"Rinks don't need to be money pits" – Colleen O'Shea



That’s right, we’re at the rink,

Tonight we’re at the Foyer de Loisirs in Saguenay, Quebec, practicing with the Wild de Jonquiere Pee Wee “A” team. Well, Nic is practicing. Me, I’m busy, working on my book.

I have more than a few people to thank for this. The first is Johanne Bouchard. If she hadn’t sent me an email a couple of months back, then I would never have spent the last three months helping her get back in the game. Johanne is many things but when I first met her, she was helping American hardware and software companies find additional revenues by pursuing international distribution. Always a trail blazer, a mould breaker and innovator, she is a coach and confidente to Boards, CEOs and executive teams and the Chief Advisor for a York University students group called STEMiacs which will bring students together with industry in a mentoring program they intend to take globally. I know because I, too, have been involved. I suggested both the name and their tagline, “Empowering your future” – but the rest is up to them. And I know they are going to be great.

Anyways, I mention Johanne because on her blog this week she talked about how important it is to take some time out of your busy life to reflect on the year behind you to see where you are, what has worked, what hasn’t, whether you take people for granted, how you can aspire to be the person you’ve always wanted to be. In my role with Johanne, I was the first one to receive her blog post, and it made me take a look at where I am, and where I want to be. Those are big questions, but she has inspired me.

Next, Johanne brought me in contact with Leona Laurie, who is also an exceptional woman. She is a social media coach, instructor and soon-to-be published author and I was one of a select group of people to review her book. Not only do I enjoy her positive prose — she speaks as clearly and emphatically as she writes — but I enjoy her ideas. She doesn’t know this, but she showed me, with her book, that I, too, can write a book. So I’m going to do that.

There are others too that I need to give a shout out to. They include the coaches, parents and players from the Southern Illinois Ice Hawks where my life as a hockey mom first began. I picked up a lot of great friends there and, missing you, I tried to keep you up to date with my This Week in Quebec emails, that went from being monthly to weekly to missing completely from your inboxes. But you liked what you got from me and encouraged me to write, so I’m going to pin it on you if I actually make something out of this.

Yet others include the Scottrade Center, the St. Louis Blues organization and all the Canadians that have ever been involved in that great team including Bernie Federko, Darren Pang, Tony Twist, Bad Shaw, Ken Hitchcock and Wayne Gretzky.  Although none of you know me, each of you has had an influence on my life as a hockey mom. When I win the lotto — or get on the New York Times bestseller list — I still want to build an eco-friendly double-decker ice complex and I will anchor it with a family friendly bar paying homage to The Great One.  Because life is too short to forget your dreams.

I also need to thank the coaches, parents and players of the OHMJ – the Minor Hockey Organization in Jonquiere, Quebec, where Nic is now playing. We’re only a year into our ‘land of hockey’ experience and who knows where it will take us. All I know is you need to lace up if you’re gonna skate.

Finally, I wouldn’t have had the subject matter if it weren’t for my son and his love for the game of hockey. He is a Pee Wee, is not on a national, provincial or regional team — but nevertheless he is great, plays better every week and everytime he’s on the ice he shows up and makes his mom proud.

And I’m proud to be a hockey mom. This is my blog, and a slice of my story.


Colleen O’Shea
December 16, 2014
In the land of hockey


  1. Marc

    Way to go Colleen! You have been busy, and this explains you being of the radar these past weeks. I wish you all the best and most of all, the courage & energy to see this through when the going gets tough to get your name on that NYT Best Seller list. I will personally come all the way from Luxembourg to visit your hockey rink and have a Stella at the bar.

    • colleenoshea

      Thanks, Marc, I’ve done a lot of writing in the past year, but nothing else that I wrote about really worked. I wasn’t legitimate, didn’t know the subject matter deep enough, was never satisfied with where anything I wrote was going. I think this is it. The puck has dropped!

  2. Amy Tyrala

    Being a believer that things are meant to be, this is one of those times. I mean, what are the odds that was even available?! Go Colleen!

    • colleenoshea

      Totally! Who’d a thunk it? Okay, it wasn’t hockeymom dot com, I had to put dashes in it, but hey, I’ve been living with dashes and apostrophes all my life! In any event, the book is well under way, I’m aiming at adding to it every day and would like it to be ready by the end of the year. This is crazy, totally aggressive, and insane, but the words are flowing out of me and I have to let my fingers fly before they dry up!

  3. Lisa Milledge

    You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Signed, UNO WHO.

  4. Marc

    Are you going to publish selected chapters or excerpts in your blog ?

  5. Tina

    This is awesome! I can’t wait to read how the story unfolds! It’s gonna be cool reading about some of our adventures! Spoken like a true hockeymom!!!! Go Nic!!!… go give your mama some inspiration! You have definately found your calling! Love hearing your stories, now i get to read them!

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