Most parents who have kids that play in the NHL, only have one son who plays. Yes, there have been brothers who have played and Vancouver even has twins playing together. But, yet again it is rare.
Picture a farmer in the middle of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Cannot find Thunder Bay? Let me help. Thunder Bay is around 856 miles north of Toronto, Canada. This sod farmer is special because he has three sons playing in the NHL. Can you guess his name? He is Henry Staal and his sons are: Eric, Jordan and Marc.
Henry Staal is different from a lot of other NHL parents. Most like to be there and cheer their sons on, not Henry! He has a hands off approach towards his sons careers. It seems to be working because all of his sons are healthy and expecting to play 1,000 games each. It is said that Henry was showing his kids some moves on a frozen pond and got into it and wiped out. “Maybe that is the reason he is the furthest from a hockey dad there is?” Eric said. This hand off approach started when the brothers where in the minors. Henry would not sit with the other parents. The others would cheer, yell, scream, get mad at the refs, etc. Not Henry, he didn’t cheer nor yell. He sat there and watched the game. Could Henry be the most nurturing hockey father in the whole NHL? Or is the yelling, screaming and pushing their son kind of parent better? You make the pro and con list. You decide.
To show solidarity in 2013 when Marc got an injured eye, his brothers Jordan and Eric wore visors. This family supports each other with love and caring, not with harsh words. Henry Staal is the head of this family but he knows his limits and he respects them. It is nice to know that some parents just watch their kids play the game.