days.
“I like looking the children play and I like hockey. You have a look at the kids and you try and improve their recreation. So, when they come in to get their skates sharpened, I try to restore them up so that you can perform a little bit better.”
At age seventy-seven, Hannigan nonetheless enjoys coming to the rink. He loves being around the game. While the little shop sells gadgets like hockey tape and laces, skate polishing is his calling.
“I don’t do as many as I used to do because within the old days there weren’t that many locations. Now there are quite a few places and a number of opposition,” he stated. “I additionally repair hockey device … but infrequently everybody fixes stuff anymore, they simply buy new stuff.”
Hannigan is proudly from Schumacher. The Mac has continually been the center of his hockey universe. His eyes mild up when he talks nearby hockey.
“When the Schumacher Bears have been playing within the all-Ontario juvenile championships, that changed into possibly my preferred time to look at hockey,” he stated. “That changed into 1968, ‘69, ’70.
“I used to teach the more youthful children, the midgets, then we’d circulate them as much as a juvenile. For three years, the little metropolis of Schumacher went for the all-Ontario championships. They played towards all Ontario and had pretty some suitable hockey gamers come from out of right here.
“In one’s days, they allowed you 4 pickups. So, whoever gained, they have been capable of positioned 4 extra players on their group to compete with the larger centers.”
Back then, a neighborhood team taking place a championship run was an occasion now not to be missed.
“This region was once packed at 5 o’clock and the sport didn’t start ‘til 7,” Hannigan recalled. “It was huge and accurate hockey. This changed into junior hockey then. It would be the equal grade as what The Rock is now.”
The area is packed with hockey recollections for Hannigan. He recalls them like they just happened yesterday.
“When the Timmins North Stars had their run, that changed into appropriate hockey too,” he stated. “Then in the early days, once I turned into young, the senior hockey became right here. The mines league, that becomes almost like a pro league, it was very good hockey.
“They might carry in guys to work (to play on the crew). There become the T&S Flyers, the Abitibi Eskimos, the Kap GMs, Rouyn was in for multiple years, and the South Porcupine Porkies.”
Hannigan’s Sports wasn’t usually positioned within the area.
“I moved in right here approximately twenty years in the past,” he stated. “I had a store on Father Costello Drive, and used to make up hockey sweaters — I (did) all the team uniforms.
“When they constructed the skip, I downsized and were given out. I started this. This (skate sharpening) was my number one anyways when I started out out. Mass manufacturing got herein (for uniforms), in which I used to do the entirety hand-cut.”
Hannigan, not handiest loves hockey but also cares about the network. He has been amassing finances to help out local groups.
“I raised up my skate polishing, to present a dollar to the poor,” he explained. “I put out a jar and whilst The Rock is playing, humans will walk by way of and put cash in.
“Last 12 months, we gave $5,500 to the negative, thru distinctive agencies that want the cash. This year, we’re aiming a little bit higher.”
He has a hand-written list preserving tune of donations, dates, and companies.
“Instead of raising up the fee, I made them pay the greenback,” he stated. “Soon because it provides up, I get the meals vouchers for them and that they move and buy the meals.
“There are a few agencies I supply quite a piece to and that they respect it.”
Hannigan expertly finishes sharpening the skates for the younger goaltender. He has no plans to retire absolutely from his publish. His love for the sport is too robust to maintain Trixie away from the rink.