Former Raider Dave Manson speaks to students at Carlton

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Dave Manson speaks to students at Carlton Comprehensive High School on Tuesday afternoon.

A former Raider great was in the hallways at Carlton Comprehensive High School on Tuesday afternoon as Dave Manson was in attendance to serve as a guest speaker.

As part of a student-led initiative, several local guest speakers will speak to students throughout the remainder of the school year.

Grade 9 student Marc Bourdon got the opportunity to conduct an interview with Manson in front of a lecture theater full of his peers. He says he enjoyed speaking with Manson.

“It’s huge. Being a youth athlete myself and trying to make the highest level hockey I can and hearing from Dave (who) made the NHL it was huge. I think that every kid nowadays wants to make it that far. I think Dave is a great role model for kids like us.”

Manson spoke to students about a number of topics including his firing from the Edmonton Oilers earlier this season, how he would stress the importance of academics when he coached for the Raiders and the role of fighting in the game of hockey.

Manson says he was impressed by the students in attendance and their willingness to listen to what he had to say.

“I think it’s great, the fact that they would come in and view some time to listen to an old retired hockey guy speaks volumes for their character, their attitude in learning. Hopefully, they picked up something that they might be able to apply to one of their experiences as they get older.”

Manson spent parts of four seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders from 1983-1986. In 218 regular season games as a Raider, Manson posted 24 goals, 71 assists and 666 penalty minutes. Manson is one of three Raiders to have their number retired by the club.

During his time as a Raider, Manson also attended Carlton where he received his high school diploma. He recalls having a positive experience when he wandered the hallways as a student.

“I had great times here, I never played football here, anything like that. I was tied into hockey at that time. So I was very busy and very focused on trying to play for the Raiders and get a career going. There was a lot, I had so many good teachers on the experience here. My older brother was here too, so he kind of paved the way for me through high school.”

Manson had a lengthy NHL career following his time in Prince Albert with stops in Chicago, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Arizona and Dallas.
When he was asked about the major differences in the sport in today’s game versus when he played, Manson says speed and skill have taken over.

“I think it’s a great game. I’m going to be honest, these players are, and not to disrespect or say that we weren’t skilled or that, but the game is fast. When they took the red line out, that changed the game. That sped the game up to a pace I don’t think anybody was ready for. There were three officials back then, now there’s four. That’s so they can keep up to the pace of the game and do a better job of officiating the game. It’s better in every facet.”