The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team have been getting help from an National Hockey League veteran defenseman during practices recently, as Igor Kravchuk took the ice with the team over the past week.
Kravchuk, an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2001-2002 season, is practicing with the team for conditioning during contract negotiations.
No word as to which teams Kravchuk is in talks with. Concordia Head Coach Kevin Figsby believes that the 11-year NHL veteran’s work ethic is the main thing that will rub off on his players.
“When the guys see a work ethic like that, they understand what it really takes to get to the next level,” Figsby said. “It takes a consistent effort on a regular basis.”
“Some guys tend to lose focus during exam periods or school problems and take that to practise with them, but when they see a guy like Igor, they see what it really takes and the effort that has to be put out on the ice.”
The defenceman has been helpful to the team as well, and will be working on certain aspects of their game with them over the course of his time at Concordia, which is undetermined.
Kravchuck has been living in Montreal for the past few years and was looking for a team with high calibre players to condition with.
He became aware of Figsby’s open-door policy for NHL players to practice with the team, and jumped aboard.
Last season he racked up four goals and 22 assists with Calgary Flames and has career totals of 64 goals and 209 assists.
Along with the Flames, Kravchuck has played with the Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues and the Ottawa Senators.
He also won the silver medal with Russia in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
This is not the first time that the Stingers had the presence of NHL veterans at their practices.
Last year, Saku Koivu, Donald Audette and Sheldon Souray were among the Canadiens players that joined the Stingers during rehabilitation from various injuries, and, in Koivu’s case, recovery from abdominal cancer.