A thank you and farewell to Mallory's Playbook
Honestly, I don’t even know where to start this one.
I’m thrilled to share with you all that I have been offered and have accepted the role of Video Coach and Coordinator, Hockey Operations with the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings.
Words can’t even describe the elation and excitement I’ve experienced over the last week.
Officially, this is my final Mallory’s Playbook post for the time being. I wanted to take the time to make it a good one and update everyone on this development in my life.
This type of role has been something I’ve worked tirelessly towards since entering the Sport Management program at Brock University back in 2015.
I knew pretty early in life that my playing ability wasn’t going to carry me anywhere in the game of hockey. I played twelve seasons of travel ‘A/AA’ hockey in my hometown St. Thomas and one season of Junior ‘C’ hockey in Niagara Falls before suffering a significant concussion and hanging up the skates for good at 18.
I became thoroughly aware that if I wanted to make something of myself in the game of hockey, it would have to be on the business/operations side of things; so I pursued it, and pursued it hard.
In my second year at Brock, I landed a role as a Video Analyst with Stathletes. I was there for two years. To date, it’s been one of the most valuable working experiences of my life. It’s helped to shape the way I watch and analyze the game of hockey.
In the fourth and final year of my bachelor’s degree, I landed an internship as General Manager of the Brock University Women’s Hockey program.
From there, I transitioned to Assistant Coach & Director of Analytics with the team and have served in that role for two seasons now.
As Covid put the world on pause, I started writing this newsletter to provide myself with my hockey fix for the season while I completed my Masters degree.
The non-OUA season also afforded me unique and exciting opportunities to scout and write for Future Considerations Hockey and McKeen’s Hockey, two NHL Draft publications I had followed religiously for years prior to starting producing my own content in the public space.
I even got to write a few pieces for Kevin McLelland at hockeytraining.com, a figure I’ve followed and learned from for years as a minor and junior hockey player through his YouTube videos.
Through it all, I never would have expected Mallory’s Playbook to grow into what is has. I quite literally started it for fun to be able to share some of my ideas and thoughts about the game of hockey.
Nearly a calendar year (352 days) and 423 email subscribers later, I am saying farewell to an outlet that has truly become part of my identity. It’s incredibly bittersweet.
I’ll also be finished writing publicly with McKeen’s and hockeytraining.com for the time being, two awesome platforms that graciously gave me an opportunity to provide my insights on the game of hockey.
The fact that more than four hundred of you agreed to have me send my thoughts on hockey directly to your email inboxes means the world to me. There are no words for the gratitude I have for everyone who was kind enough to hit the subscribe button and follow along.
I’ve never even met most of you, but you’re the reason I’ve continued producing content since last July.
And now, the countless thank you’s I owe to so, so many people.
Obviously, an enormous and immeasurable thank you to my parents, my sister, my girlfriend, my family, and my friends for their unwavering support behind my pursuits in life. Without you, this opportunity in Edmonton doesn’t exist for me.
Thank you to my lifelong friends: the boys from 15 Pelham Road during our undergrad days at Brock University. The best years of my life to date by far.
Thank you to Meghan Chayka, Neil Lane and Terry Chayka for giving me an opportunity to work for a leading private hockey analytics firm at a young age.
Thank you to Drs. Chris Chard, Kirsty Spence, and Shannon Kerwin, who continue to guide me through my Masters experience and have been irreplaceable professors and mentors throughout my tenure at Brock.
Thank you to my Masters cohort; you have been beyond supportive through my MA journey and I know you will continue to be as we all near the home stretch of our graduate degrees.
Thank you to Jack Han, Connor Cadaret, and Greg Revak for being such supportive, passionate, and open-minded teachers and virtual friends through our collective hockey coaching and newsletter endeavours. You all have taught me so much, and I am a better hockey mind for it.
Thank you to the countless incredible people I have connected with through my newsletter and Twitter journey. There are so many bright minds in this game with such incredible futures ahead of them. I’ve learned so much from all of you and I’ll continue to consume your content and cheer you on from behind the scenes.
Thank you to Ryan Stacey and the Hockey Minds Podcast for allowing me the opportunity to present at the Hockey Minds Conference with so many other talented hockey minds.
