Tim Taylor: In Conversation

Let’s play the pretend game for a moment.  Pretend that you are drafted to an Ontario Hockey League team in, oh, say, the 16th round.  That’s a long way down the draft list, and the potential of actually making that team would probably be slim at best.  Further, for someone in that position, the very thought of being drafted into the NHL down the road would be so remote as to be almost laughable.  Yet Tim Taylor, a 16th round OHL pick of the London Knights in 1986, would do exactly that.  After playing with the Knights he would eventually become a second-round draft choice of the Washington Capitols in the 1988 NHL draft and enjoy an 18-year professional career that included stops with 4 NHL teams.  The obvious question for the casual fan would have to be, just how did he pull that off?

“Well, it was a lesson in patience for me.  I contracted mononucleosis the summer I was drafted to London, so there was no way I would have made the team.  I decided to rest, get healthy and then play Jr. B in my hometown of Stratford. By mid season I had some pretty good stats, and at Christmas time I was invited to join the Knights. Things worked out for the best in the long run. “

With that as a backdrop, any advice to parents of players who envision their son as a sure bet for signing that big pro contract?

“Yes.  Just let them play, let them have fun.  Statistically, chances are your son will never make any money playing the game, so just relax.  If it happens, great.  If not, there are a thousand ways to make a living besides being a hockey player.”

Sage advice indeed! As to Tim’s involvement in the Play for a Cure hockey program, he has a very personal reason for participating.

“Our daughter Brittany was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in her early teens.  It was scary, a time of uncertainty for our family.  But with the help of some great health care professionals, Brittany has recovered fully and is now a healthy, happy 23-year-old.  Any chance to help with the fight to beat cancer is one I always try to take up.  I guess you could call it a bit of pay back for me. “

He feels the Play for a Cure concept is a win-win for everyone involved.

“What a great way to help fight the disease.  We all get to participate in the game we love, and in the process, local funds are provided to keep pushing the research envelope.  It’s a wonderful concept and one that is going to be a big hit in the Windsor area.”

Thanks to the assistance of many NHL alumni such as Tim Taylor, the Play for a Cure program is going to make a difference in the lives of both researchers and patients as we advance the cause against cancer.  Thanks, Tim, for putting your time and talents toward this most worthy cause.

 

Vern Stenlund

 

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