Career in the game

Adam Sergerie played minor hockey locally and spent five seasons skating for the Lakehead University Thunderwolves, including serving as team captain his final two years.

From growing up and playing much of his hockey in his hometown of Thunder Bay, Adam Sergerie has continued to stay involved in the game.

The former Thunder Bay Kings and Lakehead University Thunderwolves standout has now taken on a new challenge, having recently been appointed the president of operations for the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Taking time to chat, the 34-year-old Sergerie offered some thoughts in this Net Shots Q&A.

NET SHOTS: How did your position with Sherwood Park come about?

ADAM SERGERIE: It's actually kind of a cool story. Awhile back I was invited to play golf by a friend who said they were bringing another friend, one of the owners of the Crusaders.

We got talking hockey. I explained my role at the time which was director of coach and player development with a minor hockey program in Edmonton and we discussed what development should look like. From there, we stayed in touch and when they looked at adding to the organization, they interviewed me to come on board.

NS: What are your main duties with the team?

AS: My responsibilities will be multiple things: To help our owners, coaches, general manager, marketing and media team to do their job to the best of their abilities by lending a hand and creating flexibility for them to focus on their jobs. Junior hockey can stretch people thin and I want to just make sure that nobody feels like they don't have support.

On the business side, we’ll try to generate sponsorship and create opportunities to bring money in for the organization, since we are non-profit. The more revenue we bring in, the more resources we can have.

I will also work closely in player development, scouting and recruitment as well as day-to-day hockey operations. We’re also in talks to have a new rink built.

NS: What are some of your favourite memories playing in Thunder Bay?

AS: That’s tough because I owe everything to my time playing hockey in town. My one year with the bantam Kings in 2001-02 stands out. Being able to play with guys, that to this day, are still some of my best friends was special.

NS: You were captain of the LU Thunderwolves your final two years in the OUA. What did that mean to you?

AS: Being named captain meant a lot. I had Andrew Brown and Jordan Smith as captains before me and I remember being excited, but also really nervous because of how much I admired both guys. They made such a big impact on the program, and me, during my time and I just didn't want to mess it up. I cared a lot about the program and even more so because it was in Thunder Bay.

NS: Why do you think so many players from the city have had so much success elsewhere?

AS: I believe a large part of it is because of the number of rinks we had access to growing up. We had the time and ability to have unstructured fun at the outdoor rinks and I nowadays we don't see that as much. Hockey has become a business and kids are so busy. They don't have the freedom or empowerment to organize a game themselves. Everyone else is scheduling things for them.

NS: What advice do you have for players and their parents as they look to decide on playing junior hockey and beyond?

AS: The most important thing you can do is create a list of expectations that you have in the program that you are looking for. Find programs that put the players wants and needs at the forefront and care about developing them on and off the ice. Just because a team wins hockey games, it doesn't necessarily mean they are serving the player and their needs to help them fulfill their potential. Development should be looked at as a holistic approach and not just an on-ice model.

NS: Any closing thoughts to wrap things up?

AS: This was a great reflection and made me realize just how special Thunder Bay is as a hockey community and just how much it has done for me. Thanks!

Tom Annelin’s column appears weekly in The Chronicle-Journal. Contact Tom at tommyhockey@tbaytel.net.