Thank you to Storm Astolfi for the incredible logo designs for Mallory’s Playbook; this newsletter isn’t what it is without your creativity and first-class work.
Thank you to Jeff Dykeman, my invaluable mentor and pseudo life coach. Your guidance and advice has helped to steer me through a myriad of life experiences and big decisions over the last two years. You’re the best.
Thank you to Aaron Vickers and Justin Froese for reaching out and giving me an opportunity to write for FC; it was a privilege to produce content for a leading public NHL Draft outlet.
Thank you to Rob Howard, Ryan Wagman and Brock Otten for providing me the opportunity to write about the 2021 NHL Draft for a first-class publication at McKeen’s, one that I've followed and consumed for years. Being part of a published and printed NHL Draft Guide has always been a dream of mine, and I’m beyond thrilled that I was able to do just that in my short time with such a great scouting outlet.
Thank you to Will Scouch and Sam McGilligan, with whom I’ve worked directly and have learned a lot, as well as shared several laughs with since joining McKeen’s. You are two of the brightest minds in scouting and have such incredible futures ahead of you.
Thank you to Kevin McLelland for reaching out and allowing me to produce content for such a prestigious hockey site, it was a true honour.
Thank you to Vicki Bendus for being an incredible teacher and influence in all aspects of sport performance and analytics in hockey. You are one of the most intelligent people in the game and Brock is so lucky to have you.
Thank you to Corey Williamson, Brad Nicholson and all the staff, players and volunteers from my years with Brock University Women’s Hockey. You gave me a chance to further my knowledge and abilities in the game and I am forever grateful.
Of course, the largest thank you, by far, goes to my incredible boss, mentor, friend and teacher of three years, Brock University Women’s Hockey Head Coach, Margot Page.
I’ll never forget our initial phone interview three years ago that turned into what seemed like two old friends shooting the breeze over the game we love so much. Reading that sentence back, it’s impossible to fathom that it’s been three years already. Time truly doesn’t exist when you’re immersed in the experience of a lifetime.
I cannot even begin to express my gratitude and thanks for giving 21-year old me the chance to become part of such a special program in such a significant role.
You have been the most important hockey influence in my life; a patient teacher, a passionate leader, an invaluable mentor, and a lifelong friend. I owe so much of who I am as a hockey mind and human being as a whole to you.
And finally, an enormous thank you to Kirt Hill, Brad Lauer, Luke Pierce, and Oilers Entertainment Group for providing me with this incredible opportunity with such a storied junior hockey franchise. I’m ecstatic to be an Oil King.
Departing the women’s hockey program at Brock is by far the most difficult goodbye associated with the acceptance of my new role with the Oil Kings.
I have been afforded so many unique learning experiences and opportunities with this program to develop myself in the aspects of coaching, player development, analytics, video, communication, and teaching. Opportunities like the one I had with Brock aren’t common, and I cannot even begin to express how grateful and thankful I am for the experiences the last three seasons have provided me with.
Going to Seymour-Hannah every day became my favourite part of each day. This program has truly become ingrained in my identity. I will forever be a Badger and I’ll be following closely as you no doubt compete for a National Championship this season. There is such an incredible group of players suiting up for this program; it’s an exciting time to be a Brock hockey fan.
It’s quite literally impossible for me to summarize my experiences and thank everyone from the past three years in this post. I owe so many people so much. It truly takes a village.
I’ll be relocating to Edmonton in early August to begin a new and exciting chapter and embark on my career in the game of hockey. I still haven’t wrapped my head around it, and probably won’t be able to until I arrive.
If I may, before I wrap this post up, I’d like to share a couple of my all-time favourite quotes that I’ve held near and dear to my journey over the years.
The first, from Dr. Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, author of From Mindfulness to Heartfulness, Transforming Self and Society with Compassion:
And secondly, from my favourite comic series of all time, Calvin & Hobbes. Be sure to spend quality time enjoying the journey:
And so, I guess this is me signing off one final time from Mallory’s Playbook.
Thank you so much for being a part of this journey. The last year has been one of the most exciting, challenging, and emotional years of my life, and I’m forever grateful for it all.