Integral Hockey has been keeping broken hockey sticks out of landfills for years, and we have saved hockey
players of all ages THOUSANDS of dollars. Good news spreads fast – it wasn’t long before former NHL defenceman, André Doré,had heard about Integral Hockey and was eager to find out more. After testing out our sticks, Doré decided to join the Integral Hockey family by becoming an Exclusive Distributor in Connecticut. We setup an interview with Doré to share with you a bit about his life after hockey, and why he has chosen Integral Hockey.
Let’s get started:
Tell me about your fondest memory of your professional hockey career…
First time I was called up and played in my hometown of Montreal against the Rangers. We won 3-2, I think I got an assist. The game went by, it was like a blur. By time I got to meet my family at the end of the game, I was given a plane ticket and told “great game, but now we’re sending you back to the minors”.
In 2010, HBO and the NHL teamed up to show fans a behind the scenes glimpse of daily life as an NHLer. Are there any behind the scenes stories that you could share that we would find funny, interesting, surprising?
A couple of stupid things that guys do when they start to get punchy in the airports… one time we’re at the airport in Denver and Nicky Fotiu from the Rangers went out and bought some fishing line and attached it to a dollar bill, and every time someone tried to pick it up, he’d pull it back. It sounds kind of stupid but the more people that tried to pick up the dollar bill, the funnier it got. Just stupid stuff.
There was a teammate of mine, I won’t mention his name, his front four teeth were fake. One time, he took his teeth out and put them on top of his nose and he would walk up to old ladies and say, “Ma’am, have you seen my teeth?”
Who was the most interesting guy that you ever played with?
Two guys that come to mind: Anders Hedberg. When I came to New York, it coincided with his first year there. The most humble guy, he had rockstar looks, he was a real entrepreneur and it was great to listen to him talk about his interests outside of hockey.
Another guy that comes to mind was a defenceman with the Rangers, he’s passed away now, Carol Vadnais. He was a bit of a renaissance man. While everyone else is talking about the nonsense that players talk about, he would be talking about art and sculptors, and grade of cigars. We’d all be looking at him like, “what planet is this guy from?”. But he was a really funny guy, and a lot of guys looked up to him.
How would you compare the sticks of your era to the sticks used in the NHL today?
I played with wood. Back then, we thought they were awesome! You could feel the puck. But with every piece of wood that they use to make a stick, you never really knew what you’d get in terms of consistency. With every dozen that you’d get, maybe 6-8 were usable. Today’s sticks feel like they’re really loaded up and there is a lot of power packed into them. I tend to gravitate towards the newer sticks with a carbon fibre blade.
Aside from being an Integral Hockey Distributor, how much are you involved in hockey today?
My involvement is I help certain high school teams in the US with their positional play. Some coaches who know me will ask me to help out with their D, there may be some special attention in certain areas, so I’m always happy to get out there. Also, from a charitable side, I’m a board member of NYR alumni. So we do a lot of charitable work in the metropolitan NY area.
How did you first get involved with Integral Hockey? Tell me about your experience using a refurbish pro stock stick.
I was sent an email for groups that I may be interested in and saw an entry for Hockey stick repair. I looked at the website and I was curious enough to contact the CEO of the company. I send him a stick and told him that when I get it back that I’m going to beat the crap out of it because I was just so skeptical. I took it to a rink along with a new carbon fibre stick. I alternated taking shots for about 45 minutes – I recall at one point taking a series of rapid fire shots and having to look down to see which stick I was holding. That was my “ah-ha” moment. I decided to move forward from there.
Who do you see as the biggest beneficiary of Integral Hockey?
Men’s hockey. No one wants to spend $300 on a stick when they’re playing on Sunday at 10PM. Young players who are using an older stick with some fatigue, because the repair adds more “pop” to the stick. Families with multiple kids in hockey. I work with college hockey teams with minimal budgets.
What stick do you use now?
CCM Super Tacks, 95 Flex
If hockey players in the Connecticut area are looking to purchase a stick from you, or have their broken stick repaired, where can they find you and your products?
Known as “The Stick Guy” in Connecticut.