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Dave Roper got his call to The Show

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Dave Roper got his call to The Show

By Robin Short - The [St. Johns, Newfoundland] Telegram


There are those who contend that Dave Roper talked his way to the National Hockey League.

Roper is almost a month into his new job as one of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ assistant equipment managers. It’s a story of perseverance and ambition, and a love of the game that rivals Carl English’s ascent from tiny Patrick’s Cove, on the Cape Shore, to an NCAA Division I university athletic scholarship, Canada’s national basketball team and a lengthy pro career overseas.

Roper? He’s kind of in the same boat, an improbable rise from apprenticing as a volunteer equipment manager/jack of all trades with the Mount Pearl Junior Blades, to sharpening skates in a cubbyhole within the walls of his hometown rink, the Mount Pearl Glacier, to landing with the Toronto Maple Leafs, all within a six-year period.



It’s how he got into pro hockey to begin with. Working with Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador’s Program of Excellence teams, Roper travelled to Calgary for a Hockey Canada camp — he started off volunteering as an equipment guy, but had enough initiative to get some training through the national body — where he met a guy, who knew a guy and, voila, he’s down in the bayou.

The IceGators were in a pinch for an equipment manager and Scott Burt, assistant coach of the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs, who learned of Louisiana’s plight, recommended Roper (Burt, by the way, played junior with Ryan, just another example of the connect-the-dots-world that is hockey).

It was while he was working in Louisiana that Roper got to know a coach in the Southern Pro league who would later land a job coaching in Norfolk.

Read more at: http://www.thetelegram.com/sports/hockey/2017/10/6/dave-roper-got-his-call-to-the-show.html#

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