Players and parents expect skill development, high level competition and fun-filled experiences when they invest in AAA spring hockey. Can West believes in reaching and exceeding these expectations, so we’ve partnered with expert shooting consultant Chris Joseph, owner of BASE Hockey Edmonton, to help our players make the most of the spring season.
Chris started playing hockey at age four in Golden, British Columbia, after his father signed him and his older brother up for multiple sports teams. “He put us in hockey, soccer, baseball…we did it all,” recalled Joseph. “By the time I was seven, we moved back to Burnaby, Vancouver, and I continued to play hockey with the Burnaby Winter Club.”
As a child, hockey was always Chris’ favourite sport. He described himself as a good baseball player, pretty average soccer player and really good water skier. But his hockey skills were most prominent and his love of the game spurred him to continue playing.
“I didn’t really plan on being a hockey player,” he stated matter-of-factly. “I didn’t think I was ever going to make it – I thought it would be awesome if I could play Junior B for the local team!”
As it turned out, Joseph’s talent and hard work led him to much higher levels than Junior B. He played 19 seasons of professional hockey, including 14 in the National Hockey League (NHL) and five in Europe:
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Edmonton Oilers
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Vancouver Canucks
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Phoenix Coyotes
- Atlanta Thrashers
- TPS (Finland)
- Mannheim Eagles (Germany)
- Milano Vipers (Italy)
When asked about some of his most memorable hockey moments, Chris’ first response was, “Oh boy, I got lucky. There were a lot of great moments.” The first conversation he had with his dad about playing junior hockey in Seattle was one highlight. “I was scared, he was scared,” Joseph described. “The team’s general manager said they saw great things in me and that they could turn me into a first rounder.” Deciding to move to Seattle was a major step that paid off.
Draft day was another memorable moment. “It was in Joe Louis arena in Detroit,” he explained. “My family and agent were there and it was a really exciting day.”
Chris also played in two World Junior tournaments. He was suspended in the infamous Canada/Russia brawl in 1987 when the lights went out (now that’s a memorable moment!) and went to Moscow, Russia as a proud Canadian in 1988 where the team won the gold medal match.
“I was also with the Oilers for a few Stanley Cups as a black ace and played with many legendary players throughout my NHL career,” he shared. “Lots of good memories.”
Joseph began coaching in 2006, the same year he retired from professional hockey. His oldest son was playing on a novice team in St. Albert at the time and Chris decided he wanted to share his knowledge with young players. “I wasn’t going to get out of the game and I thought I had lots to offer with an NHL background,” he stated. “I wanted to be part of my son’s development, along with all the other kids who love the game.”
Joseph’s involvement in BASE Hockey kick started around five years ago when he contacted vice president and co-founder Cliff Ronning, fellow Burnaby Winter Club alumni. He was impressed with Cliff’s custom stick work and asked if BASE Hockey was looking for anyone to set up shop in the Edmonton area.
Since then, Chris has established BASE Hockey in the local community and regularly works with groups to provide in-depth, high quality shooting instruction. This is where Can West enters the picture. Can West has partnered with Chris and BASE Hockey to provide our players with on- and off-ice coaching sessions.
What do these sessions entail? Read all about what our players will learn.